Friday, 24 April 2015

Guardian letter on Osborne

Simon Jenkins makes many excellent points supporting the removal of the 'fiscal archaism' that is non-dom status.(The Tories must stamp out the leech of non-dom status- before Labour does,08/04/15) His use of New York as an example of a city with a 'far more severe tax regime', yet not short of thousands of 'super-rich' residents, is particularly pertinent in view of scaremongers` suggestions that the rich will leave the UK bag and baggage.
However,Jenkins also makes a surprisingly ludicrous point, that George Osborne can claim to be 'tougher than any of his predecessors on tax avoidance'. Can this really be true of the chancellor who has overseen the cutting of staff at HMRC by 20%, and who, for all his 'morally repugnant' rhetoric, has done nothing to reduce the tax gap , which even Jenkins acknowledges to be approximating 70bn pounds a year? Is it nearer the truth to state that Cameron and Osborne only broached the subject of tax avoidance, after being put under pressure to do so after excellent work by investigative journalists and Hodge`s Public Accounts Committee. Osborne`s much-vaunted Google tax is only estimated to be collecting 557m pounds by 2019, and accounting firms, having representatives on Treasury tax committees, are still allowed to profit to the tune of billions through √°dvising' on tax avoidance. Does this really sound as though a government has been hard at work for five years tackling the problem?
History will almost certainly judge Osborne as the Chancellor who scorned the opportunity to gain massive public support by tackling tax avoidance properly; consequently, he well may be seen as the man who cost his party the 2015 election!


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