Rapid Responses

The tax debate

[Re: Politicians need to stop moralising – and reform our taxes, yesterday]
Britain’s tax system does not reward the working poor. Nobody on low wages should pay income tax or national insurance, while also receiving benefits.

Chris Hobson

We shouldn’t bring the level of tax into the debate about tax reform. To critics on the left, any talk of simplying rates is parodied as a desire for the rich to escape taxation, rather than a sensible step towards making our tax system work better. The crucial thing is to neutralise the tax system as a political battleground, and then debate whether we should raise or lower individual taxes.

Nick Reid

[Re: The company tax debate must focus on realistic reform, yesterday]

If, as a self-employed owner of a limited company, I grant myself an employee loan at favourable interest rates, HMRC will tax it as a benefit in kind. Why is this same principle not applied to multinationals? Parent companies regularly lend their UK operations capital at exorbitant rates, thereby allowing them to significantly lower their total corporation tax bill (even if they make significant profits on their UK operations). This does not create a level playing field for domestic and multinational businesses. And it’s a case of HRMC chasing small fry while the big sharks get off scott free.

Mike Wines



Every Autumn Statement it seems deficit reduction is extended by a year. Will the chancellor ever balance his budget?

Less than 9 per cent of UK GDP is linked to EU trade. Yet all the UK must comply with 100 per cent of single market rules.

Boris Johnson has rightly pre-empted David Cameron on the issue of EU referendum. Cameron has no choice but to follow.

Boris Johnson is right that an EU referendum is key to return to a relationship focused on trade rather than political union.