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The Tories are sorting out the wealthy tax-avoidant

325 replies

LittleFrieda · 11/04/2012 12:19

members of our society. Why on earth did Labour fail to act during their long term in office? Eh? Eh?

I can't believe people are complaining about George Osborne doing something about it.

OP posts:
okiol · 11/04/2012 13:03

I've often wondered about this, people seem to be happy to bash the "evil" Tories for not dealing with tax loopholes and evasion yet no-one ever mentions that the Labour Party did nothing about it either. The coalition seems to be trying to close some loopholes as part of a set of policies to bring down the budget deficit which is very large whilst the Labour Party ignored them which in part allowed the deficit to increase over a period of years.

ttosca · 11/04/2012 17:03

The reason people are so concerned about tax evasion now, under the Tory scum, is because the public are being asked to pay for a financial crisis not of their own making, through austerity measures.

Secondly, not only are the public being asked to pay for the casino gambling and racket of financial sector, but we're simultaneously being told that "We're tall in this together".

So people are naturally skeptical and looking for ways in which the the wealthiest and the banks which caused the crisis pay the largest share of the crisis, instead of single mothers, the disabled, the poorest, and other vulnerable people.

George Osborne knew very well that there is an enormous amount of tax avoidance going on:

Why is George Osborne surprised about tax avoidance? I warned of its scale in 2008

As I am on a train from Paris right now I?m only just catching up with this morning?s news about HMRC showing George Osbone 20 anonymised tax returns revealing that just 20 people in the UK have avoided £145 million of tax between them.

The story should not be news. I warned in 2008 that the scale of tax avoidance was far higher than HMRC calculated. This was in my report ?The Missing Billions? published by the TUC that year, in which I said there was at least £13 billion of personal ta avoidance in the UK and a further £8 billion of excess reliefs granted to very wealthy people. www.tuc.org.uk/touchstone/missingbillions/1missingbillions.pdf (apologies ? links are harder on the iPad).

www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2012/04/10/why-is-george-osborne-surprised-about-tax-avoidance-i-warned-of-its-scale-in-2008/

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Finally, George Osborne and the Tories will certainly not significantly clamp down on tax avoidance. The reason being that the Tories are ideologically committed to reshaping the economy using supply-side reforms. This means a low-tax regime for the rich and for business, and generally making the UK a 'business friendly environment'.

Even if we weren't in the middle of a financial crisis, they would be ideologically committed to a smaller state and lower taxes.

This means continuation of Thatcher's neo-liberal reforms of privitisation, deregulation, labour reforms, etc. The idea behind this - or ostensibly the justification - is the 'trickle-down' theory. The 'trickle-down' theory asserts, contrary to empirical evidence, that if you keep sucking corporate and wealthy cock, then they will create wealth for the greater good of the nation, which will 'trickle-down' to the masses.

This is what 'trickle-down' theory looks like in fact:

i.imgur.com/QDOAg.jpg

LittleFrieda · 11/04/2012 17:53

None of those links works.

Are you Richard Murphy?

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AlpinePony · 11/04/2012 18:00

It's because most people are poor analysts unable to picture cause and effect or take responsibility for themselves, or find a solution to a problem.

I always think it's a shame labour were only in power for over a decade - as this clearly didn't allow them time to reverse any policies they're whining about now. Just more bleating.

rabbitstew · 11/04/2012 18:20

Tax is for the little people and closing loopholes is ensuring the little people know their place and don't start trying to behave like multi-millionnaires and billionnaires. Loopholes will remain wide open for the super rich - in addition, of course, to their tax burden being slashed by deliberate government policies. In return we will not get a world class healtcare or education system. Nor will the masses get well paid jobs. But they will be told they should thank their lucky stars to get anything at all and should stop whingeing about it.

ttosca · 11/04/2012 19:26

None of those links works.

What are you talking about? They work absolutely fine. Try copying and pasting them if need be.

Are you Richard Murphy?

No.

LittleFrieda · 11/04/2012 19:53

ttosca As you aren't Richard Murphy, it might be sensible to put his work in quotes. Your post is incoherent.

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ttosca · 11/04/2012 20:56

It's pretty obvious from the context that I was quoting from an article, as I have the title in bold and on a separate line, and then include a link at the end to a blog.

claig · 11/04/2012 21:15

'Your post is incoherent.'

Spot on. I'm continually being falsely accused of incoherence by ttosca, so I'm glad someone has called it correctly!!!

LittleFrieda · 11/04/2012 21:21

ttosca - It's not a bit clear. I imagined you on the train from Paris. I tried to imagine you returning from a conference or meeting, but I settled in the end on you returning from a break at Euro Disney. Grin Grin

OP posts:
MrPants · 11/04/2012 23:19

I found this article interesting, especailly as I support flat taxation.

I'm not affiliated with this blog in anyway before anyone asks...

niceguy2 · 12/04/2012 16:49

Tax is for the little people and closing loopholes is ensuring the little people know their place and don't start trying to behave like multi-millionnaires and billionnaires. Loopholes will remain wide open for the super rich

What rubbish Rabbit.

The rich already pay the vast majority of taxes in this country. 50% of the countries income tax is paid by the top 10% of earners. The closing of the loopholes such as limits on charitable donations is expressly designed to target the rich. Stopping people from avoiding stamp duty by getting their company to buy the house is also going to only affect the rich.

rabbitstew · 12/04/2012 17:35

Wow, I didn't know the top 10% were multi millionnaires and billionnaires, niceguy...

rabbitstew · 12/04/2012 17:36

I must be lower down the pecking order than I thought.

rabbitstew · 12/04/2012 17:45

We were offered a scheme to avoid part of the stamp duty when we sold our house for less than £300,000. Didn't touch it with a bargepole, but nevertheless was amazed that such schemes were being offered so low down the food chain and that anyone with so little money to sort out any mess if the loophole was closed would go for such a thing.

rabbitstew · 12/04/2012 17:48

(Sorry, sold one house for less than £300,000 and bought another for not a huge amount more).

ttosca · 12/04/2012 17:54

Oh how good of you to stick up for the rich, niceguy, they really need your help in these tough times for them.

It's always a laugh to hear people complain about the richest paying the most income tax. It actually makes a contrary argument to what they think they're making.

The richest pay the highest portion of income tax by a large margin because there is so much wealth inequality that they receive the most income by a large margin.

If you wanted a fairer system whereby more people (as a percentage of the population) contributed more money, then you should fight for fair wages at the bottom, and a larger, well paid middle-class in the middle.

As you can see here:

i.imgur.com/QDOAg.jpg

The top 20% richest have seen their incomes increase by nearly 30% since 1979, and the top 1% have seen their incomes skyrocket. Meanwhile, everyone else has seen their incomes fall.

So stop complaining on behalf of their rich. They don't need your help, or your sympathy.

niceguy2 · 12/04/2012 22:26

Who's complaining? I wasn't. Merely stating a fact.

If you wanted a fair tax system Ttosca, the only truly fair one is a flat rate tax coupled with a high tax free allowance. But I suspect you consider 'fair' is for someone else to pay...as long as it's not you.

And Rabbit, the superrich don't need to exploit loopholes in this country anyway. Most of the ultrarich already live abroad already. Name one billionaire who lives in the UK?

Now I'm sure you & Ttosca will use that as an example of why the rich are selfish tax dodging bastards. But consider this. 15-20% of £1 billion is a lot more than 0% which is what we get after they've moved.

JosephineCD · 13/04/2012 00:28

I think a lot of people have a very myopic view of the tax system and take the wealthy for granted, forgetting that it is they who pay for the majority of the public sector in this country.

ttosca · 13/04/2012 00:48

Who's complaining? I wasn't. Merely stating a fact.

Yes, of course...

If you wanted a fair tax system Ttosca, the only truly fair one is a flat rate tax coupled with a high tax free allowance.

That's your opinion, and one in which the vast majority of the public don't share. It's an absurd definition of 'fair' that someone on minimum wage would pay the same amount of income tax as someone who earns £100K per year.

But I suspect you consider 'fair' is for someone else to pay...as long as it's not you.

No, I have no problem paying taxes. I just landed a new job which is quite well paid, and I'm happy to pay may taxes towards public services and making society are more civilised place for everybody.

And Rabbit, the superrich don't need to exploit loopholes in this country anyway. Most of the ultrarich already live abroad already. Name one billionaire who lives in the UK?

Actually, because of the way the UK tax system works, millionaires and the very rich in the UK can claim 'non-dom' status, even if they live here, thereby paying less tax.

Now I'm sure you & Ttosca will use that as an example of why the rich are selfish tax dodging bastards. But consider this. 15-20% of £1 billion is a lot more than 0% which is what we get after they've moved.

And yet again the same tired arguments. You realise that, historically, the income tax rates has been much, much higher?

This shows the historical income tax rates for the US. The UK tax rates follow a similar pattern:

www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=213

Neither the US nor UK had any problem with 'wealth creation' during most of the 20th Century, despite top marginal taxation rates being higher than 50%

Lowering corporate and personal income tax rates, and continuing to suck corporate cock has not benefited the majority of the population. It is only the top 20% who have seen their income grow, with most of the gains going to the top 1%. The bottom 80% have seen their share of total net income either stagnate or drop:

//i.imgur.com/QDOAg.jpg

We can't continue along these lines. 'Trickle-down' economics is a lie. The vast majority of people are getting poorer, not richer, but sucking off the 'wealth creators'.

youngermother1 · 13/04/2012 01:12

The true argument is in here.

The top 1% earned 13% of total income before tax and 10.5% of income after tax in 2010, ie in the last years of a Labour govt that had been in power for 13 years.
In the current year they earn 12.6% of total income before tax and 9.1% after tax. basically under the coalition the rich are getting relatively poorer and paying more tax.
The top 50% of earners before tax all lose a greater amount of income than the bottom 50% after tax.

niceguy2 · 13/04/2012 08:47

It's an absurd definition of 'fair' that someone on minimum wage would pay the same amount of income tax as someone who earns £100K per year.

No, what's absurd is the idea that someone would think they would pay the same amount. Clearly they wouldn't.

Let's use your example. A person earning minimum wage earns what? £12k roughly? And let's assume there's no change to the tax free limit which personally I'd hope would rise if we ever were to see a flat rate tax. But let's go with no change for now.

Now, 20% of £3.9k (£12k-£8105) = £780ish. Your £100k person pays £18.4k in tax.

So the truth is that the rich would pay more. But clearly the truth is inconvenient to your ideology, hence why you need to bend the truth by writing half lies.

And I fully accept trickle down economics isn't perfect at all. Capitalism is a wasteful system. But i've said before, it's better than the alternative. I'd rather be poor in a capitalist trickle down economy than any socialist/communist economy. How about yourself?

rabbitstew · 13/04/2012 08:51

The facts are that people are selfish, greedy and self-justifying. That isn't limited to the super rich, it's just more obvious that your behaviour can only be explained that way, the richer you are, unless you go out of your way to show otherwise.

My view is that the richer you are, the greater your responsibility ought to be to consider others and the effect your behaviour has on those around you, and to do something about it. In other words, money shouldn't just bring power, it should bring responsibility. But a lot of people tend to view wealth as a way of getting to a position where they can do what they want and avoid who and what they want. You only have to look at some of the wealthy Quakers of the 19th Century to see that some wealthy people had a conscience in the past, but I don't see an awful lot of examples of similar behaviour in the modern world. And I really don't believe we'd see more examples of it if we lowered the tax burden, because the Quakers were in a tiny minority in the past and they certainly haven't increased their numbers, since. It took world wars to budge the positions of the other selfish rich - and that change of position hasn't lasted long, has it?

As for fairness, why is a flat taxation rate "fair"?? Nothing about the differentials in income in this country are "fair" at the moment. A totally flat taxation rate is no more "fair" than a totally flat rate of income for all. Life isn't fair, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to find ways to make it more fair.

rabbitstew · 13/04/2012 09:04

niceguy2 - doesn't Lakshmi Mittal spend most of his time in the UK? He's one of the top 10 richest people in the entire world. London is a mecca for the super rich, didn't you know???? They don't seem to have been chased away from the delights of this country at all, they just make sure they avoid paying tax wherever possible.

niceguy2 · 13/04/2012 10:45

Yes he does spend most of his time in the UK. But given he's highly mobile and probably can divert his entire income to Luxembourg in a single phone call and would be able to live anywhere in the world and just come to the UK to do his shopping and partying, just how do you propose we introduce a punitive tax regime on him?

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