Err, yes, right

But this does not mean a scrip tax does not make sense: it does. The reason why is that it gives us all a stake in these businesses in a way that is not apparent now. Even those with pensions have not a clue in the vast majority of cases in what companies they have an interest. A sovereign wealth fund would hold that interest very tangibly, and should be actively engaged with companies to protect stakeholder rights.

This is why such a fund is important. It would say to companies that their arguments on shareholder value are wrong. Shareholders would then, very obviously, include real people who have real interest in tax being paid; who want public services and who abhor tax abuse, gender pay gaps, casualised working practices, anti-union attitudes and executive pay that abuses the whole system of market capitalism.

So, err, we’ll be managing a sovereign wealth fund in a more personal and tangible manner than we do our own pensions then, will we?

17 comments on “Err, yes, right

  1. Shareholders would then, very obviously, include real people who have real interest in tax being paid; who want public services and who abhor tax abuse, gender pay gaps, casualised working practices, anti-union attitudes and executive pay that abuses the whole system of market capitalism

    Who then is representing shareholders who do not want above – ie are anti-union, anti-tax, pro gender earnings gap etc

  2. With reference to the previous post, written by a professor of creative writing at Islington Technical College? Is this for the fantasy section?

  3. Why would shareholders have real interest in tax being paid? Why is that not a directors responsibility? – oh wait it is silly me.

    Tax abuse, gender pay gaps, casualised working practices (whatever they are), anti union attitudes, executive pay – are these not matters for the directors rather than shareholders?
    Sure the shareholders can vote on stuff in a relevant meeting but they don’t get involved in that level of business decision making.

  4. Clovis – I’m in great favour of a gender pay gap. My wife earnt last month 39 times my salary. I have no interest in increasing my salary or reducing hers to be equal.

  5. A scrip tax is a most fucking ridiculous idea.

    Every year, a little more of the company falls into public ownership. Shares gradually diluted and devalued. The incentive to invest and set up new ventures disappearing. An absurdly cuntish idea.

  6. Spot on AndrewC – at first glance a scrip looks like theft of a few % of the company’s value every year. No more foreign companies listing on UK exchanges then. And depending how the rules are made more UK companies listing on the Nasdaq like that one in Cambridge that makes all the cannabis derivatives. Some will say that if it’s legal then it is not theft. Fair enough, but it’s certainly an abuse of the coercive power of the state. There’s a word for democratic capture where 51% get to take whatever they can from the 49% but its name escapes me.

  7. What about real people who want to minimise the tax they pay, who are happy to earn what they do based on merit and not their gender, who are happy to take casual work because it suits their lifestyle, who dislike unions because they restrict entry to the unskilled and young and who use their power to further their selfish interests?

    Richie talks about “real people” and then lists the things he likes; presumably implying that only people who share these are “real”.

  8. Sovereign Wealth Funds are a big thing on the Left at the moment. I’m not sure why Richie cares – if a country can print all the money it will ever need, why the need for a Fund? In fact, why tax oil revenues at all? Taxing them won’t “reduce inflation”, his reason for taxation. In fact, by raising prices for the finished product, don’t oil taxes increase inflation?

  9. The world does not work the way Ritchie wants it to work. Therefore it must change. It is a childish view of the world.

  10. “Shareholders would then, very obviously, include real people who have real interest in tax being paid; who want public services and who abhor tax abuse, gender pay gaps, casualised working practices, anti-union attitudes and executive pay”

    “Real” people with “real” interests (presumably, those opposed to artificial people with artificial interests – hmmm) could try buying some shares.

  11. Bongo;

    “No more foreign companies listing on UK exchanges then.”

    Think it was Dodd-Frank that caused several large non-US companies to get a bit frantic about halting ADR programs and delisting from US exchanges. RBS was one.

    Though I forget how it panned out.

  12. What can a sovereign wealth fund do to protect “stakeholder rights” that the government cannot?
    Answers on a postage stamp, please.

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