Monday, 9 February 2015

living by wits with the new fact free political diet


The latest tax avoidance allegations rippling through the City are showing how certain politicians live by their wits. There's a stern message from the Prime Minister about how no government has done more than the current one to tackle tax evasion and regressive tax avoidance.

Maybe that's the same government that didn't chase when Vodafone avoided most of a tax bill after its £84bn windfall from selling its stake in Verizon? The curious reasoning was that Vodafone with its London headquarters and 19 million UK subscribers isn't British, it's based in the Netherlands.

Perhaps its same government that changed that coffee-shop chain's tax situation? They were also based in Netherlands. Then Chancellor Osborne and Lord Green created a new territorial taxation scheme, with a modernised Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) regime which trumped the Dutch option. Certain multinationals could move to UK for their European operation but then only be required to pay tax on their UK 'royalties'. Worth gaming the system to obtain this advantage for companies of a certain size?

Could it be the same government that has allowed a big mail order company to have 8 major distribution centres in the UK, yet that company seems to be able to operate from Jean-Claude Juncker's well constructed tax haven of Luxembourg?

And it's the same government that appointed the ex-head of the bank providing the Swiss tax avoidance advice to be minister of trade and investment to Cameron's cabinet until 2013.

Cameron's economic measures seem to be extending to the truth.

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