However, this kind of egalitarian thinking seems to be an anathema to a lot of seriously wealthy people. They appear to believe that it is their God-given right to bend the tax rules, to evade, to dodge, to sequester, to utilise tax havens. They walk a narrow line between lawfulness and illegality - often employing fancy lawyers and consultants to exploit loopholes. It is an unpleasant kind of social irresponsibility though some might simply call it selfishness or greed. Thank heavens not all wealthy people conduct their financial affairs in this reprehensible manner.
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer is a fellow called Rishi Sunak - at least I think that is how his first name is spelt. It could easily be Richy given his personal wealth. In the last few weeks, it has transpired that Sunak and his wife have been using several devices to reduce their tax bills. It seems that an anonymous whistleblower has flagged up their connivance and Sunak is apparently furious about this. He has demanded an enquiry and got one!
I find this utterly flabbergasting. It's like a bank robber complaining about being grassed up by a police informer. Instead of getting all antsy about being found out, Sunak should be apologising to the nation and maybe doing the right thing by resigning from high office. Incidentally, yesterday he was issued with a fine by the London Metropolitan Police Service for attending at least one illegal party at Number 10 Downing Street during the height of COVID restrictions in the summer of 2020.
Until very recently, Sunak was being touted as our next prime minister after Johnson inevitably bites the dust. Given recent tax revelations, it now seems highly improbable that he will ever be allowed to rise to the top.
Unfortunately, Parliament appears to attract a particularly venal and immoral class of individual - one only has to think back to the expenses scandal from 10-12 years ago when almost all MPs were caught with their fingers in the till. Mr Sunak's behaviour in respect of tax avoidance certainly grates on all of us that are forced to cough up his (and previous recent chancellors) massive increases in taxes. For such a supposedly intelligent individual he appears to be totally ignorant of the Laffer curve in relation to tax take vs tax rates.ReplyDelete
The word "venal" is very apt in this instance. I should incorporate it within my everyday vocabulary. Thanks for calling by Will.Delete
I am happy to pay my part, as should we all. We all benefit from roads, hospitals, schools, etc. Not paying your fair share is trashy. Imagine if we all shared what a better world this would be.ReplyDelete
John Lennon had the right idea, I think, though I know nothing about his tax affairs.Delete
Venal also describes most of our U.S. politicians and so many of the wealthy(although not all) who believe that the rest of us should pay our fair share, not them.ReplyDelete
I would like to think that Bill Gates is one of the good guys re. taxation responsibilities but I might be wrong.Delete
Noises are so often made about 'tightening tax laws' but do we see a flood of money flowing towards government once such laws are 'tightened'. Of course not and most governments are beholden to the rich. I don't know if you have political party donor disclosure. Ours are so weak. Donate $10,000 to a party and it must be disclosed. Donate $1,000 ten times and it doesn't.ReplyDelete
The law must be more clear on tax and the more rules and regulations are enacted, the more loopholes seem to appear. It all needs paring back to the simple, income in, taxed.
Simplicity of taxation appears to be an anathema to all recent UK Chancellors of the Exchequer, from Gordon Brown onwards. My wife was for many years a Tax Manager in firms of Chartered Accountants, and saw the volume of UK tax regulations explode until it now fills many thousand of pages. We certainly need drastic simplification - the fewer the rules the less opportunity for smart accountants to discover and exploit loopholes. My own preference is for simple flat tax, at least that way everyone with income from whatever source has skin in the game of government spending, and that there is no such thing as a free lunch in that respect.Delete
Eat the rich!ReplyDelete
Ugh! Only if the rancid flavour was masked by curry sauce.Delete
You are being monitored, Neil.ReplyDelete
Ye have been for some time, I'm sorry to tell ye.
Rishi Sunak is Bilderberg and you are out of your depth, laddie.
Get back to crossing the Pennines in a hailstorm with Miss Punny Pennie by your side, stopping in a windswept bothie for a flask of coffee and a Wee Cuddle.
*You're just a man - a poyum by len pennie.*
YouTube. Miss PunnyPennie.
*What is the Bilderberg Group? Decoded.*
YouTube. Al Jazeera English.
Soused in whisky at 1.06am?Delete
I am as sober as Judge Roy Bean, saloon keeper in Val Verde County, Texas.Delete
Justice of the peace and the only Law that side of the Rio Grande.
If Miss Punny Pennie poured me a glass of chilled Pouilly-Fuisse, I might just say Yes.
I'm too old to say, Yes Yes Yes YES !
Where there's a will there's a way.Delete
Many of the freedom idiots think that they should not have to pay tax. they seem to think that roads, hospitals, schools can be taken care of by "suckers".ReplyDelete
Maybe there should be a Suckers Political Party in which honesty is the guiding principle.Delete
I wonder about cause and effect in this context. Are politicians (I don't like to generalise but for clarity and shortness I will in this comment) greedy and immoral from the start, is that why they become politicians? Or do they start out all full of hope and idealism, certain they can make their country a better place and improve the lives of their fellow citizens, and then they spiral downwards with the privileges and benefits of their career?ReplyDelete
I would tend to think that it is the second version. Power corrupts.Delete
The second version, led strongly by those that came before them and still have influence "don't upset the apple cart or we will see you OUT"Delete
What about (i) making additional contributions into your pension in order to avoid higher the rate income tax band or even (ii) paying ALL your earnings into your pension pot - perhaps in a year you can afford it because of an inheritance - to avoid paying ANY income tax at all, and discovering to your surprise (iii) that as a result the DSS consider you a low income family and insists on paying you several thousand pounds in child tax credits. These are (or once were) all within the rules for ordinary people and proportionately a higher percentage of their wealth than Sunak has gained. I know people who have so benefited. Is that walking a narrow line between lawfulness and illegality and exploiting loopholes? It's the incompetent idiots in government that make up the rules.ReplyDelete
I didn't know about that Tasker. Thanks for explaining. It makes it all seem more terrible.Delete
It always boggles my mind to read things like this. It's not like they can't afford to pay their taxes and since the rest of us have to so should they be made to.ReplyDelete
The ironic thing is that Sunak is in charge of the nation's tax arrangements!Delete
Boris and Rishi said they had not done anything wrong. Why won't anyone believe them?ReplyDelete
Because other people are peevish.Delete
Meike has just expressed my thoughts on the subject, word for word.ReplyDelete
Though I would add that some people may be originally drawn by the kudos of being in Politics, and are corrupted by the sycophants they rub shoulders with along the way.
In my opinion, Britain's politicians are generally less corrupt and more scrutinised than in most other countries - but that is not saying much.Delete
It could be worse. Here across the pond, the bottom 50% of earners pay no tax at all and instead try to dream up ways for the other 50% to pay their “fair share.”ReplyDelete
See Debby's comment below.Delete
The inequity exists here. Multibillion dollar companies receive all sorts of tax breaks which are meant to trickle down to help 'the little people'. It doesn't trickle down, but boosts the companies profits...which benefits shareholders (or the already rich). I would add to Ed's comment by saying it is not 50% vs 50%. It is the middle class getting squeezed by the very wealthy and the needy.ReplyDelete
The seriously rich make up a small percentage of any country's population.Delete
That wouldn't even be news in America. I mean- did we not elect Donald Trump who would not even share his tax returns, who subtly bragged that he didn't pay much in taxes? And people just laughed and applauded and said, "What a clever man!"ReplyDelete
I have to admit that rich Americans are world leaders in tax avoidance. How the hell did Trump get away with it? How is he still getting away with it?Delete
There's a certain segment of the population (conservatives) who believe taxes are merely hurdles to be avoided. I suppose they justify that thinking by believing the government wastes their money anyway. It's all very cynical.ReplyDelete