Friday 26 July 2019 / 10:58 AM Economy / Peter Dowd

Boris Johnson’s ‘free ports’ are for the super-rich to dodge taxes and launder money – Peter Dowd

Peter Dowd MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, responding to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s support for so-called ‘free ports’, said:

“We should call ‘free ports’ what they really are: storage spaces for the super-rich to dodge taxes and launder money, promoted by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury before he entered Cabinet.

“These are tax-free warehouses used to hoard art, wine, and gold – and the best-known ones are in tax havens like Luxembourg, Geneva, and Delaware.

“Boris Johnson’s Cabinet of the super-rich, for the super-rich, wants to turn this country into a tax haven – as payback for Tory funders and their mates.

“Labour will challenge this tax-dodging agenda every step of the way.

“We won’t allow Boris Johnson to take us back to Thatcher and the 1980s. That’s why we need a general election – and a Labour Government that will build a fairer future.”

Ends

 

Notes to editors

The owners of Bristol Port donated £25,000 to Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign only six weeks before he backed a tax-cutting incentive that could massively boost the port’s profits.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/boris-johnson-backs-tax-cuts-3061324

A recent report described the “money laundering, tax evasion and tax avoidance risks connected with free zones”: see http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2018/627114/EPRS_STU(2018)627114_EN.pdf at p. 5.

In 2015, after becoming an MP, Rishi Sunak – now Chief Secretary to the Treasury – wrote ‘The Free Ports Opportunity’ for Conservative thinktank Policy Exchange: https://www.cps.org.uk/files/reports/original/161114094336-TheFreePortsOpportunity.pdf

On 5 July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “We should definitely be doing free ports and tax free zones …”: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48868234. On 24 July, Johnson said, “Let us begin work now to create free ports …”: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49102495