Tuesday, 2 March 2010
A Taxing Question
New Labour have other skeletons in the tax avoidance closet though. They have built upon the tolerance of tax avoidance, where this is the sin that is not mentioned in stark contrast to the countless public information films warning against benefits fraud. The Tax avoidance department of most large accountancy firms is normally the first choice of most people who leave the Treasury, and to top it all we have the scandal of Mapeley Steps, the Bermuda based company who now own, and lease back, the office buildings which house Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. Oh the Irony! Added to the fact that Brown and Darling have obstipated the tax haven parts of the G20 settlements from April last year, despite trumpeting their part in cracking down on tax havens (Obama was the key driver for these agreements, not Brown).
Taken together we have the picture of a government not at all unhappy to see vital revenue not be paid for the upkeep of UK-plc. We are not talking about pennies here either. Estimates place 1/3rd of global GDP as being channelled through offshore tax havens, while in 2003, British corporations avoided paying £20,000 million in tax. Today that amount would go some way to closing our deficit, tracking down that amount would be much more cost effective than the cuts which will come.
Yet the strange thing is, with all of this ammunition, the Tories and Conservative bloggers like Iain Dale and Guido are perfectly content to attack just the New Labour Non-Doms and… well pretty much it. So dear reader, who is more unpatriotic, a Tory wannabe grandee who avoids paying full tax by claiming Non-Dom status… or a party who secretly have been condoning tax avoidance?