Tuesday, October 11, 2011

David Cameron's Acid Test of enforcement

A new report gives the lie to the Prime Minister's bromide that '...we're all in this together...'

Nearly all of Britain's biggest companies legally avoid tax in the UK, including the state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, according to new research.

The charity, 'Action Aid' found that 98 out of the 100 companies on the FTSE 100 base their operations in territories where there is low or no tax.

The heaviest users were based in the financial sector despite the industry's role in the economic crisis.

Britain's four biggest banks - HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and RBS - have 1,649 tax haven companies between them.

Action Aid's tax justice expert Chris Jordan said: "Tax havens have a damaging impact on the UK exchequer, the stability of the international financial system, and vitally on the ability of developing countries to raise tax revenues which would lift them out of poverty and make them less dependent on aid.

"When multinationals use tax havens to avoid paying their fair share, ordinary people in both poor and rich countries are left to pick up the bill. Spending on doctors, nurses and other essential services gets cut for those who need it most.

"Tax havens might provide the lure of financial secrecy and low tax rates for big companies, but at a time when all countries are desperate for revenues, the UK government can't afford to turn a blind eye."

If this news wasn't nauseous enough, consider the bonus payments that bankers are now demanding.

In a recent survey by recruitment website eFinancialCareers, nine out of ten City bankers said they expect a bonus this year. Of these, nearly half anticipate more than last year; while one in ten expects their year-end payment to rise by 70% or more.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber was reported as saying: "Banks have played a key part in bringing the economy back to the brink of recession so it's astounding that bankers expect any bonuses, let alone bigger pay-outs..."

"If the government refuses to challenge these multi-billion pound rewards for failure, the least taxpayers deserve is a bonus tax to help pay for the mess they are creating."

Despite several major banks warning that the eurozone debt crisis will hit profits this year, think tank, The Centre for Economics and Social Research, predicts that City firms will hand out bonuses totalling £7.2billion, up from £6.7billion last year.

Mr Barber said: "It makes you wonder what level of financial Armageddon is needed for bankers to not get a bonus."

What we all have to understand is that these grotesquely-paid parasites, who caused the international debt crisis in the first place, are getting their bonuses from money on which little or no British tax has been paid. So, where is their employers' justification for paying such high salaries and bonuses now?

We are always being told that without these payments, these incredibly intelligent people would go elsewhere. Well, now we can see there is no reason to keep them here, because their employing institutions aren't even paying any realistic tax anyway, so these threats are as hollow as are the morals of those who parrot this rubbish. Let the bastards fuck off to another jurisdiction, but make their hitherto automatic right to re-enter this country dependent upon a one-time windfall payment, cleared through H.M.Treasury, before presenting themselves again at Immigration!

David Cameron cannot sit back and contemplate this scenario without feeling very uncomfortable indeed. He has already had cause to observe what damage can be caused by a criminal under-class who had no reason to riot. If these disparities in social wealth become any more egregious, ordinary, decent working people who pay their taxes, seek to educate their children honestly, and who do not live in debt, but who find their jobs shrinking, their costs of living spiralling and their savings dwindling, will start to reconsider their position, and when that happens, their wrath will be terrible to behold.

We are now governed and ruled by faceless men and women in suits who sit in banks and boardrooms and bureaucrats' offices, and have no interest in us or our interests or our way of life. Banking decisions which govern us are made largely by people who have no interest in Britain, yet our Governments, of both colours, meekly acquiesce, and sign up to the bullshit they are fed.

David Cameron needs to go away and read G.K.Chesterton if he wants any assistance on what might lie in wait!

From the poem '...We are the people of England...'

They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.

We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
Our wrath come after Russia’s wrath and our wrath be the worst.
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God’s scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.

1 comment:

AbogadoNZ said...

Well said Rowan. See you on the barricades... Seriously though I would add others to your list of those seeking extradition and that is the lawyers who concocted the bonus agreements. What planet are they living on?
Perhaps another less draconian solution would be to insist that those who find themselves working in nationalised banks be given civil service payscales - retrospectively. As for the banks who continually whinge that they will go overseas if it is made 'too hard' for them at home. Call their bluff and give them 12 months to go or face penalty taxes. Where would they go, who would educate their children, who would employ their spouses, who would buy/rent their houses? The compexity of re-locating a company employing tens of thousands is so great - it just ain't going to happen. So call their bluff, and impose a tax at say 90% on all pay and emoluments on banker incomes over £500,000 and 105% on sums over £1M.