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Timing of tax policy change defended by minister

The decision to improve tax transparency in the Isle of Man's banking industry has been criticised as 'abrupt' in the House of Keys.

Treasury Minister Allan Bell announced last week that the option for customers from European Union countries to pay withholding tax on accounts held here was to be scrapped.

Instead, the Isle of Man will automatically share information with tax authorities elsewhere.

The move has been welcomed by the Isle of Man Banker's Association and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

But the way the change was announced has upset some members, including Rushen's Quintin Gill who accused Mr Bell of taking an arrogant approach.

The minister said his department was always keen to keep the house informed, but insisted sometimes speed was of the essence:

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