Monday, 9 February 2015

3 letters to i on tax avoidance

The "launching of an urgent enquiry" to which HSBC will give evidence is to be applauded, but it appears the banks have to be taught a sterner lesson if they are to start working for the benefit of the economy as a whole. (MPs launch investigation into how HSBC helped wealthy to avoid tax,10/02/15) A financial transaction tax would not only increase revenue appreciably, it would signify an end to governments being in hock to the City. Similarly, a proposal to nationalise fully RBS and convert it into a People`s Bank, with sensibly-salaried staff paid to care more about customer service than the super-rich`s greed, might actually succeed in changing the banking culture, something that is long overdue!

Andrew Grice, when writing about Miliband and business, admits that the Labour leader "gives a token nod to growth" and then adds in the same sentence, "but emphasises the need to build a fairer economy". (Ed Miliband`s Mr Angry act may cost him votes, 07/02/15) Why the "but"? Isn`t a "fairer economy" exactly what the country needs, and the electorate want? Why is it an "act" when a leading politician is angry about the situation where tax avoidance costs the country at least £35bn a year, when millions are paid such low wages they have to rely on benefits to survive, when £375bn of quantitative easing was used to recapitalise banks and fund their obscene pay and bonuses, and when businessmen complain about paying a level of corporation tax which is the lowest of any in the G7 by 5%?
       The leader of the Labour party should be angry, the angrier the better!

How disingenuous of HMRC to say it has "brought in £31bn additional tax" since 2010, when the gap between what is meant to be collected and the amount actually going into Treasury coffers is still around £35bn every year and rising! (PwC promoting "industrial scale" tax avoidance, ministers warned,06/02/15) This government has been reminded of the "industrial scale" tax avoidance by Hodge`s committee for years, and has done nothing to stop PwC or any other of the Big 4 accounting firms from making massive profits from advice on how to deprive the nation of much-needed revenue. The coalition has even cut thousands of jobs at HMRC, and we`re still expected to believe all their nonsense about "smelling coffee" and moral repugnance? They really do take us for mugs.

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