Wednesday, April 11, 2012

George Osborne is shocked, shocked! ... and more tax twaddle

More tax, I’m afraid, but it’s in the news and once again I’m shocked, shocked I tell you – as ‘shocked’ as George Osborne is about tax avoidance. Only I’m shocked, shocked about the distorted way the ‘debate’ is being framed.

George Osborne is shocked, shocked that some very rich people are reducing their tax bill by using devilishly clever tax loopholes. Only it turns out that the main ‘loopholes’ are: claiming relief for business losses; deducting interest on business loans from taxable profits; and charitable donations.

Now in fact these are not devilish new loopholes but longstanding, well-known, legitimate tax deductions, all existing for sound economic, business and moral reasons and approved by Parliament. It would not take a particularly clever accountant to suddenly ‘spot’ them.

But without getting into all that, what I find most bizarre is this widely-accepted narrative that ‘the rich’, as a class, are not paying their fair share of taxes, while the ordinary working man is being squeezed.

Let’s get some reality back into this. Here are some official HMRC figures, pertinent ones being:
  • The top 1% of earners have 12.6% of total national income, but pay 27.7% of total income tax to HMRC
  • The bottom 50% of earners have 23.4% of total income but only contribute 10.3% of tax.
  • Perhaps most extraordinarily, the top 5% of earners pay 47% of the total tax

Which is not to say that some egregious multi-millionaires aren’t flagrantly abusing the spirit of the law to wriggle out of paying a ‘fair’ amount of tax (whatever that is). But where there is outright fraud (eg. charities that aren’t really charities) then laws do already exist, and where they don’t exist the purpose of the forthcoming General Anti-Avoidance Rule is to tackle it (the GAAR probably won’t work, mind, and will possibly have terrible unintended consequences, but that’s yet another story).

But this underlying insinuation that ‘the rich’ as a class aren’t contributing to the state doesn’t stand up to a moment’s scrutiny. It’s worth repeating: the top 5% of earners pay 47% of the total income tax to the state. So our welfare state and everything it provides for us is already utterly dependent on those wicked rich. And so are charities, tax-deductible donations to which the Government wants, inexplicably, to cap.

So why do we have this sudden outburst of class resentment? Mostly it’s the usual politics of envy from the usual suspects on the old left, but it has also now been deliberately stoked by Osborne, whose ‘shocked, shocked’ statement is a transparent bit of politicking under accusations of being ‘the party of the rich’ after cutting the 50% top tax rate in the Budget.

My respect for Osborne has diminished with this, but if you really want to get angry with a Chancellor for squeezing the working man, then direct your ire at Gordon ‘Prudence’ Brown, who not only spent all of the tax take from the rich but borrowed even more, much, much more, during boom times, running up a debt that we and our children will have to bear for decades.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Your piece is revealing.

However, there is a counter argument, that would show a flaw in the fundamental system's frame work, as Osborne hinted towards in his interviews and as you more than likely know and could indeed bring that very counter argument yourself.

Nevertheless, your data is very revealing.

Personally, I believe our system of capitalism is not sound, good, prosperous or beneficial - verging on ethically wrong and therefore, unsuitable.

In the "Free West," you can be what you want and do pretty much what you want; however, you then have to hand over forty or fifty percent to those in charge, quite simply - others, yea, that have a measure of blood on their hands too. That is not my sense of freedom. As with Jimmy Boyle, I too, would move to a tax haven and have my capital processed "off shore."

If we are going to be capitalist, I think we should become like the USA, yea, like how the Republicans want the USA to be - that is honest, true, real capitalism.

To me, the shades of gray in between seem to be ethically wrong, when I analyze them.

I believe capitalism is doomed to fail. Even the Republican's fundamental version. I see only two outcomes, one - war, and two, as with Max Keiser, a total, global economic collapse.

Did not Japan enter WWII due to the USA's moves to gain a monopoly on crude? Over all, I think they did. Millions died in that conflict.

I believe the future is communism.

However, I am also acutely aware of the nature of humans and therefore, I realize that the chances of the world ever seeing a true, fundamental form of state communism is very slim indeed and my meaning is, obviously, before we, humans, manage to connect at that level, we will destroy ourselves through war and harmful conflicts of all sorts.

Look at Germany, it has ten percent of world's export market, yet, far less than a tenth of the world's population and still, the country runs millions of souls off, total employment. So, not only are they taking jobs from the Africans who they sell goods too and who knows who else, they are still managing to stray from harmony, decency, equilibrium and far from Utopian peace and thus, success.

As you know, from the "Why the Scottish hate the English," thread, I openly state that my family and I are all business men and women and therefore, a part of the fundamental Marxist ruling class. My family more so than I, yet, all the same, I venture into those waters.

Even so, my conclusion is that Capitalism is corrupt, and ethically and morally wrong and therefore, it makes me - corrupt. Regardless, of what I am in stead to lose through such ponderings.

Doomed to fail I say, and coming down with a crash, and taking us all with it.

Yet, still I state it is a rollercoaster we, humans will never get off. No wonder I and many others go into depressions from time to time when you contemplate one's reality and its probable, up and coming twists and turns.

Pod

Recusant said...

Thanks for that Brit. Call me a mean spirited stealer of mother's milk from babies, but I have never understand why the 'rich' are morally oblidged to pay more - not just absolutely, but also proportionally - we don't think it is moral to charge them twice as much for bread, booze, books or bicycles.

Pod - good luck with that.

Susan's Husband said...

"Did not Japan enter WWII due to the USA's moves to gain a monopoly on crude?"

No.

Captcha attempt: 21

Peter said...

Doomed to fail I say, and coming down with a crash, and taking us all with it.

Oh no, not again?!

Anonymous said...

“No!”

“No!”

You are correct.

One fine day, I will reserve the guesswork to the dustbin and hone in my inner radar to the radiuses most profitable, which, are far from the subject of history.

If any one had a monopoly on crude during the forties, it was the Anglo Saxons, Celts, the rest of the quality street gang and their fan base. “That’s how we roll,” …???

However, to the Japanese, that craved crude, yet, had none, and banked on it been supplied by the USA, when you refused to give them another drop, which, may have been for very good reasons, it would certainly have seemed that you had a monopoly to them.

They had already bowed down and accepted that Anglo-Saxon culture was far superior to their own on more than one occasion, yea, to laughs, jeers, and sniggers, when they were seen draped in the finest dandy suits of the day.

That was never going to happen again, far less, than they were going to be held ransom by Anglo-Saxon military technology again. That yes, if you do not understand, is underpinned by the very capitalism I write of.

However, they did bow again, when the USA dropped atomic bombs on to the Japanese civilians.

I ask, was it warranted? Well, the USA had participated in WWI and more so, witnessed, what happened when one army had to defeat another army when it was “dug in,” i.e. the need to run at machine guns, cannons, tanks and the use of mines, biological weapons, aircraft and so forth, and the lives lost through making such gains.

Then you have folk writing that the British are a poor military fighting force and the like, upon your threads, in the face of such accomplishments as fighting the fight of WWI and winning. Two plus two, usually makes four to my mind. If the Brits believed and carried through with exploit the winning of WWI, you should be very cautious and wise and realize that if they could do that, why could they not carry out such feats in the future and therefore, not write such as that written above. Not to mention, a lack of having a little knowledge and understanding of the weapons that we have and continue to develop, like the joint venture of the F35 and various other - break neck speed products. The Harrier may have retired, but I do believe he was away in some secret wilderness teaching his son the ways of war.
For anyone that does not believe in God or believe that he does not have a soft spot for the Israelis and Anglo-Saxons, please, type in YouTube: the British Centurion medium tank. One hundred and fifty Russian tanks vs. two Centurions - I think you need a little God in such a situation.

Anonymous said...

I loved or admired greatly, a fine Texan preacher that has sadly passed away, that was in the war for the South Pacific. He was one of only a handful of survivors from his particular division or company, I cannot quite remember, yet, either way, the loss of life fighting “dug in,” troops was indeed deemed unacceptable and thus, the answer the USA gave, was the atomic bombs, which after all, did end the war.

One of my grandfathers was a Japanese prisoner of war and he had a nasty facial scar gained from that particular period. You do not see or hear much about the Common Wealth fighting the Jap's during WWII, it is all about the USA in the regular media; however, we were all in the thick of that mix too.

So, I verge on demonizing the USA; however, to the Japanese, you probably came across as demons long before you decided to cut off their oil supply.

To conclude, who is it that is laughing now? Well, Tokyo does look like something out of a sci-fi novel. They are one of most technologically advanced nations in the world, yea, creative, industrious, commercial, and have a well-disciplined military. Not to mention, our great desire for them to come to the UK and give our people jobs.
I get an inkling, that in one hundred years, history teachers will teach that the UK’s moves to not support its industrious north in times of need was indeed the undoing of that great nation.

“England is nothing anymore, a tool of the USA,” may not be far wrong, if the government does not intervene in the north and get some industries fired up again.

Furthermore, I think I should leave my judgemental attitudes to the stews of my own mind concerning Jimmy Boyle, especially with him having such an awesome reputation. I just could not leave the forbidden fruit alone. However, it is so easy to add two to another two and make four. Yet, he may have moved to the Mediterranean, for its sun, food, and culture; however, it has long been known that Monaco has many tax loopholes for British citizens. One being, the Steam Boat travel allowance, which still holds true to this very day.

I thought such writings were behind me, not to mention, such as them that are upon your threads - I am fading away – spiritually. I bet you wonder how to take me and how I actually desire to be taken i.e. seriously or light-heartedly, i.e. like some kind of strange comedian from the “Northern Clubs,” or something. Vic and Bob come to mind. Yea, worse still, with moving into my take on Ezekiel’s WWIII. Hey, I know that that is moving far off the beaten track and no doubt some wonder how far I am from that admission to the mental health hospital, even so, honestly, I do just love to write and do I have a great hope of being able to contribute something in the future to one of our great canons. Therefore, the chance to write, no matter how wild the connections are, I seem to stupidly take.

Anonymous said...

I have learned a lot mind through such as contributing to your threads, however, as I state I thought that I was beyond such as my great guesswork. Nevertheless, what I have learned is that yes, truly, the university system of learning is totally valid and ever so valuable; despite, being about ninety percent useless - concerning contents and teaching methods. However, my meaning is, even though we lack greatly in being able to teach our citizens how to master a subject and thus, thereby, be professional, and a further, even though, university level work requires quotes and sources, I have learned that if you want to comment and write upon a subject and be completely credible, you should take your sources from the original sources of data. That said, nonetheless, the need for quotes and sources at university is the start of where I have reached concerning my new found understanding of how to write upon subjects and have one's writings have the utmost credibility. For, with the age of the World Wide Web, I read so much stuff about say, a given subject and therefore, with contradictions and such, you do wonder what the truth actually is, for much is the opinions of men and this is especially true of the subject of history. Take my statement that Cleveland is Old Norse, like Iceland and Greenland. To be honest, I cannot remember how I came to such a conclusion, for I read that much stuff – I get lost and I am lost in the matrix of information and its mediums. For, I read the other day, that Cleveland was actually old English and means - High Cliff Land.
My conclusion is that I am returning to a simple life of religion, for, that is another point, it does not take a genius to understand that men that confess religion should act in certain given ways that are a little beyond such as my writings upon your threads. Yes, indeed, I am going to make some corrections on the “Why the Scottish Hate the English,” thread and rap it up and move on, having learned much mind, and that you should know, i.e. some things good do come forth from your writings. Moreover, I was racist, I will apologize for that, for, the meat of the argument was not what I have stated, but something else.

Anonymous said...

It is due to leaving the rudiments of Christianity that would have me to promote such as Max Keiser. Do not get me wrong, I like Max Keiser a great deal; however, I have only been following him for six months or less, via watching the Keiser Report and even there, Max can be rotten, spiteful, and vulgar and he does have an uncanny distaste for The Old Engels and co – or is it…? Conversely, the lovely Stacy Herbert seems to bear the Anglo-Saxons, which can quieten one’s breast. However, I was looking at Keiser’s War Report and there I did find open swearing and the like and such as that which I would not usually promote. That said, he certainly seems to know how global economics, commerce and the like actually play out. Why he moves so strangely, who knows, for he would not have to, i.e. His work is sound enough, without his great additions of wit and humour, that like most others, naturally move in areas of depravitiy, and thus, truly reveals one really has not got it together after all.

I told you I could do between two thousand and three thousand words per day. I do hope you are not bored.

Well, concerning Capitalism, there is something else that I have realized and it is that only with age do you think on tax and start to understand how it works and what it is that is actually going on. For, someone of my age, when I hear commentators going on about a Mansion tax, 50p tax, a Granny tax, Pasty Tax, and a Charity Tax, it seems cheap, i.e. I hope to have more hip things on my mind. However, I realize, that we do go around in cycles with age and I am at the bottom rungs, where as such as above does not seem important; however, with age, no doubt, you realize and become more and more aware of how much one is actually being taxed and its importance.
I write “forty to fifty percent,” however, when you add it all up we are been taxed to death, in more ways than one. VAT, Corporation Tax, Tax On Earnings, National Insurance, Road Tax, Toll Road, Tunnel and Bridge Tax, Car Insurance, House Insurance, Health Insurance, Council Tax, CO2 Tax, Aviation Tax, £125,000 Tax, Fuel Tax, Company Car Tax, Parking Your Car Tax, Congestion Tax and who actually knows what other taxes there are. When and where is this all going to end? In addition, folk write “’coming down with a crash,’ Oh no not again?!” Do you work for the public sector or something? Do you not see what is happening to our nation – we are being raped – openly; and folk more than likely think – “Oh no, what a head-case – he believes in such things as autocracies.”
Friends, do you not see how happy go lucky we are…? We Brits, more than likely, will not pay back the moneys that we owe and the USA, more than likely, will never pay the amount they owe, and what is at the root of the problem - our democratic systems. Then we have the gall to condemn certain other nations and push - to make them just like us; however, our houses are not in order and they can clearly see that and thus, we hold no credibility to others any more than any others. To finish, Our Al Capone ways, will be back before long.

Anonymous said...

Yet, Peter, I realize you may simply have been writing in a light-hearted spirit.

You hear our old chiefs say along the lines of “we need to create a society that is going to breed entrepreneurs.” Entrepreneurs!!! Have you viewed that little list I have written above and actually contemplated its depth and width? I would not start a business in an environment like ours if you paid me hard currency. And folk in the north think things like – “the country hasn’t really forgotten about us, we may have seen some hard days; yet, we will back on our feet again soon.” With lists like the above!!! The north will never recover when the government has the people in such debt ridden strangle holds. Tax, Tax, Tax!!! That is their game. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“What can we do, we have to pay our public servants.” By very definition, they are called public servants, yet, we give them a king’s ransom compared to the private sector. If those in charge had given, the public sector workers a servant’s pay, we would still have great mines and giant manufacturing complexes, and under our declared Capitalism, the hardcore capitalists among us would have been truly glorified and furthermore, within our society, just as they should indeed be under such a framework as Capitalism. Yet, no, the north is dying on its feet, children are sick - in more ways than one, folk are committing suicide, there are no jobs, no one can afford an education and to add, every one hates the Anglo-Saxons, because the city of London is the fraud capital of the world, by which, the captains of capitalism work their magic of raping the world of its honey, for the sake of a few.

Anonymous said...

“The bankers get one million pound bonuses.” That type of banker is investing trillions of dollars and in the process is been rewarded with about one percent of the profits. That is capitalism – would you want such a person to make you £50,000 on your house and then pay him or her £1…? No, more than likely not, you would feel terrible that the person should do all of the work and you gain all of the profits. However, it does not really matter what I write, and despite my show of such simplistic logic, we still have ventured down another path. Once again, what is at the heart of the matter? It is capitalism and democracy, i.e. the labour party have made sure that the public sector workers have been kept sweet with moneys and perks. This has been in order to promote their chances of getting the public sector workers much needed votes, that is thus in order to remain in power and have a little of the sweet honey that I write of , for themselves.

By the way, do not worry; I am still probably in your head-case category, for I will share with you a little more, for I do even believe in a Theocracy. Rest assured – totally out there, mixing with them - deemed very bonkers.

I even know where Tu Pac’s gun has been buried.

And that is not a rant. Yet, may be a little of that strange northern humour. “Our shoes are bollards, stairwells, kerbs – Banksy!!!” I jumped four foot nine over a sleeping cat yesterday- Banksy!!!.”

I do not really know where Tu Pac’s gun has been buried; however, I do hear of a person staying in the local mental health hospital that does indeed know of the exact location.

Oh, the poor university teaching methods… My findings are only in the particular subjects that I study, which simply, would come under the ways of business and its subsequent departments.

Pod

David said...

So we think this is an unsophisticated person rather than a sophisticated bot?

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David said...

You're making my point.

Chris Rinaldi said...

I haven't the time to scribe a novel-length reply, but I appreciate your use of logic, facts, and common sense, dear Brit. I clicked the "next blog" button out of curiosity and stumbled upon your blog. It's rather enlightening. Thanks for posting.
-Chris

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