Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Compare and Contrast 2
Take a look at the way the taxman treats MegaCorps like Vodaphone and Goldman Sachs. Consider how the head of HMRC goes for regular private lunches with Vodaphone’s cheeses. See how other similar giants are caressed into paying a bit of tax for the nuisance of making a vast fortune in the UK. We are told that the Revenue are doing a good job getting something out of these corporate fat cats as the alternative is worse. 
Oh what an unfair world we live in. As Simon Jenkins made clear yesterday.
“Why the hell should people be expected to lose their jobs, their houses, their lifestyles, when the government is a soft touch for the rich and powerful? This is not a matter of left or right, socialist or capitalist. Britons are now embarking on a journey into a dark night of economic gloom. Nothing will make them less inclined to co-operate than the sight of a lucky few rowing to safety in gold-plated lifeboats.”
“Today's report on the tax leniency shown by the Revenue towards big corporations indicates that toughness towards the poor is not replicated by toughness towards the rich. The estimate was of some £25bn in taxes gone missing, the bulk of it concealed by an insistence on "commercial confidentiality", otherwise known as incompetent secrecy.”
Simon Jenkins, Guardian 20/12/11
By way of contrast have a listen to the distress a self-employed person was put through by the same Revenue. He spoke at length on the excellent Victoria Derbyshire show yesterday. How he had to spend £58,000 to prove that he had done nothing wrong. A process which crippled his business and left him in a psychological mess. He was not alone. Thousands and thousands of British Citizens can relate their stories of Revenue Hell. But they are not giant mega corps with tricksy lawyers.
Dave Hartnett, the incompetent, supine, stupid (or corrupt) head of the Revenue struggled to justify his systematic groveling to the powerful when he was hauled before the Commons Public Accounts Committee recently. 

A numpty from No. 10 yesterday disputed the findings of the report. He claimed that it was not like that. As No. 10 has very close relationships with many of these tax avoiders it was not exactly a surprise. Many of them pay good money into Tory party coffers. They do not do this out of the goodness of their hearts or the purity of their morals. They do it from the depths of their wallets. 
So Mr No.10 Spokesman. What you said was bollocks. Not just ordinary bollocks, but complete and utter bollocks. It was also deeply unfair and very revealing. But not a surprise.
Here is Mark Steel writing in The Independent with the final word.
This is all for our benefit, because we have to be prepared to pay the global market rate for thieving bastards, otherwise they’ll leave the country and thieve from somewhere else, and THEN where would we be?”

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