Complete bollocks Sir Simon

Come along now, you used to edit a newspaper.

But fairness cuts both ways. Today\’s report on the tax leniency shown by the Revenue towards big corporations indicates that toughness towards the poor is not replicated by toughness towards the rich. The estimate was of some £25bn in taxes gone missing, the bulk of it concealed by an insistence on \”commercial confidentiality\”, otherwise known as incompetent secrecy.

You wouldn\’t have let the most junior cub reporter get away with that mangling of the truth.

There is £25 billion of tax which may or may not be due. Which is in the system for it to be decided, possibly by the courts, as to whether it is due or not.

What rather grates is that Jenkins is a great civil libertarian: he does not say that as and when the State accuses us of something we should just go \”It\’s a fair cop Guv\’\”.

He says that we have a system to decide these things, the presumption of innocence, a court system, hearings, sight of the evidence and even the ability to say \”Err, no, you\’re wrong even if you are a bureaucrat\”.

Vodaphone paid just £1.25bn towards a tax bill that should have been some £6bn.

No, it didn\’t.

I\’m really looking forward to the NAO report. I think this lie has gone on long enough, hasn\’t it?

6 comments on “Complete bollocks Sir Simon

  1. I’m really looking forward to the NAO report. I think this lie has gone on long enough, hasn’t it?

    It is a bit irritating. Both of these claims are incorrect:

    “The estimate was of some £25bn in taxes gone missing”

    “Vodaphone paid just £1.25bn towards a tax bill that should have been some £6bn”

    Surely the same (underlying) point could be made with the truth?

  2. There really is a book to be written on the contribution of narrative to politics & journalism.

    So much has been based on these numbers, they’ve become so much part of the ‘narrative’ of the tax avoidance debate, their legitimacy has become independent of their accuracy. And if the NAO report completely rubbishes them? What difference will that make? The NAO report won’t fit into the narrative so will be sidelined. We’ll still be hearing the numbers when the report’s mouldering, forgotten, in the archives.

    There’s almost a religious element here. It’s like the ‘loaves & the fishes’. It doesn’t matter how many loaves & fishes fed how many people. or even if their were loaves & fishes or people to be fed with them in the first place. It’s the parable & what it ‘teaches’ us that’s important. In this case, that corporations are tax avoiding scumbags.

    In this context a NAO report will be an heretical document.

  3. It is the season of scapegoats. The fact that we just borrowed too much on buying shite cannot be acknowledged. Long live denial!

  4. The anti-business thing is starting to get on my ****. How can people continue to confuse corporations with rich people?

    Do people really think that the wealth that these ‘rich people’ have is just sitting around doing nothing?

    If we don’t have trade and commerce we have no wealth and you can kiss your hospital bed good-bye ‘cos there won’t be any taxes. Simple.

    Ignorance, envy and spite make us lose sight of the fact that the governement take on a large salary might be better than corporation tax on that salary not being paid and being retained profit. There are many cut off my nose to spite my face opinions out there.

    And now I have to put all the PC reminders in. Fraudsters to jail. White collar thieves to jail. Tax evaders to jail.

    The rich are not permanently rich nor permanently the same people. Ditto at the other end. People and families are mobile. It is part of our system.

    I can’t take current definitions of poverty seriously. Poverty is not having less than a percentage.

    What we are building up to is the next great discussion as we take care of real poverty by wealth transfer within our current social protection system:

    Is economic equality (above and beyond eliminating true deprivation) desirable per se?
    Is is government’s job to achieve it through taxation and reallocation?
    and
    Can they if they try?
    What are the effects (above all undesired) of enforced economic equality?

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