Following two major articles on the ‘front page’ of the Guardian’s website – ‘Barclays bank forced to admit it paid just £113m in corporation tax in 2009’ [link] and ‘How the Guardian was gagged from revealing Barclays tax secrets’ [link] – the 2.74% Guardian has also published an editorial titled ‘Corporate tax avoidance: Impoverishing the public’, which you can read here.
Many may feel angered that Barclays managed to use tax avoidance measures (perfectly legal, as opposed to tax evasion which is not) to pay only £113m Corporation Tax to the UK Exchequer. But that is the way the system is set up and it is worth remembering that even with such a miniscule effective tax rate on their earnings (a mere 1%) Barclays provides employment for thousands of people and loans to businesses and individuals. So despite their focus on generating returns for shareholders, Barclays still provides something to the UK.
But the focus of this post is not to condemn Barclays for their actions, plenty of other people will do that perfectly adequately. After all, who in all honesty would not use legal means to reduce their tax liability if they could? Even the sanctimonious champagne socialists who own the Guardian do the same. The socialist scribes at their little organ, with its 2.74% share of the national newspaper market, churn out stuff like this:
It is a simple equation, and may not be an easy one for Whitehall to implement. But the Guardian’s Tax Gap series meticulously documented squillions of pounds in avoidance, establishing beyond doubt that the seepage of revenue was on a scale that constituted a pressing public concern. Fixing the leaks may not save every last swimming pool, but it could make a big difference. Barclays is an iconic case for making the point, seeing as bankers’ determination to minimise their contribution to public funds is matched by the lavishness of the benefits they have enjoyed at public expense.
but their employer is no better. Let the Tweets of blogger Guido Fawkes explain all (no doubt more on this will follow on his Twitter feed):
Ah, you might say. The Guardian is a newspaper and therefore not being underwritten with the guarantees provided to the banking sector with our money, it does not benefit from public funds. Wrong.
The Guardian is bolstered by its stranglehold on public sector job adverts for government, local authorities and its incestuous partner at the BBC. It also earns money from its education propaganda tool Learn Premium (more to come on that at a later date), which sold to schools seeks to indoctrinate our school children with leftist texts and media. Our tax pounds are poured into the Guardian to pay for these ads and tools, so the paper benefits financially at our expense.
Having lavished our tax pounds on this newspaper – just as we have with the banking sector – we find exactly the same corporate tax avoidance games being played. The Guardian’s hypocrisy on this subject stinks.
- Where does their ‘Tax Gap’ series mention Guardian Media Group’s own behaviour?
- Where are the stories from their own journalists about GMG’s tax avoidance?
- Where is their righteous indignation at the behaviour of their owners?
Alan Rusbridger’s silence and that of his journalists on the Guardian owners’ own behaviour, is deafening. Hypocrites.