Steven Walker`s article, in the Morning Star, on the tax avoidance by England`s footballers highlights again the need for a government with determination to tackle the country`s problems of "massive inequalities between rich and poor".(Morning Star,14/06/14) The coalition may "talk a good match" but have no intention of playing! Will a Labour government be any more energetic in this area which is costing the country billions every year, or will they also be too worried about offending their friends in the city? Margaret Hodge and her committee do well to expose much of the cheating, but lacks the power to change laws or make arrests. What better time could there be to remind everyone what being a British citizen entails, and what "Britishness" involves? Why should tax avoiders, who do their utmost to avoid making their proper fiscal contributions, maintain their right to participate in the democratic process? Why should sports people be allowed to represent us if they contribute next to nothing towards the costs of running their country, or if they declare their residency to be Monaco or some other low-tax regime? They may have Olympic golds, or grand prix victories, but they do not pay their fair share. Why should these footballers, whose tax avoidance is common knowledge, get away with it, when their pay resembles weekly lottery wins? "No representation without taxation" sounds a good slogan!
Similarly should MPs, judges, councillors and such like be allowed to hold public office if they avoid paying their fair share? Should the taxpayers` funded BBC employ "celebrities" who have formed their own companies simply to enable the lower corporation tax to be paid instead of income tax? Tax avoiders on the Honours list? Knighthoods returned? So much could be done, or pledged, by a political party intent on ending the current culture of avoidance, with even some useful examples from America`s New Deal in utilising consumers in supporting only those companies actually supporting the country`s attempts to escape the Depression.
Some political commentators have suggested we wage war against tax avoidance and evasion, but in WW II did the government allow businesses to exist which gave advice to German prisoners of war on how to escape from Britain? Yet, Deloitte, KPMG and the others which make millions by advising firms and individuals on how to avoid paying their fair share of tax, have representatives on Treasury committees drawing up new tax rules, and are rewarded with government contracts! The conspiracy of silence surrounding the role of tax payment, both in British society and British citizenship, is deafening!