Thursday, 21 October 2010

Politicians support Tax Avoidance

Yet again we have seen crocodile tears about opposing tax avoidance. The chancellor George Osbourne, whilst casually throwing an additional one million people onto the dole, claimed he would crack down on tax avoidance. But he continues to avoid taxing the real culprits of the recession and increase in public debt.

Mr Osborne, himself apparently supported by a £4m offshore trust, a form of legal tax avoidance, has apparently allowed Vodafone to write off outstanding tax bill of £6bn. According to Johann Hari in the Independent ( bankers have just awarded themselves £7bn in bonuses for their part in causing the recession.

Nor are Labour politicians free from blame. As Mark Thomas pointed out last year (see him on You Tube) Government buildings sold off under PFI are paying rent to offshore companies paying no tax. These include the Treasury building where George Osborne hatched his plans. It also includes Home Office buildings, hospitals and even the Albert Bridge House tax office. So the HMRC tax collectors, who are paid bonuses for the tax demands they send out (whether or not they are correct), are paying rent to tax avoiders.

This Con Dem budget will push the country back into recession. The job losses will continue into the private sector as sub-contractors and temporary staff are the first to be laid off by local government and the NHS. The overall loss of tax and additional unemployment benefit will cost more than the savings made and I predict that the public deficit will go up, not down, in the next 4 years. Surely it would be so much better to tax the tax avoiders and use the money to invest in new Green jobs, as the Green Party suggested at the general election?

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