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.