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‘We didn’t ask to sell the shares, yet they expect us to pay up’

Daily Telegraph (UK): ‘We didn’t ask to sell the shares, yet they expect us to pay up’

Saturday 25 June 2005

(Filed: 25/06/2005)

Kent couple Peter and Sheila Jamieson are furious that they are having to pay a large capital gains bill because of Shell’s plans to merge its Dutch and British parts into one company.

Mrs Jamieson, 84, is facing a £33,000 tax bill on her 4,800 Royal Dutch Petroleum shares, worth £167,000, because of the restructuring which is being voted on by shareholders next week.

She said: “The American and Dutch shareholders are not having to pay because the law is different. We have not asked to sell the shares… and they expect us to pay capital gains tax. It’s disgusting.”

Commenting on the size of the bill from the holding, which Mrs Jamieson inherited from her mother in the 1970s, she continued: “That is what I can ill-afford – I get my income from that holding. I don’t know why Shell should behave this way. I think it is unreasonable, to put it mildly.”

Mr Jamieson, 87, who has written in protest to Shell’s UK chairman, Lord Oxburgh, added that the petrochemicals giant was behaving as though “this is the way it is boys, you have got to take it on the chin”. He said: “We are both in our 80s and don’t need the trouble. We did not ask Shell to merge the shares; to suffer through no action of our own is iniquitous. They should have thought about this.”

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