The UK is a great nation. I am not joking. Despite what you may have read in the Daily Mail, by and large, the UK is an advanced, civilised, law-abiding country and it is a wonderful place to be born and live. I am certainly proud to be British and for all its faults I love my country.
One of the fundamental reasons that the UK is a relative success both economically and socially is the social contract between the state and its citizenry. This provides, among other things, that those who can afford to do so, pay taxes to the state so that it can deliver the services and infrastructure that ensure that the nation as a whole can prosper. However, our success is placed at risk when those who have benefited from the amenable business environment that the social contract ensures, decide that they should no longer fully contribute.
For copyright compliance, to watch the clip you should enter the password: imincorrigible
Tax evasion and avoidance have reached epidemic proportions in the UK and the US. Many of the wealthiest engage in aggressive avoidance where they can but there are some notable exceptions such as the author J K Rowling. Unlike Tory donor Lord Ashcroft, friend of David Cameron Gary Barlow and countless others, Rowling has not changed her domicile or entered into aggressive tax avoidance schemes. Last month Rowling was reported in the Sunday Times to be worth $1bn. She could easily employ a host of advisers to ensure that she pays little or no UK taxes if she chose. Nonetheless, she is proud to pay her (presumably huge) tax bill and she is explicit about the reasons for doing so. She is the social contract personified.
Those that avoid or evade tax have forgotten or wilfully ignored the benefits that the nation’s largesse has contributed to their success. Could any business or individual thrive in the UK without a social safety net, healthcare provision, an educated workforce, law enforcement, transport networks, environmental protection and the countless other centrally provided support systems that our taxes deliver. All of these things are required for corporations and entrepreneurs to be successful.
Too much wealth in too few hands distorts the way we view success. Of course hard work and ingenuity should be able to thrive and be handsomely rewarded but we should never lose sight of the fact that everyone who has ever paid a penny in tax is also a stakeholder in the success of entrepreneurs and businesses that peddle their wares in the UK.
So when a wealthy tax avoider tells you “I got rich from hard work” ask them “whose?”.
- Housing the homeless – yes the answer really is this simple
- How Citigroup wrote the US budget and effectively repealed the Dodd-Frank bank reforms (video)
- Corporations are legally defined as people except when they commit a crime
- Regulation is why the Canadian banking system has had no financial crises in 150 years
- What has Goldman Sachs got in common with the new version of the Monopoly board game?
- Right-wing ideology: “government should never interfere with the free market (except when it suits conservatives)”
- Where Are The British Daily Show And Colbert Report?
- RNC claim thirty-five thousand ‘possible’ cases of voter fraud justifies their racist reforms but they’re wrong (again)
- Biased US supreme court strengthens wealthy donors’ influence on political parties
- Supreme Court declares racism is dead in America…..but they forgot to tell Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy…
- Thomas Piketty – Why we need a global wealth tax
- Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart on the 60 minutes gaff
- If you don’t like gays, don’t run a bed and breakfast
- The end of net neutrality is why everything that you enjoy on the internet is about to cost you more
- Gun Control Works and the Australian Experience Proves It
- NRA Conference Speakers Message To America: Fear Everything And Everyone
- The 24 hour news cycle gives us all heat but very little light
- Irrational Debate And A Misinformed Public: Wealth Inequality And Other Things We Don’t Have To Learn From America (Updated)
- Capitalism: serving God and Mammon?
- If you thought that 1,700 applications for 8 coffee shop jobs was bad you ain’t seen nothing yet!(imincorrigible.wordpress.com)
- James O’Brien shows UKIP supporters why facts matter
- Fruitcake or loony? Nigel Farage and UKIP get a kicking on Have I Got News For You
- ‘Matt’ from York is Ill-Informed and Angry but I Don’t Blame Him I Blame the BBC (And The Daily Mail)
- How banks have hoodwinked you over high frequency trading
- “Murdoch’s World” and praising fox like you should! (imincorrigible.wordpress.com)
- Lord Saatchi: Capitalism isn’t working (imincorrigible.wordpress.com)
- The “Rank Hypocrisy” Of Political Donations (imincorrigible.wordpress.com)
- Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism