Minister put millions in tax haven

A multi-millionaire businessman appointed last week as defence minister put millions of pounds into offshore tax loopholes before they were closed down in Gordon Brown’s last Budget, The Sunday Times reported at the weekend.

Link: Rich hide $11.5 trillion in tax havens

Lord Drayson allegedly established offshore trusts and companies in the Isle of Man that handled £30m raised from the sale of his pharmaceuticals business.

Drayson admitted to The Sunday Times that he held ‘financial interest’ offshore but said he had brought his money back to Britain in the autumn.

In 2003, the paper reported, Lord Drayson sold the company he co-founded, Powerject, the money for it being paid into offshore companies.

Mike Warburton, of Grant Thornton, said: ‘Although I cannot comment on the Draysons’ circumstances, this type of offshore scheme was used to minimise British tax bills. However, the chancellor blocked this loophole in his March Budget.’

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