The operators of the Isle of Skye nursing home where 10 residents died after contracting Covid-19 are being backed by companies based in tax havens and controlled by global hedge funds, private equity and the Chinese government, an investigation has found.
Research by investigative journalism site The Ferret revealed that Home Farm in Portree, and Blar Buidhe in Stornoway are among 23 homes which HC-One rents from a sister company registered in the Isle of Man.
The investigation said that private care providers split their business so that one company provides care and another owns the building.
The practice allows the part of the company which owns the building to charge the care providing branch rent.
Costs are then passed on to customers – either the local authority or care home resident.
While the practice is legal, there are concerns that the flow of rental payments to tax havens can represent a loss of tax revenue in the UK and hinders transparency and accountability.
The data for the investigation, obtained from Registers of Scotland, shows that at the end of last year at least 44 Scottish care homes were owned by companies based in tax havens such as Jersey, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar.
The ultimate owners of these care homes are hedge funds and investment companies from around the world.
The Chinese Ministry of Finance is a stakeholder in six Scottish care homes through Jersey-registered HCP UK Investments Limited.
The full investigation is published here https://theferret.scot/scottish-care-homes-chinese-state-tax-havens/