[Re: Politicians are powerless to curb our shrinking corporate tax base, yesterday]
Douglas Carswell argues that, through international property migration, it is unavoidable that big corporations will mitigate their tax liabilities. But the sad consequence is that the only people who end up paying more is us, the financially immobile taxpayers. Something must indeed be done. And the solution isn’t avoidance rules, but less tax legislation, and flatter taxation.
All corporation tax is eventually paid by individuals – whether customers through higher prices, employees through lower wages, or shareholders through lower returns. The government should therefore be aiming to abolish this tax, and raise its income more honestly. Being the first major jurisdiction to do this would be a huge source of competitive advantage for the UK, attracting many of those migratory birds Douglas Carswell mentions.
How about taxing land values instead of turnover, income and profits? Starbucks has its shops in Britain, Google has offices and data centres, and businesses that sell through Amazon have warehouses, car parks and the like. This would be an effective way of ensuring companies pay at least some tax.
Inflation is stuck at 2.7 per cent and set to rise to 3 per cent. Above target inflation seems to be the “new normal” for the UK.
Comet’s closure is a devastating blow to the employees losing their jobs just before Christmas and a sad day for British retail.
Standard & Poor’s raised Greece’s debt rating. If the US can get a fiscal cliff deal, 2013 will be the comeback we need.
The Cabinet gave the Queen placemats. William Hague gave her Antarctica. Perhaps they should have discussed a spending limit.