FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for proper tax transparency and the closing of loopholes that allow wealthy individuals to use tricks and cons to reduce their tax bill.

Speaking at the British-Irish Council meeting in Jersey, the SNP leader said there was widespread support among the politicians there to tackle tax evasion and abusive tax avoidance.

Her comments follow the revelations in the Paradise Papers, a leak of 13.4 million documents from offshore law firm Appleby, the corporate services providers Estera and Asiaciti Trust, and business registries in 19 tax jurisdictions.

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The papers, originally leaked to German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, contained details about the finances of more than 120,000 people and companies, including the Queen, and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

Speaking at the summit, Jersey’s chief minister Ian Gorst stressed that much of what was revealed in the leak was legal.

He’s been under fire after the papers revealed Jersey has been used by Apple to avoid paying large sums of tax.

The tech firm moved a load of its offshore wealth in Ireland to the Channel Islands in 2013, despite claiming that it was paying its proper share of taxes.

Apple hired Appleby to find a new place to keep their cash, somewhere where it would be safe from prying tax collectors.

“All that the ICIJ have released, they themselves have said that there is nothing illegal,” said Senator Gorst.

“The word ‘evasion’ has not been used at all, which would be a criminal offence if it had been taking place in any of our three jurisdictions.

“We joined with the UK Government in committing ourselves to ensure that our island and financial services community are not used for what we might call ‘rogue operators’ and we continue to meet the very highest international standards and we’ll work together to ensure that we continue to do that.”

A communique agreed by Sturgeon, Gorst, Guernsey chief minister Gavin St Pier, Isle of Man chief minister Howard Quayle, Irish Taioseach Leo Varadkar, and Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire, representing the UK Government, reaffirmed the administrations’ “shared commitment to meeting international standards and to working with the international community to tackle tax evasion and abusive tax avoidance”.

It added: “Members noted that this is also a global issue and requires a commitment from the whole international community to be effective.”

Sturgeon described tax as “our individual contribution to the collective good”.

“We must have rules and regulations in place that properly promote tax transparency but also operate to close down any tax loopholes that people are using in order to unfairly minimise the tax that they pay,” she said.

The First Minister added: “The tax we pay funds our public services, but it also funds the infrastructure and the support that businesses need to create wealth.

“That’s the social purpose of tax and this is a good opportunity to remind everybody of that.”