Further to Dr. Alf’s reblogging of the excellent FT article entitled “Cadbury – the Great Tax Fudge“, I would like to share my views.
The bulk of the tax havens in the world were set up by the UK and are a relic of our colonial and imperial past.
During and after the banking crisis billions were laundered and transferred to these tax havens and then transmuted into gold, fine art and investment property.
Throughout the world at least £32 trillion GBP lies hidden offshore and it is not coming back.
The rich and the powerful have always been able to pay for the best possible tax advice whilst the UK Government pays its tax inspectors a pittance by comparison and reduces their numbers savagely.
So for all the angry rhetoric from Cameron and the political elite the reality is that “little people pay taxes (Source: the late Leona Helmsley) whilst plutocrats and smart operators pay next to nothing and always will.
The solution to tax avoidance is very simple, lower taxes to competitive levels to destroy the incentive for people to fiddle them and hide money offshore as Singapore, Switzerland, Panama, Monaco, Andorra and Lichtenstein do. That would bring much of it back onshore.The reason this does not happen is because with high taxes and poor oversight over programs, money can be wasted and misappropriated by those in control.
Currently Singapore delivers services for 1/3rd the cost we seem to manage and we are 17th in the world for value per taxpayer pound.
The reasons for this are not just down to cock-ups, incompetence and waste and these need to be independently investigated by forensic accountants completely unconnected with Government contracts, thus excluding the Big 4.
If you were to subject all Civil Service Mandarins, Government Ministers and Quango heads to a full independent and regular audit of all their financial affairs including wives, mistresses, children, relatives and their immediate associates you would discover very quickly the true picture.
Thus the politicians including MPs who in many cases have been found to be a bunch of expense fiddlers and shysters, have a vested interest in keeping the present unfair and uncompetitive tax system as it is.
Until we say enough, in the way that the Brazilian people have, the present system will remain thus crystallizing inequality into two sets of people such as the ones I observed yesterday at Royal Ascot, plutocrats in air conditioned Bentleys and private helicopters sitting in luxury in the Royal enclosure and the great unwashed masses in their fascinators and cheap outfits, slumming it in the overcast sky, guzzling cheap lager and devouring burgers in the vast expanse of grass known as the Silver Ring.