So Ritchie was an accountant to poor people then? Or mean ones?

But let me also be clear, based upon my long experience as a tax practitioner, which I was before I became a tax campaigner, and during which earlier career I was responsible for the preparation of thousands of tax returns, I can genuinely say that I can’t recall seeing anyone give 10% of their income to charity. I can also only think of one instance of seeing a person give more than £10,000 to charity in a year.

Makes sense of course. Murphy Deeks Nolan\’s business was advising luvvies on how to claim for greasepaint.

At least that\’s what I conclude from their annual release of the artists\’ financial guide during the 90s.

52 comments on “So Ritchie was an accountant to poor people then? Or mean ones?

  1. I’d be inclined to think anyone giving away that much is generally giving it to “pet” charidees like Tony Blair (The Tony Blair’s Monstrous Ego Foundation) or Bill Gates (The I’m Not Evil Really Look I Do Charidee Foundation) and so on, rather than soup kitchen type stuff, that is, actually charity.

    Bottom line is, anyone who can afford to actually spunk away that much money has genuinely run out of shit to buy, which interestingly enough is proof that economic demand is not unlimited; i.e. at some level of production, we will run out of desire and start transforming productivity gains into leisure time.

    Which is nice.

  2. Come to think of it, it’s also proof that very wealthy people aren’t being driven by the profit motive, since their marginal utility of income has dropped to zero.

  3. Ian B

    While you make some valid points, I think it is offensive of you to say that Bill Gates Foundation is not pursuing genuinely charitable activities.

    Note, however, that I am not about to defend Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation…

  4. I’ve prepared many tax returns in my time. I’ve seen a fair proportion that give 5-10% of their net income to charity.

    In almost every case it went to a church.

  5. Neil, you make a good point.

    Our church treasurer would say something similar, though not all giving to the church goes exclusively for religious purposes. It’s tithing and for many people in that circle, it is just seen as a normal thing to do. And these people are in ordinary jobs – not squillionaires.

    Notable omission from Ritchie’s list of thousands of tax returns was the tax return of one Richard J Murphy. Why doesn’t he do the 10% thing?

    Confirms that his bleating for the poor is just that – bleating, cynically using them as a tool for political advancement.

    Much like the Toynbees of the world, he couldn’t give a toss about the poor.

  6. Churches aren’t charities though, are they? I mean, I know they got that legal status, but tithing to a church is just basically giving them money to keep themselves going, isn’t it?

    Like, if I’m a member of the Tim Worstall Appreciation Society, and I give it money to keep Tim Worstall in the style to which he is accustomed writing informative blog posts for me to enjoy.

    Not really giving soup to tramps is it? It’s just an informal subscription system with a bit of peer pressure thrown in.

  7. @ Ian B
    Just who do you think runs soup kitchens? Who provides the homeless with a meal and shower? Who sets up free youth clubs on “sink estates”?
    Yes, the churches.
    If there were any tramps left it would be giving soup to tramps.
    Most christians split their tithe between the “home church” and other charities such as, but not exclusively Christian Aid/Cafod/Tear Fund whose aim is to succour disaster victims and help the poorest to feed themselves. If every christian gave all his/her tithe to his/her “home church” the Church Treasurer wouldn’t know what to do.

  8. To me the whole discussion about “socially useful” organisations such as charities getting tax breaks is silly.

    1) it opens a whole word of ambiguity as to what the qualifications for getting said status should be and thus gives politicians power to dish out tax breaks to pet projects through rewriting the laws and bureaucrats power to decide who is or is not on the list. It’s like a recipe for legalised corruption

    2) it implies that the organisations not on these lists are less “socially useful” which is honestly offensive (and silly)

  9. @ Ian B
    “Bottom line is, anyone who can afford to actually spunk away that much money has genuinely run out of shit to buy, which interestingly enough is proof that economic demand is not unlimited; i.e. at some level of production, we will run out of desire and start transforming productivity gains into leisure time.”
    That is quite simply wrong. I know several people who tithe: none of them have run out of things to buy but they *choose* to give money to charity instead of spending it all on themselves.

  10. Yes, most of my clients who gave large charitable donations were churchgoers, usually of the evangelical sort.

    But the donations didn’t just go to the church; they were usually also big supporters of poverty charities at home and abroad.

    Plus, as others have said, the churches themselves give donations to other charities.

  11. I had one client who even fell foul of the old restriction on charity tax relief – he gave more than 100% of his income away.

    That was a one-off; his business had a bad year, his income for that tax year was low, but he’d kept up the same charitable standing orders.

    But with a 25% cap, that will become more common for people with variable incomes.

  12. I wonder if the government’s moves are aimed at Blair’s charity? Does that do anything other than pay for freebie first-class global travel for him and his ghastly wife?

  13. John77-

    That is quite simply wrong. I know several people who tithe: none of them have run out of things to buy but they *choose* to give money to charity instead of spending it all on themselves.

    The problem with counting religious donations is that purchasing a ticket to Heaven is more of the nature of deferred consumption than “giving money away charitably”. Anyone who thinks that an eternity in Hell might be the reward for insufficient holiness, and a low time preference, is going to see tithing as an enticing investment. So that doesn’t really answer my point.

    Outside the religious sphere, I was just observing that wealthy people do actually run out of consumption goods to buy. I think that’s a rather positive thing myself.

  14. @ Ian B
    I can’t think of anyone I know who thinks charitable giving buys one a ticket to heaven.

  15. I went several years giving more than 10% of my then much smaller income to a whole raft of charities, none church based, some local, some with a personal connection such as school fund raisers and funding a couple of people through a masters degree in housing and so on.

    I was not then nor am I now a higher rate payer, and it was all handled simply through Give As You Earn so no money needed for the likes of Ritchie to inspect my affairs!

  16. I live in Utah.

    Utah is 70% Mormon.

    About 45% of Mormons tithe. Most of those do so fully.

    That’s 10% of their income to charity right there.

    Utah is doing pretty well … there’s a lot of people making more than the rough equivalent of $150K and tithing $15K to charity.

    Note that this is tithing. Mormons are expected to give on top of tithing.

    Also, many Mormon business proprietors and partners tithe out of gross income rather than net income. Mormon accountants will tell them this is not what’s expected, but they will do so anyway because their parents did it that way.

    So … in my view a claim that he’s never seen anyone give that much to charity is … merely a lie.

  17. The problem with counting religious donations is that purchasing a ticket to Heaven is more of the nature of deferred consumption than “giving money away charitably”.

    Ian B: You can’t purchase a ticket to Heaven. You can’t afford the price. Fortunately, your ticket has been pre-paid – you only need to collect it.

  18. Dave Tufte (#21), I shouldn’t think he’s lying when he says he’s never seen anyone give that much to charity. More a reflection on the lack of Mormons in the Wandsworth arts scene.

  19. Ian B

    In my experience donations to churches are usually for the purpose of preventing a crumbling ruin from falling down.

  20. @ Frances
    That only applies to the CofE which has thousands of ancient churches which it isn’t permitted to scrap and replace with small, energy-efficient modern buildings. The Roman Catholics and the non-conformists have relatively few crumbling ruins.

  21. I’ve never read so much bollocks. Ever.

    And that’s saying something on here.

    argle fucking gargle.

    Even the banks weren’t giving more than a few grand.

    Are you all desperate tossers trying to dissemble anything anyone ever says that is true?

    wankers all

  22. Arnald,

    I would be a bit worried if the banks were giving more than a few grand. After all, it’s not their money.

  23. @ Frances
    Sorry: that reflects my experience which has included a number of crumbling buildings, one of which actually was a ruin due to ground subsidence which the local Socialist council slapped an order on so that we could not pull it down.

  24. May I disrupt this thread slightly? I don’t know how many people read these posts/threads, but I suggest that the fact that the sums of money sluiced in the direction of the charity favoured by that pretty marathon runner who died far outdistance those pledged to the Thusha appeal is an abomination. I cast no aspersions on the pretty marathon runner or her charity, but I am compelled to the view that were similar sums raised for young Thusha then the world would be a better place. If anyone here agrees, kindly spread the word…er, meme.

  25. Richard Murphy is a Quaker: it’s plausible to suppose that he’s done tax returns for other Quakers. As nonconformists, Quakers dislike tithing in its historical sense, but they believe in living simply and doing good works, so I would be surprised if a good number of them didn’t give a substantial portion of their income to charities. Perhaps the generous ones and Murphy’s clients are disjoint subsets.

  26. Arnald
    I see Lawrence is back on Murphy’s blog today. Are you as bored with you being Arnald as we are?

  27. I’ve never read so much bollocks.

    Even the banks weren’t giving more than a few grand.

    Hmm. You may not actually know what bollocks are. Which, thankfully, might prevent you from breeding.

    RBS, back in the day (as Frances may confirm, although I’m not sure it extended to the heathen wilderness of GM), used to do a double matching scheme for charity donations under GAYE. Up to £100 per month (so the charity got £300). Every single member of my, relatively small, team, gave £100 per month. Okay, we were strange. But, even by that single anecdote, Arnald is proven, once again, an ignorant git.

  28. Goldman used to, and may still, allow staff two weeks annually to biff awf and work for whichever charity they fancied. I always thought it was rather clever of management. Now, I’m less sure.

    On a separate but related note, I strongly object to the Secret Millionnaire: it’s just rich chaps buying feelgoods. Not that I have any objection to chaps, rich or otherwise, buying feelgoods. But I do object to the moral poseurship and the cheap sentimental manipulation.

  29. Murphy sold his business when he was 40 or 41. Someone who has made enough to retire at 40 is either a genius like Dyson or horrendously overpaid. The people who horrendously overpay accountants to do their tax returns are not the generous guys/gals who like giving to charities, but those who are paying them to find ways around paying tax.
    That Murphy cannot recall any of his clients giving 10% of income to charity says more about his choice of clients than it does about the generosity of the remainder of the population.
    BTW I once (before I was banned for pointing out his errors once too often) tried to post an entry on his site asking him to recommend his readers to tithe. He suppressed it.

  30. “Arnald,

    I would be a bit worried if the banks were giving more than a few grand. After all, it’s not their money.”

    Frances, he knows that, he does after all campaign for the Richard Murphy’s “all money belong State ” hypothesis.

  31. “After all, it’s not their money.”

    But it’s their money when they want to spent a hundred times their basic charitable budget on wooing filthy money from despots and arseholes?

    Are you folk for real?

    You can think I’m ignorant if you want, but I’ve been in their books.

    It strikes me that you’re just gobshiting wannabes.

  32. PaulB (#31), Murphy stopped being a Quaker years ago and became CofE (I remember reading so in an article he wrote).

    Don’t know if that was to do with his divorce & second marriage; or perhaps he left in protest at their historical connection to banking?

    Of course he may have resumed Quaking (is that the correct term?) more recently; I only read that he left by chance. But for most of his campaigning career he wasn’t one.

    Certainly his “the State shall provide” attitude seems at odds with the “paternalist employer” approach of traditional Quaker businesses.

  33. Google reveals that he’s gone back to the Friends, something to do with St Paul’s evicting the people with tents.

    He called me a “rule abuser” this morning, apparently because I admitted to using Give As You Earn. On the other hand, he posted a sympathetic comment on my blog, so he’s not entirely unquakerly.

  34. SE

    I wouldn’t know about RBS’s GAYE scheme. I was never an employee. I was one of those evil people who work through service companies (shock, horror). Which as I was specifically contracted to design, test and install a particular financial system, and left when I had done that, was entirely appropriate, I think.

  35. Arnald, banks MAKE money by “wooing money from filthy despots and arseholes”. Unfortunately they have not yet managed to find a way of making money from charitable giving.

    I’m glad you’ve been in their books. Shame you haven’t got the slightest understanding of what you found there.

  36. It strikes me that you’re just gobshiting wannabes.

    Exactly what do we “wannabe”, do you think?

    Gobshite? Well, yes, your usual concoction of rude hyperbole but we are all commenting on blogs and many of us are bloggers. But the same applies, clearly, to you.

  37. “Murphy sold his business when he was 40 or 41. Someone who has made enough to retire at 40 is either a genius like Dyson or horrendously overpaid.”

    “Don’t know if that was to do with his divorce & second marriage;”

    Or a third hypothesis. The first wife was a partner in the accounting partnership which rather needed to be sold as a result of the divorce.

    And “could afford to retire at 40″ not being quite right, thus the current hustling.

  38. Arnald/Lawrence/Fast Robert
    Remind me what you are calling yourself these days -I can’t keep track.
    For the good folks here, can you remind us what year it was you left the Guernsey finance industry? I know the answer but just want to check your honesty. It was rather a long time ago wasn’t it – like not long after the AML rules were brought in – since when the industry is very different isn’t it? And remind us again what hallowed role you held – it wasn’t very senior was it? Certainly not of the level which would enable you to know very much about the management of the bank. I know the answers but I just want to hear you confirm it.

  39. It is a pity that Arnald can’t read
    page 113 of Lloyd’s R&A states that it gave £30.75 million to charities in 2010, slightly doen from £33.5 million in 2009

  40. Oh ho ho fill! Funny, grubby fill! Landfill.

    Remind us ‘good’ folk what it is you have a problem with again? Alopecia? Free will? A keyboard? A life?

    Come on PeeHill, remind us what you’re talking about. Dish the dirt on my rambling internet persona.

    How about getting a fucking grip? How many years?

    I feel quite important now, Flipperty. Well done for getting me out of that particular hole. dff

    You are amusing, though. I had far more access in my role than you could imagine. I know more about than the impacts of all manner of regs and “interference” than you ever will do.

    But there you go.

    It’s always idiots like me that get tracked because I know shit.

    Oh yeah, Jill, who are you…..? I mean, otherwise you’d have a tracker twat like you, yeah?

    dot dot dot mr. you show yourself up.

  41. It’s always idiots like me that get tracked because I know shit.

    So, in his own words, Arnald is a paranoid idiot whose knowledge is shit.

    Not that it’s news but at least our repetitive pointing out of his fallacies is doing some good. Or, as has been suggested before, he was merely at a high point with his meds

  42. Arnald/Lawrence/Fast Robert
    In amongst your ramblings, which appear to have been written whilst on your way home from the pub (you really shouldn’t mix alcohol witb those high- dosage tablets you know-havent you read the label?), I don’t think you bothered to answer the question. Either that or you were far too spaced out to know what you were doing).
    Interesting to see that one of your persona (are you only Lawrence on dress-down Fridays?) made reference to Tim’s “profanity-filled” posts on this blog, as if it were something you would never do (your mate Richie wouldn’t condone your own profanity-riddled missives that you post here).
    You’ve proved that you are comoletely batty – no wonder you didn’t survive a job in the banking world with all those hallucinations.
    What a nutter. Even Richie will be questioning whether he wants such a fruitcake as a follower.

  43. Arnald is so offended by my post that he issues a general insult to cover up that he either (i) cannot read or (ii) is a habitual liar.
    The idea of apologising when proven wrong is outside his range of concepts.

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