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Three cheers for all those who avoid the UK’s huge taxes

10 July 2014

10 July 2014

‘Hypocrisy of the stars who shielded cash from taxman’, cries a headline in today’s Daily Mail. But are we sure that it’s really hypocrisy?

Among those ‘outed’ as hypocrites is the actor Michael Caine. But Mr Steerpike seems to recall that the cockney lad has been a vocal campaigner against our tax system, which seem to be one of his pet peeves.

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In fact, in the late 1970s Caine moved to the States to avoid them. A country that charges 82 per cent tax on its highest earners isn’t a democracy – rather ‘a communist country without a dictator’, he has been quoted as saying.

Another tax ‘hypocrite’ is TV’s Anne Robinson, according to the Mail. But, like Caine, she has frequently complained about her HMRC bills, deeming them ‘vast’ in 2002.

In Mr Steerpike’s book, their use of a tax avoidance scheme is not hypocrisy; it’s a logical progression from talking the talk to walking the walk.

As The Italian Job taught us: ‘Never underrate the English. They’re not as stupid as they look.’


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Show comments
  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Around the turn of the century, the Inland Revenue (as it was then), impose a stupid and illegal so-called balancing payment charge in an attempt to reduce fiscal drag. The plan was that the self-employed among others had to pay 50% of their previous year`s tax liability up front, before they had even earned it on the understanding that on retirement this forward payment would be refunded. Sadly the Nigerian scam artists got in first and defrauded the dim Revenue to the tune of two billion pounds, specifically on refunds to civil servants. That`s billion with a capital B. As a result the Revenue panicked and stopped all refund payments, which meant that if you were emigrating you were compelled to pay what you clearly didn`t owe (for a period you were not even resident in UK) with no prospect of a refund. Now that`s what I call out-and-out fraudulent extortion and full-on criminality.
    This two billion sterling would have been sufficient to pay retirees who are resident abroad the pension increases currently being illegally withheld, plus back payments and even interest.
    Bottom line, the more you pay to HMG via HMRC, the more it has to squander on pointless and ill-conceived projects.
    Jack, Japan Alps

    • George Smiley

      Civil servants and “refunds”—a nice piece of trolling! Does this Japanese idiot and Troll actually know how the British tax system actually works?!

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        “Non-MSM (conspiracy-theory) sites”
        Oh, you mean like the BBC?

        • George Smiley

          Is that all you have got to say for being rumbled and getting caught trolling, by making up a completely fake story?!

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    ‘Never underrate the English. They’re not as stupid as they look.’

    They couldn`t be.

    • George Smiley

      Stop trolling—you are a Japanese, and not even Scottish!

  • W Smith

    Council Tax, Income Tax, National Insurance and possibly Business Rate Tax should be abolished.

    1. The poor and workers would have more money in their pockets.

    2. Nearly all the ‘new’ money would be spent in local economies.

    3. Local (and so the national) economies would become healthier.

    4. A healthier economy would employ more people with real jobs.

    5. As more people become employed, unemployment payments will lessen.

    6. As the economy becomes healthier, more money will be collected through VAT, other taxes, duties, licences and things that are not called tax but still wags it’s tail.

    7. The government and councils will save the cost and stress of collecting taxes.

    8. As the über rich will not be paying tax on earnings, they will not need to send their money abroad. The UK will become a tax free island! Both UK and foreign money will make it’s way here.

    The current thinking seems to be that workers, no matter how poor, have to pay the rich whatever the rich ask for as they ( the rich ) couldn’t cope otherwise.

    Who should tighten their belt: The poor or the government and councils?

  • Colin56

    This is actually quite a simple issue, which has become confused and conflated by irrelevant ‘moral’ considerations.

    It is everyone’s legal duty to pay what tax they are due, and tax rates, rules and the wider regime are established by the government by Finance Acts which are debated by Parliament. This determines what everyone, whether an individual, company, Trust etc should pay. Case law interprets tax law. While there is every obligation to pay every pound that is due, there is no obligation, legal or otherwise, to pay more, or to arrange one’s affairs so as not to take advantage of the various allowances etc that are provided by the legislation. Everyone who has an ISA, pays into a pension, takes advantage of the opportunity to reduce their tax liabilities. It is the action of that economic construct, the ‘rational man’, to aim to pay as little tax as legally possible, and tax legislation is predicated on this assumption.

    Companies who operate internationally are perfectly free to view national tax regimes as competing for their business, and are therefore also free to base themselves for tax purposes wherever is most advantageous to them and their shareholders (in fact, it could be argued that the directors have a fiduciary duty so to do). Customers, of course, can equally choose whether to base their choice of where to shop etc on tax based or other criteria.

    It follows that there is no morality in taxation; and to imply that there is merely confuses the issue. the onus is on government and legislators to devise and implement a tax regime that exacts the tax that they intend, and not to whine about it when people exploit the loopholes that exist.

    A courageous government would tear up the existing tax code and start again, reducing or eliminating entirely the number of allowances, exemptions, special deals for regions, industries (film, for example) and so on, to create a much fairer and level playing field., and thus be able to reduce the tax rates which create so much resentment (and thus lead people to seek exemptions, allowances, loopholes etc.). It’s not for the poor benighted taxpayer to pay more than war the law demands, nor to be castigated for not so doing. It would be great if all the creativity, effort and resource that is put into (legal) tax avoidance could instead be channelled into creating wealth for the country.

    None of this will happen: the government is wedded to it’s tax code, the media are wedded to their moral crusade; and the tax lawyers and accountants are wedded to their fat fees. The only thing that history teaches us is that nothing changes.

  • stephengreen

    A ‘leaked database reveals’. i.e. HMRC using media spin sources to try to recoup losses and create a stigma around those who wish to secure their family’s future and don’t wish to pay for the UK to support the unsupportable

    • Colonel Mustard

      HMRC seem to have been taken over by former members of the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit judging by some of their recent outlandish proposals for exercising power and prying. But the really worrying thing is how relaxed MPs are about those attempted power grabs. The really do see themselves as ‘leaders’ and controllers of the state rather than as servants and representatives of the people.

  • zanzamander

    Even multinational corporations legally avoid paying billions in taxes. Simplification of tax system will put an end to a lot of these schemes.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Any rich person who keeps assets in the UK needs their heads examining, always have. When the 70s were in full swing a Communist government was fully expected. The country was collapsing. And here we are on the verge of the same – deflation in Europe, on top of huge sovereign and private debt – high tax rates are peanuts compared to what will be necessary, which is a ‘bail-in’ or seizure of capital when the sh*t hits the fan again in the next bank crisis, which is approaching fast via Lisbon.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Be advised that donating funds to a terrorist organization is an offense under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. And HMG more than fits the profile:
    War crimes, crimes against humanity, involvement in torture, supplying WMD including chemical weapons to unstable regimes …

    • George Smiley

      “Offense” with an “s”?! Are you still tripping?!

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        US spelling, Jock. Get used to it you narrow-minded, insular, xenophobic git.
        And I say this with all due respect.

        • George Smiley

          If you use American spellings, then you are an immigrant and not British, and thus have no right to complain about British tax laws and the British tax system. As a foreigner, you get to pick and choose what law you want to obey or not, like a British expatriate is not free to pick and choose what law he wishes to obey or not in Japan, where you now live, right?!

  • David B

    Hypocrisy is telling people they should not indulge in tax avoidance while doing that. – a few members of the shadow cabinet should look in the mirror

    • MrsDBliss

      A few comedians too – Jimmy Carre!

  • victor67

    Yes three cheers for Amazon, Nando’s, Google and Starbucks in their defrauding (legally) the British taxpayer of Billions. These wealth creators must be protected while the feckless and undeserving poor must pay the price for austerity. Oh doesn’t it feel good we are all in it together and makes you proud to live in such a great country.

    • David B

      Fraud is illegal, tax avoidance is legal, you say so yourself! In fact tax is a form of theft by government because they put their hand in your pocket and take funds without consent.

      I seem to remember the Labour Party saying Geoffrey Robinson was entitled to minimise his tax. Why should everyone else not denied the same opportunity.

      • victor67

        I guess it depends on what sort of country we want to live in and whether the aim of life is to accumulate as much wealth as you can because you are either very bright or very lucky and f–k everyone else.

        • David B

          Or do we want to live in a country where are political leaders are envious of those that strive to improve themselves and those that work for them, or whether we encourage the private sector to grow and employ others!

          The simple question is – if you work hard should you be allowed to keep the bulk of it or should the government take it off you because our political masters know best

          • victor67

            I have a lot of sympathy for those in the middle. People with small businesses who work hard and get disproportionately targeted by HMRC. The trouble is that a majority of this group blame the poor for the unfairness, who you are told you are subsidising rather than the multi- nationals and the super rich. The untouchables .
            The political elite and their paymasters do a good job of demonizing those in poverty. In effect You have very wealthy people telling other wealthy people to tell the middle class to blame the poor for the countries problems.

            • David B

              Let’s get the headless chicken suit out and start running round shouting it is all the fault of the super rich and the bankers.

              Let’s not forget it was Brown, Balls and Miliband who over complicated our tax system which resulted in the loopholes the tax avoidance schemes use while creating an ever increasing burden on the middle class through indirect tax, fiscal drag and council tax. He then created a welfare system to keep those same tax payers attached to the state by giving them back the money he had just taken of them in tax.

              The cost of the state bloated as it was managed so poorly. Instead of fixing the state the same three engineered a boom with cheap money to keep tax revenue rolling in.

              These policies were adopted worldwide but are three “wise men” had drunk wildly at that watering hole so the mess here was worse.

              Now politicians of all sides, but especially of the left, are looking for scape goats to blame for the mess they created while offering the same failed policies as the solution!

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Well if you dramatically reduced the amount of resources squandered by the state, particularly when Fascist Labour are in power, there would be more wealth generation and considerably less poor people.

          • david croft

            I find itstrange that if one were to be working class one is to be praised for wanting ones children to have a better chance in life and the Government pushes this all the time. If you are middle class or rich, taxation such as Inheritance Tax is designed to ensure your children’s’ chance of this is jeopardised. Thus, social engineering at both ends. The man who tries to do the best for his children is castigated. Frankfurt school tactics to destroy family ties and continuity.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Not a socialist nutter country laddie. I don’t want to live in one of those.

      • HookesLaw

        Lets not pretend – investing in bogus comanies to ‘avoid’ tax is a fraud – the companies being bogus is a bit of a give away. Once again Steerpike talks a load of pretentious rubbish.
        These people ae not ‘avopiding’ tax – they are evading it. Previously saying they do not like paying tax does not absolve them from hypocricy.

        Why should ordinary people play up (and pay up) an play the game whilst these wealthy people laugh all the way to the bank?

        • David B

          The question you need to ask is why have we crested a tax system which is so complex HMRC does not know how it works. That’s why they loses cases so regularly because the company’s you call “bogus” actuall do invest in British Films, etc.

          If you want to stop this activity simplify the tax system. This has the advantage of refucimg the tax avoidance opportunities and cutting the administrative cost of the tax system, meaning tax rates can be reduced to their optimum eliminating the need for tax avoidance schemes

        • Alexsandr

          if its illegal then HMRC should investigate and prosecute. If it isnt illegal then a change in the law is needed. blame the lawmakers.

    • Alexsandr

      tax avoidance is quite legal. If you find the tax code offensive in that it allows these companies to trade here and pay no corporation tax, then campaign for a change in tax law. That is how to fix it, not bleating about morality.
      but there again, perhaps you should look at the total tax bill of these companies, considering VAT, business rates and stuff like NI. You may find the VAT of their turnover far exceeds any corporation tax on profits, because, of course, turnover is a multiple of profit.

  • Diggery Whiggery

    Tax is immoral not tax avoidance. The only thing that stops governments putting tax up even further for everyone is the knowledge that te rich can go elsewhere. As soon as that stops being the case, we’ll all pay more and more tax for less and less services.

    • telemachus

      Tax is simply the mechanism by which society pays for the services which benefit us all
      If you are arguing for flat taxes, they are inequitable and morally wrong

      • Inverted Meniscus

        No they are used by Labour to gerrymander the socialist nutter vote.

      • Diggery Whiggery

        Progressive taxation is progressive only in the name. In reality it’s deeply regressive and unfair. NI is a regressive tax, yet progressives support it automatically.

        The truth is those who like to think of themselves as progressives are actually progressively regressive.

        Flat taxes would actually mean that the rich would pay more in taxes rather than to accountants and so we wouldn’t have to tax everyone else in hidden ways to make up the difference.

        • Alexsandr

          NI is a convenient wheeze. Keep income tax rates low, and put up NI. blather on about schools and hospitals, while saying they are a party of low taxation. We should scream from the housetops that NI is just an employment tax, and starts at an alarmingly low wage of £111/week

      • Colonel Mustard

        That is a deceit. Explain precisely how £11 billion hosed abroad benefits us all? Explain precisely how Ball’s shiny new prayer room benefits us all. There are umpteen examples of extreme government sponsored waste before we even get on to the subsidising of extremism through fake charities, the self-lobbying funding scam and the army of rent seeking non-jobs nudging us to death.

        Don’t conflate necessary expense for necessary services with a profligate government which has raised an enormous “family” of spoilt “children” expecting to live large at the public’s expense providing “services” that none of us asked for and none of us want.

  • Smithersjones2013

    The hypocrisy of the Daily Mail is what we should be talking about:

    EXCLUSIVE: The force is with UK: New Star Wars film to be made in Britain after George Osborne used tax breaks to lure Disney

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2322676/New-Star-Wars-Episode-7-movie-UK-George-Osborne-used-tax-breaks-lure-Disney.html#ixzz3764UGw3B

    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    So it’s alright for the mighty Disney Corporation to avoid US taxes and come here but its wrong for British citizens to avoid British Taxes? Perhaps Viscount Rothermere should publish his full tax accounts to demonstrate he is the tax angel that his editor demands?

    The media are as much a bunch of sanctimonious corporatist hypocrites as the Government!

    • telemachus

      The hypocrisy of Rothermere and Dacre is breathtaking
      Remember also Dacre dancing on a dead man’s grave because he had the audacity to have a son who championed the poor who cannot organise their tax affairs

      • Andy

        The Hypocrisy of Labour is breathtaking. Lets look at the tax affairs of the Miliband family and their tax avoidance.

        And lets not forget PIE.

        • Hexhamgeezer

          Teleborg is remarkably quiet on his dietary regime. I suspect he/it is rather fond of PIE.

          • Andy

            Indeed. He has a terrible PIE problem.

        • david croft

          Yes but the Millibands are not British.

          • Andy

            POLISH !

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “Yes but the Millibands are not British.”
            Racism coupled with an inability to copy. A bad combination.
            Milibands…
            Gimme an M
            Gimme an I

            • George Smiley

              Says the Japanese Jack the Buckteeth Japp.

      • wycombewanderer
        • telemachus

          Please google and listen carefully to the whole 10 mininutes of the 1987 Labour Party political broadcast
          This deals effectively with the subject of that ridiculous DT article

          • wycombewanderer

            The article is from today reagrding the vile leftist scum you’re so proud of ;making jokes about a dead boy and wallowing in his death because of the school his parents chose for him.

            Why would i want to listen to ten minutes of lies and crap from one of your discredited fetid heroes from a quarter of a century ago regarding an incident that took place yeserday?

            The scum couldn’t even wait until after the inquest you really are the most vile creatures on the planet

            • telemachus

              I think we agree SW are scum

              • Inverted Meniscus

                No Fascist Labour are scum and dishonest, incompetent imbeciles.

      • Smithersjones2013

        Indeed wasn’t it Dacre who said of Gordon Brown

        “I have an awful lot of admiration for Gordon Brown. I feel he is one
        of the very few politicians of this administration who’s touched by the mantle of greatness”

        The same Gordon Brown who was made Leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister unopposed by his party and who helped manufacture the worst financial crisis in 80 years. Yes Dacre has the stench of the most rotten aspects of the Labour Party surrounding him.

        Dacre was right about one thing though Brown was definitely touched!

  • goatmince

    Yes, don’t pay taxes at all. The highest paid footballers, bankers, second hand car salesmen etc. on the planet must not be seen to be stupid. They deliver the goods and we all benefit. In return we no longer have a culture that can be afforded, we import those who are stupid enough to fall for the game that they too cannot win.
    It’s like our football – an island with three national teams yet no class other than an ever-growing underclass of subjects subjected to a life in lifelong mortgage (and other) debt servitude.

  • telemachus

    Mr Steerpike
    You admire those who defraud the poor of the tax money that might improve their lot in life
    Those at the bottom of the heap pay proportionately the most tax and have no way out
    Those who earn too little to pay any or much income tax are still stung for flat taxes like VAT and the heinous BBC licence fee
    And there is no way out for the poor

    • sfin

      If we took all of the wealth from the top 5% richest people in this country, and distributed it equally amongst everybody… everybody would receive about £20 and nobody would have a job. The entire population would then starve to death within a month.

      Your zeal to help the ‘poor’ can be applauded, Telemachus. Like most socialists though, your grasp of economics belongs in la-la land.

      • telemachus

        So it is right therefore for Steerpike to applaud tax evasion by the rich

        • sfin

          What do you mean by ‘the rich’?

          I’m retired. When I was earning in excess of £60,000 p.a. I was in the top 5% of income. I was paying private education and health care bills (both of which offload the state), a healthy mortgage (no thank you State, I don’t need housing), as well as paying the maximum possible amount of tax as I wasn’t rich enough to enter avoidance schemes (If you went after those that can, and do, you would recover a minuscule amount when compared to the total tax take).

          For the last ten years of my working life, I couldn’t afford to take a foreign holiday. So – do I, Mr Middle Class – a member of, by far the highest tax paying group in the country, want to continue to pay for ‘White Dee’ to take hers? Do I want to pay for a political class that does what it wants, regardless of my views?

          No.

          • Alexsandr

            and now those on over 40k have a marginal rate of tax of over 60%

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Yes.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Yes.

        • Alexsandr

          tax evasion or tax avoidance? evasion is illegal and HMRC should take the necessary steps. Tax avoidance is illegal. If you dont lioke it campaign for a change in the law. why are you finding this simple concept so hard to understand?

      • Inverted Meniscus

        His zeal is entirely disingenuous.

    • Colonel Mustard

      “…those who defraud the poor of the tax money that might improve their lot in life”

      The idea that more tax money elevates the poor is the the biggest socialist fraud going. All that public money and largesse from 1997 until the crash of McDoom and yet still your Labour represented and led sink estates and cities wallowed in poverty, neglect, the death of aspiration and the benefits culture, a segment of the population considerably enlarged by Labour’s vindictive immigration policies.

      One is tempted to ask why nothing was done but we have Wales currently showing us that improving the lives of the poorest is really only on Labour’s script but missing from any action plan. Words but no deeds. Also we’ll get the usual glib one liners about charisma and caring as well as lies, big lies and nothing but lies.

      Of course part of the deceit practiced by your party is to “re-energise” the issues so that you can re-invent yourselves after each of your epic failures and then pretend to ride to the rescue once the Tories have tackled the dirty work of clearing up after you. And people are gullible enough to fall for that scam.

  • Andy

    Lets just have a Flat Tax.

    • telemachus

      To sting the poor

      • Andy

        Well you and your fellow Fascists hate the poor. That’s what mass immigration was all about.

        • telemachus

          I tire of saying
          Mass immigration was to benefit the economy-it increases GDP, to provide for the pensions and social and healthcare of our ageing population, but most importantly to provide for the dynamic regeneration of our society

          • anyfool

            I suppose you have married off your children to Third World Muslim peasant farmers to dynamically regenerate your blood lines.

            • Andy

              His sons in-law come round every Friday with a carving knife.

            • telemachus

              I would have no problem with that notion
              For too long we have rested on the notion that British is best and hang Johnny Foreigner
              That was the origin of our decline before we took steps to revamp our gene pool

              • Colonel Mustard

                A quaint notion that flies in the face of Empire. Our greatness was rooted in that disdain and the confidence it imbued but it was two world wars that precipitated our decline and the USA that sealed it. Then we allowed what was left to become mired in third rate Euro politics and forgot who we were and what we had done.

                Your reference to revamping our gene pool is offensive.

                • telemachus

                  What a jaundiced view of history
                  I urge you to read Max Hastings excellent piece in yesterday’s Mail
                  *
                  Britain was declining relative to Germany year on year from German Unification
                  Our Empire and former Empire slowed the march of Germany in the 2 world wars
                  Our decline continued until the revitalisation of our society with the energy and yes the new gene pool of the influx, broadly similar to the energy imbued by the blending of the folks from Normandy a Millenium ago

                • girondas2

                  What’s the obsession with your gene pool?
                  Maybe yours has got a shallow end.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Tripe. I’d stick to shallow Labour party propaganda if I were you because your grasp of history is as appalling as your grasp of truth.

                  I’ve never rated Max Hastings history ever since I read his book on the Korean War.

                • telemachus

                  Whatever you may think of his Mail article, I do commend to you his tract Catastrophe, particularly as an intro to Chistopher Clark’s Sleepwalkers
                  Hastings narrative is refreshing if you can get through his right wing bias

                • Alexsandr

                  I would check out how much the US was bleeding from us post war to pay for WW2. That would explain the lack of investment in the 50’s and 60’s

              • girondas2

                “That was the origin of our decline before we took steps to revamp our gene pool”

                Revamp out gene pool?
                Jeez, what are you a fruit fly?

                • telemachus

                  The energy brought in arrests the torpor but this is consolidated by the fusion
                  We must promote and celebrate, not ghettoise

                • girondas2

                  Oh bloody ‘ell! telemachus discovers eugenics.

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  ‘Gulags Not Ghettos’

                  That’s some election slogan.

                • Alexsandr

                  it is some immigrants who have made the ghettoes, not the indigenous.

                  read this

                  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Islamic-Republic-Dewsbury-Danny-Lockwood-ebook/dp/B006NKI1L6

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Nothing so intelligent.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Disgusting.

          • Smithersjones2013

            Well if you tire of saying it just stop and we won’t have to put up with such bollocks anymore. You’ll be doing yourself and all the rest of us a favour!

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Hear, hear!

          • David B

            Your just tiring

          • saffrin

            Liar.
            Next you’ll be telling us it was the banks that wrecked the economy when we all know it was Labour.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            And most of us are tired of you talking utter bollux.

          • Alexsandr

            no it wasnt. it was blatant gerrymandering my liebour to get them seves a new core vote.
            There is no good to the UK if immigrants take away the life chances of our youth, and if they take more in benefits and services than they pay in taxes.
            you can keep on saying it but that doesn’t make it true.

        • Colonel Mustard

          They hate their own people. Always have. They have always romanticised alien ethnicity and culture. See the communist scumbag’s reference below to re-vamping our gene pool.

      • Mc

        Yes please. Let’s make their lives a misery. There’s never enough poverty.

      • Alexsandr

        no, so everyone contributes. Of course we should combine NI and income tax too. Check out the threshold for NI, telemachus then talk to me about stinging the poor.

        • David B

          If we really wanted a tax system that maximises revenue at the lowest cost stop charging VAT on transactions between VAT registered companies and individuals.

          Why do this – because vat fraud costs more than tax avoidance, it funds organised crime in this country, but mostly the cost to stop it is so small. We would actually reduce the cost of HMRC by doing this not increase it.

          • Alexsandr

            interesting idea. have you any referencies to make a better case?
            I am in favour of not collecting taxes that cost more to collect than the yield.

            • David B

              http://www.rtvat.eu/european-vat-fraud.html

              This explains the problem. Of course being administrators they look to tax more to solve the problem but it’s is self evident that taxing 100% or taxing 0% gets the same result when you have an in and an out for zero return to HMRC

  • kyalami

    We have over 10,000 pages of Tax law. Simplify them and you’ll get rid of 90% of the loopholes.

    • http://europa-antiqua-arca.blogspot.com/ clavdivs

      Yes, but then what will tax lawyers do all day?

      • kyalami

        Real jobs.

  • Alexsandr

    if people don’t like the amount of tax people pay, then they should campaign for a change in the law. the reason we have these tax avoidance schemes is the bad tax law in the UK, which is the sole responsibility of generations of MP’s
    people should stop grandstanding about tax and campaign for a better (and if I had my way a far far simpler) tax code.

    • telemachus

      Very well said Alexandr
      But the change must remain equitable and progressive

      • wycombewanderer

        I suspect like most left wing scum you believe the threshold to be £1 more than you earn yourself!

        • telemachus

          .telemachus is happy to contribute his fair dues

          • Inverted Meniscus

            I.e. Nothing

      • Alexsandr

        progressive -so people on over £40000 pay a marginal rate of tax of over 60% like they do now? How it that even vaguely fair?

        (I include employers NI in that figure because of course the employee really pays that in a lower gross salary.)

    • Duke_Bouvier

      Exactly – high basic rates with too many complex exemptions and allowances to mitigate the damage done by the high basic rates, to much fiddling around with the exemptions and allowances to adjust to changing circumstances and political symbolism, and madly complex transitional and legacy arrangements to prevent the flying around with the tax system causing chaos. Result – impossibly complex tax system with every opportunity and motivation for complex schemes to reduce tax.

      Alternative: low basic rates, no need for complex exemptions and allowances, no need for continued adjustments, and no transitional measures. No need or opportunity for ‘aggressive’ tax management.

      But no symbolic political gestures, less scope for pork-barrel politics. It will never catch on.

      • Alexsandr

        quite.

  • Colonel Mustard

    People seem quite unable to draw a connection between paying taxes, the increasingly inventive ways the rent seekers connive to extract them and Baroness Ashton swanning around uselessly in a cavalcade of armoured 4×4’s, say.

    Be sceptical of the virtue of paying yet more tax and those who seek to justify it especially when they are the equivalents of low-grade bank clerks who call themselves “leaders” and tell us we need to change to suit their “vision” of what the world should be.

    • telemachus

      That is the same morally reprehensible argument in essence as that used by .sfin
      See my post above
      It leads to Belmarsh

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Or a concentration camp if you socialist nutters have your way. When are you socialist nutters going to stop stealing and wasting other people’s money?

      • Colonel Mustard

        As opposed to the morally reprehensible socialist argument of finding ways to steal more money from those who earn it to bribe those who don’t to vote for them.

        • telemachus

          Is that the same as using legitimate tax to support the underbelly of society?

          • Colonel Mustard

            You don’t though as I have pointed out elsewhere. Were that to be the case then 1997-2010 would have resulted in no underbelly left to support. Words not deeds. And pretending that draconian tax measures are necessary to “save the poor” is truly morally reprehensible.

            Labour used to pose as the party of the working man – heck the clue is in the name. Now there are no working men thanks mainly to decades of “agents of influence” subverting our industry and the usual crap management that still blights us. So now Labour have re-invented themselves as the champion of the mythic poor and vulnerable. A sort of political Mother Theresa with legislative powers.

            “Pay more tax or this puppy will die” just about sums up your stance.

            • telemachus

              It all takes time
              The Blair Brown initial priority was to

              • wycombewanderer

                ensure an education land health system brought from Victorian availability to the proactive to a modernised service for all”

                So the semi literate innumerate unemployable yobs that had 13 years of labour education are your fault then!

                Likewise the staffordshire death house and the killing fields of liverpool pathway, all the fault of you and your heroes!

              • Colonel Mustard

                That really is a load of old bollox of the highest order. A sort of induced mass hallucination to avoid facing the reality of those 13 squandered and misdirected years. If Labour are so omnipotent explain Wales. Explain every sinkhole and ghastly no hope estate their MPs and councillors represent.

                Brown’s inventive book keeping has put many of those “modern” health accommodations at risk through PFI and the quality of education is not dependent upon its facilities and the facile state of Blair’s generation of brainwashed kids demonstrates.

              • Duke_Bouvier

                Ha ha ha ha ha

          • Inverted Meniscus

            No it s theft.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Excellent comment Colonel save for the comparison to low grade bank clerks. Would you allow incompetent, amoral fools like Balls and Miliband anyway near the branch of your local bank?

  • sfin

    Since when has tax become a moral issue?

    Tax ‘avoidance’ is perfectly legal – as opposed to tax ‘evasion’ which is not.

    Since I started paying tax (which was before I was eligible to vote), I have seen this country transformed, beyond all recognition, by amongst other things; mass immigration, and the imposition of a foreign authority (the EU). Both of these have utterly changed the thousand year old culture and society into which I was born, in a few short decades.

    Such a change, in any functioning democracy, should have received the acquiescence of the plebiscite – in other words, a referendum. In a true democracy, the executive shouldn’t be able to give away the powers that belong to the people they represent.

    Referenda didn’t not only happen, but subsequent political parties didn’t even deign to mention this transfer of power, along with cultural change, in their election manifestos. Our ‘elite’ decided to do it anyway. The ‘intelligensia’, apparently, know better. Unfortunately, they still want us to pay for it…

    …I applaud tax avoiders and evaders and I will devote my energies to both.

    Je réfuse.

    • Holly

      I agree with the main gist of your comment, but we do, kinda, have the ability to make our disgruntled voices heard at elections, and for over a decade we sat on our hands and let the ‘establishment’ do whatever they wanted to..
      All in the ‘National interest’ of course.
      Forgive me for repeating myself, but Michael Howard DID warn us what was going on way back in 2005….
      We simply shrugged, allowed ourselves to be collectively looked upon as ‘racist, little Englanders’ and got straight back to spending on our credit cards.
      No matter who we decide to support next May, we are not going to ‘get our country back’ any time soon.
      I very much doubt I will see it.

      • sfin

        I’ll return your compliment in that I agree with the thrust of your argument!

        You are quite correct, in my view, that the electorate have ‘sat on their hands’ and looked to their credit cards. A ‘bread and circuses’ mentality. I would argue that it has been deliberately fostered by our elite through the total dumbing down of education and the promotion of the ‘buy now pay later’, instant gratification society.

        As far as the EU goes – I believe that since 1975, the British electorate has had no choice whatsoever. The original referendum was based on a lie – (something that social democrats like Heath, Howe, Heseltine, Clarke, Patten, Major, Blair, Mandleson and Cameron are all too fond of doing when it comes to Europe) and you couldn’t fit a cigarette paper between any of the main political party’s policies on the issue.

        I have said in another thread that there is a generation, still alive, who had no choice but to fight to prevent a German domination of Europe. That we should have capitulated in their lifetime, and without a referendum on the transfer of sovereignty, is a disgrace.

        And one that I will no longer continue to pay for.

    • telemachus

      What a morally reprehensible argument
      This is the same as the justification of the Council Tax payer not paying because his bin had not been emptied
      We have General Elections every 4-5 years to let you register your views on the direction of society
      You cannot unilaterally afterwards try to punish society by with holding your subs
      Or if you do you should justifiably be excluded from Society in Belmarsh

      • Inverted Meniscus

        You posting on this site is morally reprehensible. When are you socialist nutters going to stop stealing and wasting other people’s money?

      • wycombewanderer

        “No man in the country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other,
        so to arrange his legal relations to his business or property as to
        enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel in his
        stores. The Inland Revenue is not slow, and quite rightly, to take every
        advantage which is open to it under the Taxing Statutes for the
        purposes of depleting the taxpayer’s pocket. And the taxpayer is in like
        manner entitled to be astute to prevent, so far as he honestly can, the
        depletion of his means by the Inland Revenue”
        Ayrshire Pullman Motor Services v Inland Revenue (1929)

        Judgement of LOrd Clyde, very much wiser man than you!

        • telemachus

          And then we entered the depression
          *
          We DO have a moral duty to our fellow man to play fair

          • wycombewanderer

            You can have your moral duty to do as you like with it, but don’t try and tell me what my moral duty is thanks.

            Because mine is to make sure that as little as legally and even illegally stays away from you, and white Dee.

            • telemachus

              Perhaps you should understand that it is the moral and Christian duty of all to help the disadvantaged and enforce a fair view of society on the selfish

              • wycombewanderer

                And therein lies the rub: your idea of ‘fair’ is to take other peoples money and give it to White Dee so that she’ll vote for the party you support:
                , my idea of fairness is to give it to my family

                • telemachus

                  So
                  Silver Spoon begets Silver Spoon

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Like Ed Miliband and his treacherous, ungrateful Father.

                • david croft

                  You should try to avoid sugar or you will place an “unfair’ burden on your fellows. They will have to pay large amounts of tax to fund your medical problems in old age.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Yes, as Wycombewanderer asks, how do you feel about the tax avoidance schemes employed by the leader of the Labour Party?

              • Colonel Mustard

                That is where you are going wrong. It is not your duty to enforce anything on anyone. Just who do you think you are? A few days ago you were slagging off the Christian church as relative to the rise of Islamic terror.

                The conclusion must be that you are intellectually feeble.

                • telemachus

                  Chritian values are absolute
                  The Christian Church is a human foible like jihad in another world
                  A feeble position would be to quote unfettered Catholicism or the tenets of HTB

              • david croft

                The problem is that a quite large fraction of those whom you would consider to be disadvantaged are continually taking advantage of the rest of us.

          • Colonel Mustard

            But your party never plays fair. You have told us yourself that they are in it only to win and use any means to do so. You are not God. You are not the arbiter of morality. You are not even a messiah but just a very naughty boy.

            • telemachus

              Reading the selfish posts on this thread it is clearly important for the forces of reason to win

              • Colonel Mustard

                They are not the “forces of reason” because you say so. Actually the argument you are deploying that a subjective morality must be coerced is rather disturbing.

                • telemachus

                  I cannot see how any, any view of fairness cannot see that the cohesion of society is dependent on a majority perceiving a fair share of the cake
                  *
                  It is the fact that the right perceive that the levers mean the Osbornonian to-us-and-ours that leads to concepts of coercion
                  In essence the Osborne philosophy is little different from the African dictatorships that end in tears

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Actually the first three words of your comment could stand when it comes to your perception of the right. A woman in the audience on QT last night spoke with considerable and restrained passion in objecting to the inference that she was not compassionate merely because of her preferred leanings in the Scottish referendum. The two ‘Yes’ campaigners on the panel both leapt to a presumption of moral crusade from a patently anti-Tory stance, conflating the ‘Yes’ campaign with a socialist Scotland. Sheridan did exactly the same thing on This Week but was more robustly disabused by Andrew Neil and Charles Kennedy.

                  The left are conflating their intentions with the consequences of their policies and setting a subjective moral tone that obscures objectivity and reason in the debate.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Then you can start building concentration camps for non-believers I.e. The intelligent and productive.

              • Hexhamgeezer

                ……….accent on the ‘forces’….

          • BoiledCabbage

            Do we see the other ‘fellow man’ playing fair? No. We see the other ‘fellow man milking the immigration, healthcare and benefits system as fast as he can, rigging local elections, intimidating opposition, and behaving like an invading parasite whilst sending ‘us’ the bill for the pleasure.

            • telemachus

              Well then that fellow man must be educated along with the to-us-and-ours born again Osbornists

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Yes but then again, so is the average Protozoa.

      • David B

        What is your opinion of the tax avoidance schemes being used by say Ed Miliband to shelter from IHT or the trust structure used my Margaret Hodge.

      • Rush_is_Right

        “This is the same as the justification of the Council Tax payer not paying because his bin had not been emptied”

        And what would be wrong with that?

      • Colonel Mustard

        “We have General Elections every 4-5 years to let you register your views on the direction of society”

        Well shut up then because the Conservative party received more votes than any other in 2010.

    • dado_trunking

      A case well made for the abolition of the (nation) state.
      No taxes – no state.
      It is, as always, that simple.

      • girondas2

        You’re just a chimp chained to a keyboard aren’t you?
        That simple.

        • dado_trunking

          I love watching you chaps pressing your very own self-destruct button every single time.
          The elephant in the room is that this is Dumbo Central for this kind of thing.

          • girondas2

            You know Dado, I don’t dislike you because of your political views, such as they are, I dislike you because you’re a loud mouthed pr*ck.
            Ok ?”Mate”

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Is that the view of all of your socialist nutter gibberish spouting sock puppets lad or does the goat have a different opinion?

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