Posts Tagged 'Taxation'

A reply to the Letter regarding HMRC and taxation to Margaret Hodge MP

Readers may remember that this author recently sent a letter (shown below) to Margaret Hodge regarding her comments and those of HMRC directors at a recent meeting of the Public Accounts Committee.  A reply has now been received – a not entirely satisfactory one – that follows on below…

Your comments and suggestions about what next steps could/should be taken are most welcome…

—————

Dear Mrs Hodge,

Since the recent appearance of senior HMRC representatives including Edward Troup, HMRC’s Tax Assurance Commissioner and Jim Harra, the Director-General of Business Tax, before the Public Accounts Committee, I have undertaken some reading which has resulted in me identifying two very important questions that need to be answered.

Following your recent appearance on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme where you explained that you actively seek to engage with voters, I hope you will be kind enough to answer my questions.

You were quoted as saying in Committee that:

It looks to me that you should be litigating. Why have you not chosen to litigate and test your powers?  Why have you not litigated against one single internet company?

Make a few cases, a few show cases. It’s so bloody obvious.

It transpires HMRC has already pursued a case to test their powers in respect of the movement of capital within the EU, the Thin Cap Group Litigation v Commissioners of Inland Revenue.  In 2007 the European Court of Justice rejected HMRC’s case.  HMRC therefore clearly know the answer to your question is that they have tested their powers and know they would lose such a case.

My first question is, although Mr Troup did say, “We make sure we collect the tax due under the law,” why did neither he nor Mr Harra reference the Thin Cap Group Litigation case in their evidence to your committee in answer to your question, explaining that EU law prevents the taxation you would like to see applied to the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Starbucks in the UK prior to transfer payments being made to another EU member state?

My second question is this.  Given the ECJ verdict in respect of Thin Cap Group, have you not been informed by advisers or civil servants about this failed test of powers, as it is central to the UK Exchequer’s inability to tax profits made by corporations that based their EU trade in another member state?

I am sure you will agree that it is only right that people should be encouraged to understand the laws that apply and their origin, and that discussion related to this matter in Parliamentary committees should be open and transparent.  It is clear that the UK does not have tax sovereignty as laws made elsewhere pertaining to taxation have primacy.  Do you not think this should be made clear in your committee?  Will you seek to explore this further in future PAC hearings?

I look forward to and thank you in advance for your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Nightingale

The reply received is shown below…

Letter regarding HMRC and taxation to Margaret Hodge MP

The letter shown below has been sent to Margaret Hodge.  Should a reply be received it will be published here.

—————

Dear Mrs Hodge,

Since the recent appearance of senior HMRC representatives including Edward Troup, HMRC’s Tax Assurance Commissioner and Jim Harra, the Director-General of Business Tax, before the Public Accounts Committee, I have undertaken some reading which has resulted in me identifying two very important questions that need to be answered.

Following your recent appearance on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme where you explained that you actively seek to engage with voters, I hope you will be kind enough to answer my questions.

You were quoted as saying in Committee that:

It looks to me that you should be litigating. Why have you not chosen to litigate and test your powers?  Why have you not litigated against one single internet company?

Make a few cases, a few show cases. It’s so bloody obvious.

It transpires HMRC has already pursued a case to test their powers in respect of the movement of capital within the EU, the Thin Cap Group Litigation v Commissioners of Inland Revenue.  In 2007 the European Court of Justice rejected HMRC’s case.  HMRC therefore clearly know the answer to your question is that they have tested their powers and know they would lose such a case.

My first question is, although Mr Troup did say, “We make sure we collect the tax due under the law,” why did neither he nor Mr Harra reference the Thin Cap Group Litigation case in their evidence to your committee in answer to your question, explaining that EU law prevents the taxation you would like to see applied to the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Starbucks in the UK prior to transfer payments being made to another EU member state?

My second question is this.  Given the ECJ verdict in respect of Thin Cap Group, have you not been informed by advisers or civil servants about this failed test of powers, as it is central to the UK Exchequer’s inability to tax profits made by corporations that based their EU trade in another member state?

I am sure you will agree that it is only right that people should be encouraged to understand the laws that apply and their origin, and that discussion related to this matter in Parliamentary committees should be open and transparent.  It is clear that the UK does not have tax sovereignty as laws made elsewhere pertaining to taxation have primacy.  Do you not think this should be made clear in your committee?  Will you seek to explore this further in future PAC hearings?

I look forward to and thank you in advance for your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Nightingale

Questions for HMRC that need answering

Staying on the subject of Margaret Hodge’s hissy fit and in particular the evidence given to the Public Accounts Committee, by Edward Troup, HMRC’s Tax Assurance Commissioner and Jim Harra, the Director-General of Business Tax, there is a very important question that needs to be answered.

Margaret Hodge continued with her now familiar narrative of having a show trial or two for major companies who, in her eyes, don’t pay their ‘fair share’ of tax to the UK Exchequer – because despite trading here and generating impressive revenues a lot of the money is sent to another EU location in the form of transfer payments and the like.  Hodge said to Harra:

It looks to me that you should be litigating. Why have you not chosen to litigate and test your powers?  Why have you not litigated against one single internet company?

Make a few cases, a few show cases. It’s so bloody obvious.

Now, HMRC knows very well about the Thin Cap Group Litigation, with the subsequent European Court of Justice ruling on in March 2007, and how that makes Hodge’s demand impossible.  It would therefore be pointless HMRC spending our money to pursue a case it already knows from case law there is no prospect of winning.  So,

  1. Why did neither Harra nor Troup simply tell Hodge that European law allows what Google, Facebook, Amazon and Starbucks are doing?
  2. Why did they not explain to the committee that challenging the companies, in the way Hodge is demanding, falls foul of Article 63 of the Lisbon Treaty which declares that: “all restrictions on the movement of capital between Member States and between Member States and third countries shall be prohibited”, and that: “all restrictions on payments between Member States and between Member States and third countries shall be prohibited”?
  3. What is it they are trying to conceal from the PAC, the media and the wider public through this refusal to state what the facts are, explaining that European law and treaties have primacy and have supplanted the UK’s tax sovereignty and that Westminster therefore does not have competence make the rules in these matters, thus putting an end to Hodge’s continuing witch hunt?

Something doesn’t smell right.  It is such an open and shut matter that there has to be more to this than meets the eye.  Surely it can’t just be a desire to divert attention away from the EU elephant in the room.  Someone needs to call out HMRC on this so that the facts are aired in public in an open and transparent manner.

Then even the media might get curious and show more interest in this issue than repeating the ‘he said/she said’ exchanges, which leave people wondering why Parliament appears toothless, why no action is being taken by HMRC and why the corporates are continuing with their current tax arrangements within the EU.

Even more ignorant than we originally thought

Richard has picked up on my previous post about Margaret Hodge’s examination of HMRC leadership at the Public Accounts Committee and, reliable and well informed as ever, has shed more light on matters.  The information he provides serves to show up Hodge’s ignorance as even deeper than we originally believed.

Richard explains how the Inland Revenue has already run a test case of the type Hodge was demanding in such ill tempered, playing to the gallery fashion.  This was the Thin Cap Group Litigation, with a ruling on 13 March 2007 from the European Court of Justice.

In that case, based on the tax arrangements being used, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) found that EU law “precluded legislation of a Member State” which restricted “the ability of a resident company to deduct, for tax purposes, interest on loan finance granted by a direct or indirect parent company which is resident in another Member State or by a company which is resident in another Member State and is controlled by such a parent company”.  You can read Richard’s post in full and in glorious technicolour over on EU Referendum.  It’s an education in itself.

In summary, Richard explains that to charge tax therefore – in the way Hodge is cajoling HMRC to do – would be contrary to EU law, but with a limited proviso – that this does not apply if it can be proved that the loan is a “purely artificial arrangement, entered into for tax reasons alone”.  Proving that particular point is nigh on impossible as companies can provide a multitude of reasons for establishing their European HQ in a particular location.

Hodge is chasing her own tail, to no purpose, at the expense of a public that is being misinformed and deceived by her ill informed and pathetic political grandstanding.  If Hodge wants the law pertaining to this area of taxation to change, she needs to push for the UK to withdraw from the EU.  That won’t happen this side of never.  So her continual hectoring is a waste of everybody’s time.

Now, a question.  Why is it the media – with its powerful reputation for accuracy – is incapable of researching this story and explaining this?  Why is it that to understand the facts we have to resort to reading what a hard working blogger has published on his particular piece of electronic pub gossip?  Answers on a postcard to Brian Leveson, courtesy of:

1, Passed Over for Lord Chief Justice
Guardianista Chambers
Establishment Mews
LONDON
WC1 GMG

The incredible ignorance of politicians writ large

After the John Major government tied the UK to the Maastricht Treaty, Douglas Hurd was reported as saying:

I suppose we had now better go away and read what we have signed up to.

It’s a lesson that successive intakes of politicians have failed to learn.  Most recently this has been demonstrated by the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge.  The Mail reports on today’s session of the PAC where the HMRC Annual Report and Accounts 2012-13 was being examined.  The witnesses were Edward Troup, Tax Assurance Commissioner at HMRC, Jim Harra, Director-General Business Tax at HMRC and Jennie Granger, HMRC’s Director General Enforcement and Compliance.  Some of Hodge’s reported comments include the following:

The tax gap is really the tip of the iceberg in the gap between the money that you collect and the many if everyone paid their fair share.

It looks to me that you should be litigating. Why have you not chosen to litigate and test your powers?  Why have you not litigated against one single internet company?

Make a few cases, a few show cases. It’s so bloody obvious.

According to the Mail, Hodge named Google, Facebook, Amazon and Starbucks as companies whose tax affairs had sparked public anger and doubts about whether they were paying their fair share in Britain.  However, if Hodge had the first bloody clue about what she was bloody well talking about, she would bloody well know that she was spouting a load of bloody nonsense.  What Hodge is encouraging HMRC to do is spend public money pursuing cases that would be lost.

Why would HMRC lose?  Posting about a separate issue over on EU Referendum, Richard makes clear that companies moving money between EU countries in the way Google, Facebook, Amazon and Starbucks are being demonised for doing, is one of the most fundamental provisions of the European treaties, the “free movement of capital” which was one of the “four freedoms” in the original 1957 Treaty of Rome.

Chapter 4 of the Treaty of the European Union (the Lisbon Treaty) , Article 63 declares that “all restrictions on the movement of capital between Member States and between Member States and third countries shall be prohibited”. Furthermore, the article states that: “all restrictions on payments between Member States and between Member States and third countries shall be prohibited”.

Hodge, as a well remunerated Committee Chairman of one of the most muscular select committees in Parliament, with significant research resources available to her, should know this.  The fact she doesn’t demonstrates the incredible ignorance of our politicians.  Despite the supposedly powerful position she occupies, she doesn’t understand that what Google, Facebook, Amazon and Starbucks are doing is what the EU’s rules permit them to do.

Any show case would simply show up the stupidity of the UK authorities and result in a win for the demonised firms.  But it seems no case will be forthcoming because, unlike Hodge and the expenses troughers in Westminster, HMRC understands the rules – and that seems to be why Edward Troup told the committee:

We make sure we collect the tax due under the law.

It is because of corporate friendly rules such as the free movement of capital that company bosses like Richard Branson and CBI stooges like John Cridland are desperate to keep the UK in the EU.  it suits big business to engage in tax tourism and it suits them to hire in the cheapest labour from around the union.

Politicians like Margaret Hodge can grandstand, rant, rave, stamp their feet and pretend to be the conscience of the population, but it is she and her ilk who signed the UK up to EU rules they clearly don’t understand, and who want to keep the UK firmly inside the EU.  It is at times like this, when they are constantly telling us why the UK’s future has to be within the EU, that the consequences of EU membership – the loss of tax sovereignty – become apparent.

But rather than acknowledge the reality and the self imposed limitations under the structures they are constantly trying to convince us we should remain part of, they depart into the realm of fantasy like today’s performance in Room 15 of the Palace of Westminster, where they resort to bluster and blather and playing to the audience, but ultimately will change nothing.

It’s your money, but we want it and are taking it…

Here we go again.  The old chestnut of tax avoidance being equated with tax evasion is back in the papers today.

The paywall-free Mail reports about a number of BBC ‘stars’ who elect to be freelancers and paid as ‘personal service contractors’, rather than work on the BBC payroll.

The benefits are clear.  The BBC doesn’t have to pay tax on the money it pays to the freelancer (other than VAT on the invoiced sum), as the freelancer is a ‘company’ entity and responsible for paying taxes due for the services they provide.  The freelancer can pay a lower effective tax rate than an employee, depending on how they organise their directorships, salary, costs and expenses and dividend arrangements.

But yet again we see the grubbing politicians, who are so preoccupied with hoovering up as much of our money as possible in order to control how money is spent, making moronic statements that demonstrate they are trying to con the public and demonise people who have done nothing wrong.  As the Mail puts it:

There is no suggestion that any of the individuals named have acted improperly but  MPs accused the BBC of having ‘staggeringly inappropriate’ arrangements in place for many employees and said it could be ‘complicit’ in tax avoidance.

Complicit in tax avoidance?  What the hell?  This is the equivalent of criticising drivers for going along a road at 30mph in a 30mph limit by claiming they are complicit in driving within the speed limit.  The argument is completely ludicrous.  The pressure that has been applied to lead to this unnecessary change is an example of excessively powerful government that is out of control.  Personal freedom is being infringed as a result of undue pressure being brought to bear by the over powerful state.

There is nothing wrong with tax avoidance, which is the arranging of your financial affairs so that you legitimately pay less tax.  It is legal and responsible.  Yet some politicians, whose only motivation is wanting more of our money to control and use to service their whims, have even gone as far as coining the expression ‘aggressive tax avoidance’ to describe the active effort to find legitimate ways of a person or company arranging their affairs to ensure they pay as little tax as necessary within the law.  In using this description they are deliberately attempting to mislead people into thinking these individuals and companies are engaging in tax evasion – the illegal and criminal act which is the deliberate failure to provide full and accurate information about income and assets to the tax authorities so tax liability can be correctly assessed and demands applied within the law.

Although it is our money the refrain of the politicians is, ‘but we want it and are taking it’.  We no longer have a Parliament.  We have an elected Court of Robber Barons.

Court of Robber Barons

Court of Robber Barons

And they are doing all they can to bully, threaten and demonise individuals and companies into handing over money they have no legal obligation to pay.  Starbucks being a case in point, having suffered so much reputational damage at the hands of politicians and blinkered campaign groups who believe government should control everything, they voluntarily offered to pay millions of pounds to the Exchequer they were not liable for in order to put an end to the blackmail they were subjected to.  You read that right, Starbucks were blackmailed into handing over money because politicians did all they could to turn people against the company, which was wrongly being painted as abusing tax law.  That should engender fear in everyone.

Taxation has long since ceased to be the process for raising funds to be spent on essential public services and infrastructure.  It is now a form of oppressive control to restrict the ability of individuals to use their money as they see fit.  The funds raised are squandered on whims and discretionary spending to bribe people into voting the politicians back into office, which is not dissimilar to the use of taxes in medieval times to fund the adventurism of monarchs and luxury of lords.

In a classic abuse of language, the politicians hark on about people having to pay their ‘fair share’, even though this invariably means people with larger incomes and who use public services far less than most other citizens, paying the same contribution as many other people combined.  There is no sense of proportion in all this.  They have the money and the government wants it, so it rigs the system to ensure it gets it.  But in their bubble this is supposedly fair.

The only way this country will ever see responsible taxation and use of our money by the government is when the people have the power to block spending plans that service the interests of the politicians rather than the interests of the population.  This road leads back to The Harrogate Agenda, and the fifth of the six demands:

5. No taxation or spending without consent: no tax, charge or levy shall be imposed, nor any public spending authorised, nor any sum borrowed by any national or local government except with the express approval the majority of the people, renewed annually on presentation of a budget which shall first have been approved by their respective legislatures

Only with such democratic control can anyone in this country ever talk about tax in terms of fairness.

Extortion class cashes in after demands for money with menaces

The political class has done its job well.  So brainwashed are the lumpen masses they believe a great victory has been achieved with the news Starbucks has handed over £5m to the Exchequer as a corporation tax payment, with another £5m to follow later in the year – regardless of whether Starbucks makes sufficient profit to incur that liability.

The Daily Wail also does its bit to sow confusion by conflating global earnings with UK tax liability, in a deliberate effort to make Starbucks’ operation here look more profitable than it is so the £5m payment looks much smaller than it should have been.

It is only after eight paragraphs that the detail is shared with readers, some of whom before that had taken to the comment thread to hurl abuse and invective at the coffee chain.  What the detail reveals is that (my emphasis in bold):

This year however the European arm of the company has turned a profit. In its most recent trading update Starbucks said operating profit in Europe was $5.2million (£3.4million) for the three months to 25 April, up $12.2million (£7.9million) on an operating loss of $7million (£4.5million) for the same period a year earlier.

Making a liberal assumption that Starbucks’ European (not UK) sales stay consistent for the remainder of the year, the company would be on course to make a profit across the whole of Europe of £13.6m.  However, the UK Exchequer will be getting £10m from the company following the campaign of demonisation and public opprobrium led by millionaire politicians like Margaret Hodge, who avail themselves of measures to reduce their own taxes without any shame for their hypocritical behaviour.

That means Starbucks in Europe could end up paying 36.7% of all of its European profits in tax to the UK Exchequer alone.

But reading some of the comments that have been elicited by the Wail’s deliberate effort to obfuscate the facts, it seems that isn’t anywhere near enough!  No doubt that is a view held by the extortionists in Westminster, who remain unchallenged about just why they take so much money in tax from this country’s productive sectors.

That there would be consequences was always a given.  So the extortion class and the brainless morons, who see businesses as a cash cow to subsidise government bribes, waste and inefficiency, can now take responsibility for the actions Starbucks is now taking to mitigate some of the financial costs of paying grossly excessive sums of money that are not even owed, in order to end the witch hunt:

We are also undertaking measures to make Starbucks profitable in the UK, such as relocating unprofitable stores to more cost effective locations, closing them where that is not possible and placing greater reliance on franchised and licensed stores.

Take a bow, hypocritical, political class rent seekers.  Demonising Starbucks will now result in people – typically younger people early in their working lives who already struggle to find employment opportunities – losing their jobs as stores are moved or closed to reduce costs to subsidise this state engineered robbery.  Some of those who work directly for the chain with the benefits that go with working for a large employer, will now find themselves working for franchises that typically offer lesser terms and conditions.

These actions could now see tax take from the affected employees reduce and possibly see benefits required to support those who will lose their jobs.  Where the state has grown too large, too overbearing and too powerful, these are the things that happen.

I will savour the squeals of protest from those myopic comment thread outrage mongers over at the Wail, when the beast they have helped feed starts to take more from them in the not too distant future.  We will doubtless see a very different tune being played when they are on the receiving end of the kleptocracy that refuses to just deliver essential services and infrastructure well, and insists on inserting itself into areas where it has no business, using our money to service its own interests rather than ours.

Farage’s desperate bluster reveals an underlying dishonesty

He has worked as a commodities trader in the City.

His employers have included investment banks and brokerages such as Drexel Burnham Lambert,  Credit Lyonnais Rouse, Refco and Natexis Metals.

As a commodities trader for these investment houses, the sort of work he would have done includes:

  • monitoring international market performance;
  • providing investment advice and market recommendations to clients;
  • trading on behalf of clients;
  • liaising with transport, shipping and insurance companies;
  • devising ‘hedging strategies';
  • visiting international suppliers;
  • meeting with clients;
  • interpreting market reports;
  • negotiating price, specification and delivery details;
  • investigating new business openings.

Yet tonight on Channel 4 News the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage – while trying to brush off the revelation that despite speaking out against tax avoidance strategies he himself had set up an offshore trust fund to minimise tax liability – tried to give the impression that he did not know the Isle of Man is an offshore jurisdiction by asking if the Isle of Man is offshore.

With his career history, this goes way beyond stretching the bounds of credibility.  Farage may think he is being clever by attempting to play the ignorant simpleton card.  But this isn’t average guy who could be forgiven for not understanding that the Isle of Man is a self governing entity that is only a Crown dependency and therefore in no way part of the UK’s tax jurisdiction.  This is a man who needed to understand investment strategies and tax implications of the deals he was executing as part of his job.  In fact, it is highly likely he had to advise clients about the tax implications of the trades they were making.

Farage has moved beyond hypocrisy for his ‘do as I say not as I do’ stance on perfectly legal and responsible tax avoidance, and on to dishonesty for his pathetic attempt to make it look like he didn’t know what he was signing up to when opening the trust.  It also stretches the bounds of credibility that his financial adviser failed to explain the reason for basing the trust in the Isle of Man was precisely because it is offshore and therefore UK rates of tax would not apply.  Further, if he didn’t think or believe the Isle of Man was an offshore jurisdiction, why his comments earlier today about having ‘felt uncomfortable’ about the trust in the first place?

Without any other revelation of the many that could emerge about Farage, this incident and the dishonest way he has attempted to bluff his way out of it, calls into question his character and integrity.  Farage can certainly no longer set himself apart from the mendacious politicians in this country and portray himself as a breath of fresh air.  He has shown himself to be every bit as slippery and unreliable as the rest of them.  He has now been condemned by his own words.

UKIP needs to remove this man before his taint spreads to envelope and damage the party and the prospects of the wider Eurosceptic movement.

Open letter to the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu

Dear Lord Archbishop,

I read with great interest the report of your comments to the BBC on the subject of tax avoidance in the context of morality.

In your interview you said of tax avoidance that, ‘It is sinful, simply because Jesus was very clear; pay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.’  Perhaps, My Lord, you would care to give consideration to the fact that much of our wealth belongs to us and does not belong to today’s Caesar at all?  To accuse individuals and companies of being sinful for finding ways to ensure they only pay the tax for which they are legally liable, is frankly nonsense.

But there is an additional concern here, which is the notion you raise that by only paying the tax for which individuals and corporations are legally liable, they are  ‘not only robbing the poor of what they could be getting, they are actually robbing God, because God says “bring into my store house all the tithes”‘.

This is a disgraceful and outrageous assertion, My Lord.  Government policy throughout the world is far and away a greater cause of poor people being deprived than any other factor.  Your assertions seeks to position government as an absolute force for good, while ignoring the fact so much poverty in the world is caused by government spending decisions.  To lay the blame for poverty and hunger at the door of those people and businesses that do not wish to see the money they have earned squandered on electoral bribes, gerrymandering, servicing vested interests (including at local government level), and feathering the nests of powerful supporters, rather than directed at essential public services and infrastructure, is an appalling inversion of what should be considered as moral.

Where do you see government being ‘just’ or ‘walking humbly’ as it uses taxation as a tool of coercion and takes more than it needs?  Surely, by coveting their neighbour’s goods and taking what they are not owed, it is the government robbing God, the world and my neighbour.  Government has a duty to take only that which is needed, but it refuses to be bound by that covenant and abuses its power.  Why should taxpayers tolerate such abuses at the expense of them and the well-being of their families for who they have responsibility?

The Anglican Church, more than most other institutions, has good reason to doubt the moral credentials of the government, which increasingly interferes in matters of conscience and spirituality and undermines the practice of one’s faith in the pursuit of secular orthodoxy.  It would serve you well to remember that before presenting government as a moral authority only held back from good works because taxpayers strive to retain what is lawfully theirs.

For an educated and intelligent man, your comments point to a naivety and childish simplicity that while it may be touching for some, is profoundly disturbing and results in an articulated ignorance that does more harm than good.

Yours sincerely,

AM

This witch hunt distraction is getting taxing

Margaret Hodge was welcomed back to her regular and unscrutinised place on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning, to continue the tax avoidance witch hunt with an attack Google for having the temerity to structure its business in such a way as to minimise its tax liabilities.

The tired old line that HMRC should investigate Google, for doing something Hodge accepts is within the law, was trotted out by the tired old hypocrite as red meat for the spittle flecked trade unionists, those who expect to be kept by the productive part of the economy and some smaller businesses that due to their domestic nature are unable to benefit from transfer pricing and structuring their activities across different jurisdictions.

It is increasingly annoying to see individuals and companies being demonised for taking legally compliant steps to keep as much of their money as they possibly can rather than fork it over to the government, as various politicians and talking heads are rolled out to declare this has ‘cost’ the ‘country’ money, often suggesting that others will have to make up the shortfall or ‘services’ will need to be cut.

Hodge did it again today declaring Google’s actions ‘cost’ the country money and that they are not paying their ‘fair share’.  Firstly, it is not the country’s money to begin with and secondly, Google’s actions have not incurred a single penny of state expenditure so there is no cost.  The only ‘cost’ to the taxpayer will be any ministry activity stemming from demands for waste-of-time ‘investigations’ into activity that  is legal under EU law.  However, should the companies feel pressured into paying more tax than they are required to do under the law, there is likely to be a cost to customers of those businesses which would probably increase prices to preserve its margins to satisfy returns for entrepreneurial owners and investors.

But what is most annoying is the unchallenged platform afforded to idiots like Hodge which sees her given a free pass to make her ridiculous assertions.

Not once has a single interviewer on national TV or radio, speaking to these people of prestige, ask them to qualify their claims that money not taken from people is a ‘cost’, much less justify why exactly the government needs all this money to begin with and detail what it is spent on.

Not once have they challenged them to explain why the amount taken from us keeps increasing but the scope and delivery of services is continually reducing.

Not once have they demanded an answer about why discretionary spend on non-essential bribes and whims seems to continue unimpeded and only the essential services government should be focussing on are affected by downward changes in spending allocation. Make no mistake, spending by the government is still rising, fuelled by increased taxes from a growing workforce and dangerously irresponsible levels of borrowing.  This witch hunt is a deliberate ploy to distract us from the government’s abuse of our hard earned money.

Taxation is necessary to fund essential infrastructure and services.  Taxation laws should be clear and simple.  The amount of tax taken from individuals and companies should be kept the the minimum necessary to provide only  essential infrastructure and those services that safeguard the vulnerable in our society and those in need of a hand up.

But taxation is abused by the government, which gets involved at great cost in matters that should be none of the government’s business.  Government abuses taxation to bribe voters and further vaguely ideological ends by confiscating our money and redistributing it in a deliberate effort to make people dependent on the state while restricting our power and ability to choose for ourselves the most beneficial ways the money can be spent to support our families. Dressing up this witch hunt as being in the interest of the British people is disgraceful.

While government continues to use taxation as a tool of coercion and to further its own interests at the expense of ours, every single legal loophole that enables an individual or a company to reduce the amount of tax for which we are liable is not just appropriate, it is imperative.

Hypocritical ICIJ stooges lead an assault on privacy to aid state theft of assets

Cyprus was just a stepping stone on a far bigger and more disturbing journey.

Over on EU Referendum, Richard draws attention to another – an ‘investigation’ into offshore tax havens that is leading the headlines in certain publications.  As he explains:

For the last few days in certain newspapers, the dominant story has been a collaborative affair, running under the general title of “Secrecy For Sale: Inside The Global Offshore Money Maze“.

Styled as “one of the largest and most complex cross border investigative projects in journalism history”, it is co-ordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), working with more than 86 journalists in 46 countries in “an attempt to strip away the biggest mystery associated with tax havens: the owners of anonymous companies”.

He questions the motivation of those involved in this inquiry, and with very good reason.  For the ICIJ is an organisation with an unsavoury history – as this blog discussed last year – which is working to a particular ‘big state’ agenda.  For while the investigation ostensibly seeks to shine a light on the business of ‘dirty money’ and shady nominee companies, something it would be hard for anyone to take exception to, its real motivation is demonise tax havens and close down legal avenues for people to shield their wealth from taxation and confiscation by the wasteful, unrepresentative and self serving political class.

These are people for whom the concept of paying a ‘fair share’ is to say ‘you have money so we are taking it’.  It is a spiteful and devisive approach that feeds on the envy and resentment of people who are not as well off.

Whenever tax havens are discussed they are deliberately associated with ‘dirty money’, quasi criminality and tax evasion.  Yet as the paucity of identified wrongdoing demonstrates that it is mainly hard working, law abiding and successful people who use tax havens to legally avoid and minimise tax liability, and who are having their privacy assaulted as part of this effort to demonise the offshoring of assets.  Note with care the fact that the offshore arrangements of the paymasters of these ICIJ stooges, such as the owners of the Guardian, are strictly off limits.  Orwell’s pigs are taking control.

With its Marxist roots the ICIJ despises the concept of individuals taking steps to prevent government simply helping itself to the rewards other people have earned for hard work, entrepreneurship and personal risk.  This is why the ICIJ is devoting so much energy and resource to this campaign and in the absence of widespread wrongdoing is content to muddy the waters and talks of perfectly legal tax avoidance as if it is something criminal and shameful.  The sole aim is to close tax havens, further the goal of harmonising taxation policy around the globe, and enabling governments to attain the unfettered power to take from citizens, at will, anything they want when they want.  This is the global governance agenda writ large and occasioned by the continuing erosion of liberty, private ownership and personal freedom.

The only shame in all this is that so many people have been brainwashed by a succession of parasitical governments into believing the confiscation of wealth is a socially responsible activity – despite the fact taxpayers have no say in how the revenues seized from them are used and abused by the political class to buy votes at election time with bribes to net consumers, funded with money taken from net producers and irresponsibly borrowed by the billion without realistic means of repayment.

Instead of cheering this nefarious campaign, people should be opening their eyes and understanding this represents the dismantling of what stands between limited government, barely held at bay by the people, and total domination of the citizenry by the real criminals – the undemocratic, unaccountable and unelected elite and their minions in the political class.

Organised crime is the excuse being offered up to justify this campaign.  But it’s not about criminality, it’s about removing the last barriers to total domination of people by unaccountable governments and the vested interests that direct them from behind the scenes – individuals who will benefit from state sanctioned theft by the real organised criminals who are destroying the economies of the world and with them undermining the wealth and prospects of ordinary people.

A happy outcome in Cyprus!

For the ‘colleagues’…  The Cyprus Mail reports that:

EU funds co-financing Cyprus-based development and growth projects will be exempt from the deposit haircut, communications minister Tasos Mitsopoulos said yesterday.

Mitsopoulos said that the 37.5 per cent haircut on deposits larger than €100,000 held in the Bank of Cyprus would not impact EU funds.

“This development secures the smooth flow of resources from EU funds to Cyprus, and the continuation of any projects underway,” Mitsopoulos said.  He said that the happy outcome was the result of coordinated efforts by the government of Cyprus.

I’m sure every Cypriot depositor, whether an individual or small business owner, who has seen a large chunk of the money they have worked hard to accumulate stolen by the decree of the Cypriot government, European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, will be delighted to see that government saw to it deposits in the banks belonging to the favoured few were exempt from confiscation.  A happy outcome indeed.

But then, why should the EU not benefit from the same shady deals that have been quietly arranged for political parties, politicians and their families, senior civil servants and corporate businessmen?  One rule for the elite, penury for the rest.

The moment you put your money in a bank it becomes theirs for the taking.  You’re only a creditor.  Now they’ve established the principle of the game, the only question is one of scale. There is nothing to stop them deciding to hoover up the deposits of those with less than €100,000 on deposit if they call it a tax and confiscate the money before a bank goes under.

Whose money is it exactly?

Hope you’ve all been keeping well while I’ve been taking a blog break. With the madness that surrounds us it’s always good (and sometimes necessary) to shut out the noise and clear one’s head of the idiocy and wrongheaded nonsense that defies reason and logic.

So, the horsing around continues. This essay isn’t about the horsemeat farce – Richard has been at his blistering best showing up the ignorance and incompetence of most politicians and journalists about food regulation and the EU’s competence control of it, and there’s really nothing I can add of value. Suffice to say if you have not read his post about the involvement of Nestlé in the scandal then you really should.

No, this is about the political arrogance and media’s hysteria and misrepresentation surrounding the subject of taxation.  According to a typically statist article in the Independent, tax avoidance schemes:

are costing the Treasury £5bn a year by exploiting loopholes in a complex system designed to help businesses, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said.

Apparently the committee was scathing about the performance of HMRC, which, it says, is losing a game of cat and mouse with companies that promote aggressive tax avoidance.

That assessment sums it up. Costing the Treasury money?  How very dare some people and firms try to keep what actually belongs to them.  While there is nothing new under the sun here, it is deserving of focus because of what it reminds us about what is wrong with governments of every stripe,  namely that they believe they are entitled to the money we earn – our money – and that it is theirs to do with whatsoever they wish.

Tax avoidance is perfectly legal and responsible, yet HMRC is being criticised by MPs for not collecting more money from businesses and individuals for whom there is no legal necessity to pay it.  Despite the actions of tax advisers, and the businesses and individuals who rightfully want to hold on to as much as possible of what they earned, MPs and HMRC are engaging in a game of setting traps to seize more money and demonising those people and businesses who manage to retain their money legally. Look at Starbucks, accused of not paying its fair share and disgracefully maligned by MPs and the media, it actually does make a loss in the UK even before its supposedly controversial (yet under EU law perfectly legal) transfer pricing to its European headquarters. Yet as a result it has been pressured into voluntarily paying over money to HMRC, worsening its UK losses and most likely resulting in cost cutting that could affect jobs.

This is an outrageous inversion of the way things are supposed to be. The state has assumed for itself the position of master, rather than servant. And when it doesn’t get what it wants it bullies, threatens, slanders and character assassinates those who justly stand up for themselves.  And now MPs are calling for this so called informal ‘naming and shaming‘ to be made into a formal approach.

The inversion looks set to be extended by something even more dangerous – as evidenced by a discussion on BBC Radio 4 this morning – where a recommendation was being made to follow the approach taken by the Australian tax authorities.  This is where schemes designed to be tax efficient are not permitted until they have been examined and then approved by the authorities. Such a change would represent a move away from a position where an action is lawful unless proscribed by law, to one where the action is considered illegal until permission for it is granted. This is not the definition of freedom within a society. It is defacto enslavement.

Lets not forget it is the state, in the guise of grubbing politicians continually making unsustainable and unfunded spending pledges, that has caused and is deepening the financial mess this country is in.  The same state thinks it can arrest the decades-old slow burn implosion of our economy by seizing more of our money. It is as desperate as it is futile.

The fact is successive governments have, over a period of decades, been buying votes with our money by inflating and extending the welfare state. The emergency safety net originally envisaged for the welfare state has been gradually replaced by unfunded gerrymandering to buy off voters, creating an unaffordable client state.

The notion of living within one’s means has been abandoned by many Britons and by the government itself.  Instead of government recognising it cannot keep doling out an ever increasing number of billions of pounds to people to subsidise their lives – even when they are actually working – and cutting welfare spending to all but the most needy and vulnerable, governments have embedded a handout culture that has been funded by ever increasing borrowing.  This has been exacerbated by the adoption of increasingly delusional and unaffordable European approaches to welfare combined with a rapid increase in eligibility for benefits for foreigners who come to these shores.

The system is broken and the UK is bankrupt in all but name, owing a total of 900% of what the whole economy generates. The irresponsible politicians and feckless fools who believe in something for nothing are to blame.  It is only low interest rates that are keeping the country clinging on by its fingertips as it tries to service ever rising debt repayments.  Yet incredibly this Cameron-led coagulation government which promised to tackle and reduce debt is actually borrowing even more money than the feckless Blair and Brown government before it.

If the UK economy was a business, the organs of the state would immediately close it down and ban its directors from ever running a company again. But instead we have desperate politicians engineering the state sanctioned theft by HMRC in a desperate last gasp effort to undo the folly that has built up over many years.  It is an utter waste of time because the government’s own policies add more to the debt burden than can ever be replaced by even 100% taxation.

So back to the original question in the title of this essay.  Whose money is it exactly?  The answer is simple and unsurprising.  The money we earn through our endeavours is ours. The tax system is being abused, but it is the irresponsible and profligate previous and current governments that have been abusing it and continue to abuse it for its own self serving ends.  In such circumstances it is not only understandable that people and businesses are aggressively looking to be as tax efficient as possible, moreso than ever they are completely justified in doing so.

Footnote:

It’s interesting that George Osborne has been finding that despite record levels of people in employment, the UK’s tax receipts have actually been falling.  It’s common sense really and not just because more people have part time rather than full time work.  Many more productive people have started working for themselves due to redundancy or uncertainty with existing employers, forming small limited companies, they are discovering they can set their tax arrangements to ensure they pay no income tax or national insurance.  In fact they can pay corporation tax only on company profits after allowable expenses, and as long as they keep dividend payments below the higher rate tax threshold they pay no tax on that either – with some doubling the tax free dividend amount in their household if their spouse is a shareholder in the company too. If their spouse is also a director of the company an extra £7,488 of tax and NI free income can be taken in by the household.

I know this because it’s what I am now doing and it means for taking a small risk by being self employed I can keep more of what I earn.  It’s worth any fight with HMRC for the reward and the sheer bloody satisfaction of not having as much of my hare earned money pissed up the wall on moronic pet projects like wind turbines and imported benefits claimants by the useless idiots in Whitehall. Forget the claims that the Thatcher era made people selfish. It’s this supposed compassionate era since that is making people say enough is enough and look to themselves. The money I earn is being used to clear all my household’s debt and to purchase gold which will hold its value far better than our steadily devaluing paper currency, so I can leave something with intrinsic value for my children in what is likely to be a harsher economic climate that even that we have today.

The popular mass movement that is UK Uncut

The furious grassroots uprising against Starbucks for acting in a legal manner took place yesterday.  At my local Starbucks the protest was unleashed with full fury, to the extent that the local press in Northampton was moved to sending a photographer to the scene to capture the moment.

But before we take a look at the image, let us remind ourselves how UK Uncut framed the protest.

Protestors plan to transform Starbucks into refuges, crèches and homeless shelters in protest against impact of government’s cuts on women.  [...]  Women’s groups and local UK Uncut groups from Glasgow to Belfast to Portsmouth will be participating in their biggest national day of action yet on Saturday 8th December, targeting Starbucks coffee stores in protest against the government’s spending cuts that are hurting women.

So, on to that picture…

As you can see, there’s not just a noticable absence of protesters, there is a complete absence of, erm, women.  There’s no creche or refuge on show either.  It’s always nice to see committed souls going out to protest on behalf of those they feel are being hard done by – especially when those who are being hard done by are too busy doing other things to participate themselves.

With a delicious lack of self awareness, this group told the local media it calls itself the Northampton Alliance to Defend Services, or NADS.  No disagreement here. Although there don’t seem to be many allies for a Saturday morning.

This kind of suggests UK Uncut isn’t quite the popular grassroots movement it has been painted as by the likes of the BBC.  Consisting of just a few trade union activists, the inevitable placards and trademark rucksacks this doesn’t represent anything close to people power.  In fact it seems to be something of a rather vocal tiny minority.  Perhaps given the BBC’s affection for minorities that share their worldview it is understandable how UK Uncut gets such disproportionate coverage.

Regardless, we can now see what an irrelevance UK Uncut is. It’s time for the hysteria to end.

UK Uncut protest is not about fairness, it’s about vindictive jealousy

Sarah Greene, a UK Uncut activist, said: “The Government could easily bring in billions that could fund vital services by clamping down.”

Autonomous Mind, a UK-based blogger, said: “The Government could also easily fund those vital services by not wasting money on grotesque subsidies for wheezes such as wind turbines, not sending billions of pounds of our hard earned cash overseas to be wasted on UN mandated eco-schemes that only benefit a small group of global corporate businesses, not funding accommodation, welfare and health provision for migrants who arrive here and make use of them without ever contributing a penny, and spending billions on funding a MoD that is actually larger than the armed forces and whose senior civil servants procure overpriced equipment with no practical use simply to enrich the arms companies they hope to work for after early retirement.

“Protesting about the financial effect of those scandals would be ‘fair’.  But fixing those wrongs won’t address the desire of these ‘progressive’ protesters to target their bile at those they are envious of and whose money they want to benefit from, without the inconvenience of having to work for it.”

In defence of Starbucks

There are few groupings more ignorant, deluded and wrongheaded as Labour Party front organisation, UK Uncut.  On Saturday this bunch of Fabian virtue farmers, whose mindset is if a person or company is successful and has some money it is only ‘fair’ they should have it taken of them by the state to use on others who all too often are not vulnerable but simply can’t be bothered to earn for themselves, plan to protest at Starbucks shops up and down the UK.

Starbucks have structured their business to maximise the return for its owners and investors.  That is what a business exists for.  They are being outrageously and unfairly maligned by groups like UK Uncut and Westminster’s money grubbing politicians who are blackmailing Starbucks into not using legal taxation structures in Europe so they pay tax to the UK exchequer regardless of whether the company structure means laid down royalty payments to the European HQ results in a trading loss.  As Helen observes, the £20m over two years Starbucks have volunteered to pay, is protection money.

Starbucks, which is working within the rules devised and handed down by the same European Union most of the UK Uncut bedwetters adore so much, have headquartered their European operations in the Netherlands to take advantage of an advantageous corporation tax deal that was offered to them by the Dutch.  The Netherlands exchequer therefore benefits from offering a competitive lower rate instead of going out of its way to treat the business as a cash cow and snatch as much of its money as possible.

There’s a lesson in that for the UK’s politicians who, so used to troughing from the public purse for their expenses, believe the state should do the same only from the bank balances of companies.  Fairness is not a one-way street that only runs in the state’s favour.  But then, how could we expect any sort of common sense from politicians when the likes of Lib Dem Treasury Spokesman, Stephen Williams, opines:

Tax is something that is a legal obligation that you should pay according to the tax rules of a particular country.

Which, FFS, is exactly what Starbucks have been doing.  So what’s this troughing moron’s problem?  Like the rest of the political class, he doesn’t like the rules he signed up to when desperately licking the EU’s arse.  So instead of taking issue with the rules he no doubt agreed with, or didn’t read, he chooses to shift blame on the law abiding company which is based in the Netherlands and pays its corporation tax there.  I’m sure he wouldn’t mind, say, HSBC paying its corporation tax here where it is based, but not in another country.

So on Saturday, while the protesters who always seem to have so much time on their hands, doss around at a Starbucks near me, I will take some time out from earning some money and spend some of it in the shop.  Not because I’m a fan of Starbucks, I have visited their shops twice; but to mark the principle that a government shouldn’t blackmail any company into paying money it does not owe by inciting rent-a-mob state clients to launch boycotts and protests to damage that company’s revenues.

If UK Uncut and the Guardianistas who fawn over their little Fabian friends want to protest about unfairness, they should start by demonstrating against the politicians who squander money and then come back to raid individuals and companies for even more.  If the government was ‘fair’ and only took the bare minimum needed to provide essential services and infrastructure, all working individuals and companies would be able to pay less – resulting in a reduced appetite for minimising their tax liabilities.

Indeed, if the system was truly fair the people would actually be asked for approval by the government to spend money.  If they didn’t want, for example, £2 billion of our hard earned being sent overseas to Colombian cattle farmers and companies installing wind turbines in Africa, they could block the expenditure.  If people wanted more money spent on services for the elderly, or money put into hospice provision, then the government as our servants would have to do that.  But of course the reality is the corrupt gerrymandering we see where successive governments buy off voters by diverting some of our cash to those people whose votes they want to secure, then spending the rest as they see fit without any form of accountability.

This state of affairs isn’t the fault of Starbucks, Amazon or Google.  And the current harrassment of them – and the barely known small businesses being made to feel like criminals for making use of legal tax reliefs – by some of the biggest hypocrites on the face of the planet is a crass smokescreen.

A pearl of wisdom in the Telegraph

Naturally it’s one of the comments left by a reader rather than an article per se…  The quote below that the commenter (subwus) shared comes from a book, Saturn’s Children – How the State Devours Liberty, Prosperity and Virtue.  The authors were Tory MP Alan Duncan and Dominic Hobson:

“It was in order to avoid the attentions of intrusive, inquisitorial and self-interested bureaucracies such as the modern Inland Revenue and the Customs and Excise that voters long insisted that the State fund its activities largely through indirect rather than direct taxes.

Previous generations regarded direct taxation as utterly inconsonant with liberty.From the time of John Locke to the advent of the collectivist age, when Natural Rights were supplanted with the administrative right of the government to levy whatever taxes it judges fit or necessary, most people in Britain regarded their right not to be taxed as rooted in the Natural Law.

History had taught them that it is taxation which enables the State to crush the liberty of the individual – that infinite money is the sinews of all forms of State power, and not just of war – and that well-financed governments are even more capable of pursuing policies which are dangerous, misguided or foolish (the previous Labour administration is a good example I would say) than poorly financed ones.

Throughout history people resisted those taxes – Poll Tax, Hearth Tax, even a universal excise or an accurate wealth tax – which necessitated an unconscionable invasion of personal privacy and freedom. They knew from bitter experience that the essence of any tax is the taking of money, property or a service by the State without paying for it, and that transactions of that kind can only be sustained by a mixture of fear and punitive sanctions.

All taxation was of necessity tyrannical, and a great tax was a great tyranny, but a direct tax was potentially the most tyrannical of all. It was the point of naked confrontation between the individual and the State, where the State had the power to ask how much money each individual had, how he earned it, and how he chose to spend it.”

‘How times have changed,’ subwus goes on to say.  He continues, ‘Now the Tories are trying to justify more expansion of the tax bureaucracy to intrude into the lives of ordinary people. Then again, I gave up on the Tories meaningfully rolling back the State years ago.’

Indeed. The reason why so many people have given up on the Tories is they have sold out their principles.  They no longer believe in anything apart from power for its own sake.  They have realised that embracing the ruinous system rather than reforming it pays for them and the powerbrokers they bow to behind the scenes, regardless of the damage it does to the legion of smaller wealth creators who just need the state to get off their back.

What the extract above does is prove a rule of thumb holds, that we should judge them by their actions, not their fine, soothing words.

The Swiss paradox

After all that has been written on this blog about the government’s war to seize other people’s money without legal justification, it was nice to see James Higham’s piece about an interesting snippet of Swiss history.

It’s worth remembering that while western European governments – particularly our supposedly ‘business friendly’ morons in Westminster – strive to misappropriate more money in taxes from individuals and businesses, independent Switzerland is being put under huge pressure by the EU to raise taxes to EU levels and adopt EU law.

This is something we’ve covered before.  The aim is to pressure countries outside the EU to make their tax systems as thoroughly harmful to business and individuals as those inside the EU, so no matter where a company or person goes they will have a government helping itself to copious amounts of their money.  It is tax injustice, a blatant effort to financially imprison firms and people.  It is also naked anti-competitiveness writ large; a transnational war by governments on the people they are supposed to serve.

200 years after Swiss troops fought defensive actions against the enemies of a meglomaniac who sought to unite Europe under his rule, the Swiss people are now on the other side of the fence, fighting a defensive action against a meglomaniac entity that is seeking to achieve the same end… worryingly with rather more success.  Many people who believe in the nation state and people power will be hoping the Swiss win this time around.

Having damaged our economy the politicians ramp up their cash grab extortion racket

First we had that doyenne of rank hypocrisy, Margaret Hodge, given a free ride on BBC Radio 4 Today to label companies looking to minimise their tax liabilities as ‘immoral’. She’s a fine one to talk.

Now we have Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, signalling the government’s plan to demand more than their legal share of tax money with menaces. The Lib Dem minister, who says he has been boycotting Starbucks over its low tax bill, is now promising to “get under the skin” of those who do not pay their fair share.  The  Cosa Nostra are positively benign in comparison to this lot.

Alexander said on the Today programme that “public pressure” is an important tool in getting companies to change their behaviour.  He went on to say there is evidence people are already taking their custom away from companies that do pay little or no UK tax, such as Starbucks, Amazon and Google.  That is exactly what the government’s money with menaces campaign has been striving to achieve and it’s having the desired effect.

We are witnessing an extortion racket in action aided and abetted by the media, where the envy and resentment of less well off people who are trapped in PAYE is a well being tapped to help bring about what the government wants, despite the fact the government is not legally entitled to any extra money.   The consequences of not sacrificing exemptions and deductions and handing over additional money is that the state, and its establishment lackies, will do what Hodge and Alexander are already doing and work to destroy the reputation of those businesses by encouraging consumers through example to boycott them.  And this from a government that describes itself as pro-business, in a c0untry it describes as open for business.

‘We know no spectacle so ridiculous,’ wrote Thomas Macaulay some 175 years ago, ‘as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.’  The government and parts of the media have successfully whipped up one such huge scale fit and are running a racket to pressure companies to voluntarily pay more in tax than they are legally obligated to.  It’s an outrageous campaign that too many people are too blind to see for what it is.

The result that all too few people are considering is that prices will rise to offset the increased cost of doing business in this country.  Many of the very people who are clamouring loudest for ‘fairness’ and more taxation will unwittingly be disproportionately affected by this because the higher costs will ultimately be footed by the consumer.  Who will they demonise then?

The government won’t care for it will have more money to squander on non essential spending like the hundreds of billions that have been pissed up the wall for no public benefit before it.  Perhaps people would do well to remember that a government big enough to give you what you want is a government big enough to take from you all you have.

A victory for state sanctioned and engineered bullying and intimidation

Following on from the BBC-enabled Margaret Hodge hypocrisy fest on the Today programme this morning…

American citizen Sam Bloggs, who when in Europe is resident in the Netherlands and pays tax on his earnings in full there, has told the UK government he is going to voluntarily pay more tax to the Exchequer than required by law, following a sustained campaign by his neighbours who argue that because he has a lot of money and he should pay more here.

Bloggs had followed the letter of the law enabling free movement of trade and capital in the EU after taking advice from taxation specialists.  But following his hard work and success in building up his worldwide franchise business, which indirectly employs a large number of people and contributes a substantial sum in tax and National Insurance to this country’s coffers, he was subjected to an onslaught of vilification in the media and even in Parliament.  Bloggs told AM:

My business model has helped create companies, wealth and jobs, generated substantial tax income and contributed a great deal through National Insurance in the UK. I give money and time to charity, working with the Fairtrade Foundation and supporting the Prince’s Trust through a partnership agreement even though I’m not based in Britain.

But because I’ve been fortunate enough to be successful a number of people and politicians have demanded I pay more than the rules say I am obligated to. They say it’s not fair that I’ve been successful and earned a lot of money and pay full tax in Holland instead of here.  Because I’ve earned it and got it they say fairness dictates they should have it instead.  They say they want it and they make the rules so therefore they’re entitled to it.

It means I’ll have less money to invest in creating more opportunities and supporting charity, but if I don’t make these additional payments some people are going to keep smearing me and telling people to boycott my brand.

State sanctioned and engineered bullying and intimidation has won the day for the feckless incompetents.  When will people wake up and say enough is enough?

Those who fritter away our money – not just on deserving vulnerable people in our society in need of support – on those who think they have a right to be kept in return for nothing, on those who come to this country to take advantage of the enhanced suite of benefits and services they have never contributed a penny to, and worst of all on massive handouts to the establishment’s friends who farm taxpayer subsidies for all manner of wheezes on an industrial scale to boost their already substantial wealth, are demanding even more money with menaces while hoodwinking the unthinking into applying the necessary pressure to make it possible.

The pressure to fork over ever more money to the government is not just being applied to the likes of Starbucks and Amazon.  Via the spiteful tactics of HMRC conducted outside the view of the public, it’s happening to small businessmen too, driving some out of business altogether.  And the state calls this ‘fair’.  Bollocks!


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