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Thursday, 5 January 2012
Cameron On Tax Avoidance
I see that David Cameron has jumped onto the anti tax avoidance bandwagon, now seemingly rather popular with our political "elite".
Cameron was at a "PM Direct" event with small business this morning. The Huffington Post quotes him as saying that the government needs a "tougher approach" to tax avoidance (tax avoidance is legal, tax evasion is illegal).
He stated that HMRC needed to make sure big companies paid "their fair share".
"I think we need a tougher approach and one of the things we’re going to be looking at this year is whether there’s going to be a more general anti-avoidance power that HMRC can use, particularly on very wealthy individuals."
Cameron added that HMRC should think about being "business friendly to small business".
A few points:
1 Tax avoidance is legal, and has been part of the system since day one.
Why now are our political "elite" suddenly so vexed about it, especially as so many of them are on the boards of the companies that seek to minimise their tax payments via legitimate tax arrangements?
The "elite" have been part and parcel of tax avoidance schemes employed by large companies since day one.
2 What exactly does Cameron mean by "fair share"? Either you are paying the taxes as prescribed by the law or you are not.
3 Taxes, and HMRC, all come under the control of our elected representatives; it is time that they accepted their responsibility for the mess that our tax system is in.
4 "Business friendly to small business" starts with cutting government red tape and simplifying the tax system. When exactly does the government intend to start doing this?
Tax does have to be taxing.
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