Nope! I won’t be talking about parliamentary expenses, because even though many politicians are still on the take, we the electorate have just about done that topic to death. So today I thought I’d touch on the sensitive topic of tax evasion, I thought I’d start with a little quote;
‘The respected Financial Times columnist Gillian Tett wrote a year or two back that it was deplorable that no banker was sent to prison following the 2008 big bust. Today, bonuses may have fallen a tad, but failure is still being handsomely rewarded. Beyond pay, many of Britain’s biggest earners are expert tax avoiders.
For instance, one private company with a sole owner declared an income last year of £12 million, but paid just £315,000 in corporation tax, after writing off ‘administrative expenses’ of nearly £11 million. Shocking, is it not? The owner, a Mr Blair, apparently conducts his business operations across several continents through a network of companies, most of which escape having to publish accounts.
Their activities are perfectly legal. But they create a stench in the nostrils to compete with any banker’s body odour.
This Mr Blair could not, surely, be any relation of the Tony Blair who said in a 1994 speech when campaigning to become Opposition leader: ‘We must tackle abuse of the tax system. For those who can employ the right accountants, [it] is a haven of scams, City deals and profits.
‘We should not make our tax rules a playground for revenue avoiders and tax abusers who pay little or nothing, while others pay more than their share.
His company Windrush Ventures is a pace-setter for those who earn vast rewards while contributing an astonishingly small proportion to the Britain he once governed.’
Alas, that much to the inordinate glee of the Daily Mail, it was indeed the self-same Labour politician. Who having twice been voted into government now saw fit to live (well out of the way of the common Englander) much as his forbears (amongst them Margaret Thatcher) had lived.
Now Labour would have us believe, that they are suffused with horror and indignation at the sight of Steffano Pessina stoutly asserting that to elect Labour would be ‘bad for business’. Bad for business Mr Pessina? By what stretch of the imagination? Mr Pessina elaborates;
‘If they acted as they speak, it would be a catastrophe. The problem is, would they act that way or not? One thing is to threaten and to shout, but it is completely different to be in charge and to manage the country day to day.’
Deary me Mr Pessina, does the notion of Labour in power panic you that much? Were you not told about the hundreds of Labour politicians who trooped merrily through the yes gate in parliament, rubber stamping further Conservative austerity measures? Obviously not, or like the long-suffering electorate you would know beyond any shadow of a doubt that Labour has now become a party that are perfectly at ease, with stoutly declaring one stance, whilst passionately embracing another!