We all remember the headlines starting in 2013, and still going strong last year around the tax avoidance controversies of various wealthy people and very wealthy companies. I blogged about tax avoidance at the time when the story broke about Apple in Ireland Tax.
Various politicians spoke about this issue at the time, Theresa May said in a speech during the race to become Prime Minister:
“If there’s evidence that the big utility firms and the retail banks are abusing their roles in highly consolidated markets we shouldn’t just complain about it, we shouldn’t say it’s too difficult; we should do something about it.”
She also promised a crackdown on corporate and personal tax avoidance.
“We also understand that tax is the price we pay for living in a civilised society. No individual or no business, however rich, has succeeded all on their own,” she said.
“It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re Amazon, Google or Starbucks, you have a duty to put something back, you have a debt to fellow citizens and you have a responsibility to pay your taxes.”
David Cameron called tax avoidance “ frankly and morally wrong “, and that “.” Those who want to evade taxes have nowhere to hide. Tim Farron MP and Leader of the Liberal Democrats said “ time to stop tax avoidance “ and Jeremy Corbyn said “The Government needs to stop pussyfooting around on tax dodging. There cannot be one set of tax rules for the wealthy elite and another for the rest of us. This unfairness and abuse must stop. No more lip service. The richest must pay their way.”
It’s just all bullshit.
We know that the UK Government blocked the EU from imposing a high tariff on Chinese Steel when they were deliberately selling it cheap, even though it threatened British jobs (in the north so who cared). The Tories say one thing and do the exact opposite and today the Chancellor fired the first gun in what could become a trade war with the EU when he said in an interview with a German Magazine that in the event of no deal with the EU:
“We could be forced to change our economic model, and we will have to change our model to regain competitiveness. And you can be sure we will do whatever we have to do. “The British people are not going to lie down and say ‘too bad, we’ve been wounded’. We will change our model and we will come back, and we will be competitively engaged.”
What he really means is that for the Tories turning Britain into a living vibrant Panama Papers model is a dream come true, the Tories I believe want a hard Brexit so the UK becomes a low wage, low tax paradise for those at the top. What this means, according to HW Fisher City Accountants, is that the Tories will promote the steady reduction in corporation tax as part of a long-term rebalancing of the tax burden from companies to individuals.
Time flies but somethings never change, we get shafted big time as usual.