Tag Archives: George Osborne

short but extremely pithy

My blood is boiling.. I know my blood is often boiling, I can’t get the kids out the door to school in the morning without my anger overspilling like a neglected milkpan but today my blood is going nuclear.

Those GDP negative growth figures of -0.7 for the last quarter must surely be THE WAKE UP CALL to any misguided fools still clinging on to the idea that George Osborne knows what he is doing.  The coalition’s economic policies are driving this country into the ground.

But what really got my goat beyond belief was the idiot at the treasury claiming that we were to blame if we paid a tradesman in cash the day after The Observer published that the super-rich had siphoned off £13 TRILLION into offshore tax havens.

I know plumbers cost the earth these days but even my bathroom renovations didn’t cost that much.  Mr Idiot from the Treasury I think your calculator might be on the blink.  Your sums are not stacking up.  Even if every transaction in the country was done cash in hand I think we would be far pushed to have squirrelled away those amounts.  Plus I have a very sneaky feeling that the names on those fantastical, unimaginable large deposits of money in the Caymans and all those other treasure islands of tax havenry are not Pete’s Plumbing or Scott the Sparky or John the Joiner do you?  I would be happy to bet the whole of the £13 trillion that no one depositing money in these ways has even driven a white van, ever.

It just seems to be another example of how the world is divided.  The ordinary people who work hard, play fair and get on with their daily lives with sanguine acceptance.  Then we have the elite, either  wealthy or ruling and frequently both, who just seem to live in another world altogether, a place where common sense, checked out a long time ago.

Bank of Dave on Channel 4 documenting the attempts by a Burnley Businessman to make a difference something for his community is another example.  He can see the crippling effect of banks not lending on local business.  He is a very personable, highly successful businessman and can see a solution.  He will set up his own Savings and Loans bank.   He makes his decisions by visiting businesses, he can see the level of hard work and dedication.  He does business by trust, instinct and a hand-shake.  He remembers when someone took a chance on him.  By episode 3, 95% of all money lent had already been paid back.  Any profits made were then distributed to local charities.  But what did the FSA want to do?  They wanted to shut him down because he didn’t have the necessary capitalisation.

Grrrrrrrrrrr, there it went again, my blood boiling over.  How have we got it so topsy-turvy?  The financial regulators couldn’t prevent the banking crisis of 2008,  but want to stop a man who is actually succeeding in making a real and lasting difference.

We have become a nation of box-tickers.  We need more can-do spirit in this country, men from the Treasury and FSA  please sit up and take note before it’s too late.




To (pay) Tax or Not to (pay) Tax….. Aye There is the Rub

It would be hard for anyone to have missed the news about Jimmy Carr and his tax avoidance scheme this week, and despite there being over a 1,000 people connected to the K2 scheme operating out of Jersey, it was his name and face splashed all over the media last week.  Maybe I am too cynical but I wondered about the Establishment connections of those other 999 anonymous beneficiaries, and how their names had been kept out of the paper.

Now anyone who knows me, or indeed has read my previous blogs knows of my deep admiration and support of the work that UKuncut does to highlight the despicable actions of  highly profitable businesses such as Goldman Sachs and Vodaphone, who engage in large and wholesale schemes to avoid paying their true corporation tax bill in full.  Indeed along with the tax affairs of  billionaire Philip Green so eloquently put by Jon Richardson on Have I Got News for You in October 2010 (see the UKuncut blog highlighted above to watch that again), I do feel some moral repugnance that highly successful companies making huge profits from UK tax payers should dodge, albeit in “legal” ways their taxation responsibilities.

David Cameron waded into the debate to express his moral outrage at Jimmy Carr, again demonstrating his shockingly bad eye for detail.  How on earth can the Conservative leader condemn anyone for this activity when his own previous Deputy Party Chairman, Lord Ashcroft was not UK domiciled for tax purposes.   It took the levels of hypocrisy to almost satirical levels. He also didn’t condemn Gary Barlow who up until the point of Tuesday’s tax scheme revelations was on course for National Treasure status.  Much was made of Gary Barlow’s work campaigning with the Torys in 2010.

So I have a plan and George Osborne or Ed Balls,  who ever to wants to use this, you can have it for free.

I believe very strongly that everyone should pay their fair share of tax.  Fact.

I believe that the majority of people are very hard-working, and probably working harder than ever.

I also can understand that if you are a higher rate tax payer you don’t want to have to give away 50% of your income to the Government.     If you earn a million pounds I can completely understand you will take action not to pay nearly half of that in income tax.

So why don’t we just have a flat rate of tax? Say at 25%.  Surely a Government doesn’t need anymore than a quarter of someone’s income.  This would give an incentive to the higher rate tax payers to pay their full obligation, and thus leading actually to an increase in income tax revenues.

But exchange for that I think there needs to be a moral sea-change on the view of tax avoidance.  It needs to become like drink driving socially UNACCEPTABLE.  If you, and yes I am talking to captains of industry like you Philip Green, if you want to work and earn fantastical sums in this country you need to be domiciled here, and make your contribution to our society.

My final point to make Tax Inspectors sexy.  Well maybe that is too much to ask for but to beef up their status and their powers.  Pay them a decent rate and retain the best of them, don’t let them go to the accountancy firms engaging in tax avoidance schemes that are only this side of the law.  Don’t let them turn from game-keeper to poacher.  Have Elliott Ness has their hero.  After all the only way Al Capone was finally brought to account was from his tax return wasn’t it?

How our tax inspectors might look.....

And if all that doesn’t work, well tax evasion in China is punishable by death…