Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Westminster 'supportive' of Isle of Man business

The Isle of Man, as a business centre, is receiving more support from Westminster than it has for years, according to the Manx chief minister.

Allan Bell said the mood towards the island had changed "dramatically".

Mr Bell attended a meeting in London at the weekend to sign a new agreement aimed at clamping down on tax evasion.

He said: "I find the atmosphere in London far more supportive and far more understanding than it has ever been before, in my experience."

Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Anguilla, Montserrat, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man were all represented at a meeting at No 10 on Saturday.

Many regard the islands and outposts as tax havens, although that is a label they strongly dispute.

They have agreed to sign up to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters - an initiative led by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

David Cameron said it was a "very positive step forward" ahead of the G8 meeting, which starts on Monday.

The prime minister said it had been a "very good" meeting".

He said: "It is important we are getting our house in order. What the Crown dependencies have signed up to is basically the existing and the new standards for exchanging tax information. That is absolutely vital."

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