HC Deb 28 June 1999 vol 334 cc60-3W
Mr. Cohen

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will assess the impact of (i) a 20 per cent. withholding tax(a) with and (b) without, an exemption on interest earnings abroad and (ii) a requirement for the provision of information on capital income to the tax authority of a relevant country, on (A) levels of fraud, (B) money- laundering, (C) reduced bank transparency and (D) the movement of funds to overseas tax havens; and if he will make a statement. [88399]

Dawn Primarolo

We are doing a great deal of detailed work on an assessment of the impact of the draft European Commission Directive on the taxation of interest from savings—in close co-operation with the City of London. We have made it clear that we will not agree to any Directive which damages our financial markets or which would require the United Kingdom to introduce a withholding tax.

The government strongly support international initiatives, through the EU, OECD, the G7 and the Financial Action Task Force on money laundering, to improve the international sharing of information relevant to inquiries into financial crime, tax evasion and avoidance.