Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Adrian Beecroft

(Who he? Ed) He is an extremely wealthy venture capitalist who was called in by Cameron to ‘think the thinkable’ and look at employment law. He is also a significant donor to Tory funds. He has produced a report which has split the Coalition. The Tories welcomed his proposal that employers should be able to summarily sack workers they deemed unsatisfactory. The LibDems  thought the idea ‘bonkers’. All very useful to put clear blue water between the parties. The more Tory backbenchers fulminate about ‘tails wagging dogs’ the better it plays with the handful of LibDem activists still engaged.
Venture capitalists are people who invest large sums of money in fledgling businesses. Like gambling on the favourite in the 3-30 at Kempton it can be high risk. The risk can be minimised by utilising offshore banks in the Caymans to (legally) reduce tax bills to near zero. This is what Beecroft did with his various Apex companies. In this he follows in the gilded footsteps of another government ‘advisor’ Sir Philip Green, who handed over all his considerable wealth to his wife in Monaco; thereby saving himself a massive tax bill. Again all legal. 
This affair reinforces the ‘us and them’ view rapidly gaining ground in the UK. ‘Them’ constitute barely 1% of our population; avoid paying taxes; are extremely wealthy and are invited to influence government policy. They enjoy security, an above average healthcare system and all the trappings of a reasonably civilised society. They take but only give to bodies who will look after their interests. Austerity! What austerity?
Then there are the ‘us’ .....Bearing the brunt of austerity measures. Paying proportionally significantly more in taxes and beyond the ken of the average Tory minister. And at the opposite end of the spectrum, struggling to survive. 
Should the opportunity arise when a member of the 99% is asked to ‘advise’ the government then the first thing to consider would be to make these wealthy leeches pay their taxes. 
Beecroft claimed his proposals would stimulate the economy by £5bn. 
Taxing the wealthy would raise £120bn.
As the Americans say, do the math.

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