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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Monday, 19 May 2008
The battle between Tesco and the Guardian, over an article that the Guardian published relating to Tesco's alleged tax arrangements, has taken another twist over the weekend.
The Guardian now admits libel, and has formally offered amends. However, the Guardian made it clear that it would strenuously defend a malicious falsehood claim by the company.
Yet, despite this, the Guardian has chosen to stand astride a self constructed "moral soapbox" and displays a remarkable degree of smugness.
Its defence papers state:
"With profits before tax of over £2.5BN, Tesco has no possible commercial or ethical justification or need for SDLT tax avoidance.
Tesco must at all material times have been aware that many of its customers and shareholders would reasonably deplore tax avoidance of any kind."
What complete and utter crap!
Tax avoidance is legal, and commercially logical.
We all practice it (eg via use of personal allowances, ISAs etc).
What gives the Guardian the right or "moral" superiority to dictate to us that tax avoidance is unethical, or that the shareholders or customers of Tesco would deplore tax avoidance?
Is the Guardian saying that none of its journalists, shareholders, board or readers practice tax avoidance?
As already noted, we all do!
Maybe it should get its head out of its own backside, stop smelling its own farts, and take a good look at reality for once.
This misplaced and odious smugness from the Guardian forms part of the ongoing drip drip drip of negative publicity being spewed forth by the government, their lackeys and HMRC against tax avoidance.
The government is broke and is desperately looking for ways to find more money to feed its insatiable appetite. Once they have broken the backs of the more elaborate and expensive tax avoidance measures, they will come after the more mundane (ones that you, I and the Guardian staff/board/readers use).
Tax does have to be taxing.
The New Statesman, Britain's leading political magazine is delighted to announce that HMRC Is Shite has been nominated for a New Media Award in the category of Campaign For Change. The campaign for change award will go to the individual or organisation that has most effectively influenced opinions and behaviour through the use of new media technology. The winner of this award will champion a cause and provide information and tools to instigate change.
The full press release can be downloaded here.
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