But, err…..

There are also two main courses for the British government to follow at home. It is unbelievable that RBS, in which taxpayers own a 70% stake (and rising), is still not bound by a formal regulation to cease tax avoidance. One must be put in place immediately – otherwise the government are subsidising a bank, while allowing it to bilk the exchequer. And for exactly that reason, Treasury officials should insist that other banks do the same before they can enjoy the protection of the government\’s asset-insurance scheme. Barclays bank has begun negotiating with the Treasury on details of which bad assets it wants to insure – but a general principle must be put in place that all who want to enjoy taxpayer support must commit to paying their full share of the tax burden.

Tax avoidance schemes do not mean not paying their full share of the tax burden. Tax evasion does, but tax avoidance is simply taking advantage of the provisions that Parliament specifically puts into the law for companies and individuals to use.

So how can there be a formal regulation that a company can or should stop doing what Parliament has specifically said it may and even should do?

4 thoughts on “But, err…..”

  1. OT but not by much: RBS is asking new customers whether they are Politically Exposed Persons (eg heads of state, or a member of a govt on a list of corrupt countries). RBS says this was a mistake, nothing to see here; but Spectator’s Fraser Nelson points out that RBS first began to make this mistake shortly after Fat Man and Little Boy put their hands in our pockets and gave the money to RBS.

    So – let’s hear it for govt controlled banks! Nationalised industries have such a brilliant record, after all.


  2. Maybe I’m being a bit thick here, but what is the point of the Treasury taxing a loss making outfit owned by the Treasury?

  3. To the leftie mindset, everyone but a select few (eh, Mr Mills?) should loyally stump up whatever is demanded of them by the all powerful state. Since both evasion and avoidance imply that the perpetrators don’t actually want to give their all to the state, they must, by definition, be traitors and therefore be punished.

    As to the demand made in the article quoted: Wouldn’t submitting to such a regime actually place the directors of the banks in contravention of the Companies Act? I was always under the impression that document required directors to work in the shareholders’ interests. Not taking advantage of all legitimate means to minimise their tax burden surely counts as negligence.

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