Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Taxing Questions

We have now had a period when major stories have commanded the media together with the fall out from the very messy election and referendum campaigns. While these go on many other issues vanish from sight. Given what could develop, they might stay out of sight for some time yet.

Drought or more problems arising from the nuclear reactors in Japan or other events around the Mediterranean could be occupying the media space as well as any impacts they may have in the UK.

It is tempting to go with the mainstream but if I have nothing much to add then perhaps picking away at some matters with long term implications might seem to be avoiding the big ticket things but they may be more important for the future.

There seems to be a lot of odd business going in the question of UK taxation. When New Labour with all its mysterious intricacies and money flows within fell from power there was a hope that a fresh and fairer approach might emerge.

This does not seem to be the case. If anything it is not simply business as usual in the London Village, in some respects it may be worse. The selling off of HMRC premises for cash and going into leasehold/rental may have seemed clever. But the substantial annual sums payable over many years will cost a great deal and moreover are going to people and places whose UK tax liability is minimal.

Recent editions of “Private Eye” have been plugging away at what the HMRC is up to and the sight of its top man doing sweetheart deals with the likes of Vodaphone and Goldman Sachs is not a pretty one. Especially, as he seems to be taking decisions without reference to either law or internal advice.

There are other things too. Nicholas Shaxson notes this one:


This picks up on other stories:


And from another standpoint:


This is one to make you wonder, The British Virgin Islands and Russian roads:






In the meantime:


Some of these may be from the viewpoint of the Left, such as it is. But there are a lot of people now from other areas of politics who wonder not only just where is all the money going but how on earth we can raise enough to do what is necessary.

The famous 1979 Tory poster said “Labour Isn’t Working”. It does not look as though our taxation system at present is working. This may be another legacy from Labour but the present government could be making matters worse.

When a tax system becomes so inequitable that not only does a regime lose control of it but if the only people they can collect from cannot afford them and revolt then regime change will occur.

It is happening in other places a good question is when it will begin to occur in one part of Europe or another. Certainly, the EU tax and spend policies are making matters even worse.

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