Rapid responses

Corporation tax

[Re: Is Sir Martin Sorrell right that corporation tax payments are a “question of judgement”?, yesterday]

While Steve Barclay is right that the UK tax system needs reforming, tax is still solely a matter of legal obligation, not a function of public relations. Starbucks’s recent move to pay an additional £20m set a dangerous precedent.

Laura Bryonson

Navel-gazing over why companies should pay tax is irrelevant. Sorrell proved this himself. WPP shifted its headquarters to Ireland as soon as it felt UK taxation was burdensome. The company is only back in the UK now the situation is better.

Iain Richards


Fiscal cliff failure

[Re: Fiscal cliff deal is no grand bargain to save the US from growing debts, yesterday]

The real significance of the fiscal cliff deal is hidden in the detail of Ewan Watt’s argument. We’ll be back here again in two months when politicians are forced to debate the US debt ceiling. Nothing was resolved – only an agreement on slight adjustments to tax rates. Spending was left largely untouched – there was no attempt to reach agreement on the reform of unsustainable entitlement spending. As Watt says, the deal isn’t representative of a much-needed spirit of cross-party cooperation in Washington. It’s bipartisan collusion to sweep the real problems under the rug for another few months.

Michael Kelly



It’s irritating that many talk of “handing back” the Falklands to Argentina. It only ever held the Falklands for four months.

After the fiscal cliff deal, the richest Americans will still pay less tax than middle income earners in Britain.

The Falklands are British not because the UK government says so, but because the people there feel British.

Means testing winter fuel allowance is supported by 74 per cent of the public, including 66 per cent aged 65+.