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Friday, 8 February 2013

Tax Avoidance Hurts Us All

I read this article entitled "The Economic Case Against Tax Dodging" on the blog Another Angry Voice, with great interest and agree with almost everything the author says. Almost everything. The one thing I disagree with is the suggestion that Central Government can provide anything other than a very narrow range of services such as police, fire and emergency service, health care (with qualification) and defence/security, efficiently. Whitehall is the classic case of a bloated and inefficient bureaucracy, with duplication of activity one of the most rampant causes for the inability to actually deliver anything on budget or within reasonable timescales.

They are the very people responsible for the award of mega million pound contracts to companies that are at the very spearhead of the list of "tax avoiders" which, as the author of the article I've linked to above identifes, costs the UK taxman £120 billion a year. Not only are they avoiding contributing to the National Economy and government, but they are then robbing the taxpayer blind to provide services the Civil Service is contracting out to them while still retaining all the staff they employ to provide the service they no longer provide.

There are two problems here. The tax avoidance by the mega-multi-nationals is one, the incompetence of Whitehall and its refusal to cut out the duplications, the conflicts and the empire building that bloats every Department of State is the other. Even if we could collect half the avoided tax, and reduce Whitehall's bloated budgets by as little as 10% (I know they calim they are doing this - but the real numbers give them the lie) we could get the country out of debt and we could get the economy going again.

Time, I think, to get tough on the tax avoiding and on the bloated Whitehall Mandarins.


  1. The UK government have said that tax avoidance is out of their hands, in that they are following global rules. Rules that were agreed by all countries. Can one country break these agreements? Many probably want to, and we're now listening to UK PM David Cameron saying he is going into the G8 pushing for it high on the agenda.

    I wouldn't have thought countries or corporations (those that aren't socialist) would seriously push for it, because they are so close to the benefits.

  2. So they all say, but the German's managed to buy a CD with the details of tax avoiders on it from a Swiss Bank and are now taking action ... I suspect others will soon have to consider doing the same. The problem couls still be resolved by simply agreeing a 'universal tax rate for everywhere - that would remove the advantage of using a 'tax haven' at a stroke.

  3. You cannot have a purge of tax avoidance and a slimming down of the civil service, or a continuation of the current tax system, hideously complicated as it is. Of course the government could actually spend a lot less than it does, but as you know, bureaucracies grow like topsy. Also, tax avoidance isn't the same as evasion, it is perfectly legal. However, listen to the bleating of the corrupt political class and you would think the end of the world is nigh. Stop spending OUR money so much, and it won't be such a problem! You never know - we may achieve some economic growth...

    Slim Jim