Lorn Myners is the Financial Services Secretary has previously only come to my notice as the minister responsible for signing of Sir Fred Goodwin’s pension, before the government realised that it was appalling PR, and then made itself look hopelessly out of depth with all sorts of claims that it was going to get ‘some’ of Sir Fred’s millions back (millions largely earned as the boss of a private company) as a smokescreen to try and distract us from the multi-billion pound hole in public finances.
Now, however, Lord Paul Myners has impinged on my consciousnesses again, because one of his other responsibilities is to ‘crack down’ on of-shore tax havens which the government has belatedly noticed mean they get less tax revenue. There has been some spin that avoiding tax in your home land is immoral.
It will of course then come as no surprise to learn that Lord Myners himself has a substantial pile of cash invested in an off-shore tax haven which helped it’s members avoid £100 million in tax per year. Not only does he have a reported £250,000 invested, he is also a former chairman of the company, and at the end of 2007 he held shares worth £4.8 million pounds at the current rate. Since he is no longer a Director of the company his share dealings with it are no longer on record, but it is clear that he owned shares as recently as January this year, and placed them in a ‘blind trust’ to conceal them.
This case does seem to contain a degree of hypocrisy, greed, deceit, arrogance and incompetence.
I’m sure Lord Myners will go far. It would be interesting to hear Kevin’s view on his colleague’s actions.