[Re: The government is laughably hypocritical about tax avoidance, yesterday]
In addition to the government’s hypocrisy on the issue of tax avoidance by large firms, it also seems to completely miss the economic argument. Companies paying less tax are in a position to lower their prices and create more jobs, both of which benefit the UK economy. In fact, these factors can, to an extent, offset the foregone tax revenue. This is especially the case when we consider that large parts of government spending go towards the very aim of increasing employment in the first place.
HMRC could pay all PAYE state employees on a net basis. There is little point in the state handing out money, only to reclaim it in tax. State employees with other income could simply have their main salary grossed on their tax return, so the additional income is taxed similarly to private sector workers.
The problem began under Gordon Brown, who failed to acknowledge the difference between tax avoidance (e.g. Isas), and tax evasion (e.g. being paid in cash). Until the government makes this distinction, problems will continue.
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Significant that MEPs vote against bonus caps for fund managers. It would have made City more eurosceptic.
Mandleson is an astute politician. Opposing HS2 could be a good way for Labour to improve electoral chances.
There is no longer any business case for HS2. What’s keeping it on track is bureaucratic inertia.
PM: Scenes in Egypt are deeply disturbing. We support proper democratic processes/government by consent.