I offer a post of his from today in its entirety.
When is a tax illegal?
Well, when it’s ruled so by a relevant body.
So, the UK has made a mistake. And it could cost £20bn – a 10% increase in the deficit – 20% of the cost of the NHS for a year.
To enrich banks.
I think some counter-measure is needed in the public interest. And I know the libertarians will scream and shout. And my answer is that the EU also has a concept of ‘unjust enrichment’. I think that should apply here.
For more than 20 years stamp duty reserve tax has been paid: few objected – and why should they when the charge is eminently reasonable? But HSBC has now. And the UK government has been found to have made an error.
At the very least a time limit for past claims has to be imposed. I really can’t see a significant tax increase to pay tax refunds to banks is going to go down well with any politician right now.
But let’s also go the heart of this: the EU dedication to the free movement of capital is at fault here. Why should there be that right when people do not share it, universally?
As Ritchie himself said just recently:
Let’s translate that: they’re saying “What can we get away with?”
Society cannot be built on this type of fraud. It creates cheats. It creates mistrust. It undermines trust.
Quite, if you cannot trust the government of the country then don\’t we all have some rather large problems*?
But don\’t you just love the manner in which Murphy R. frames the debate? It\’s about what is the popular will, about what politicians would like to do: nothing at all about the point that if we don\’t uphold the law then we are no longer ruled by the law (Cue Robert Bolt\’s Sir Thomas More speech here please…..).
* There are those of us who have known this for a long time but Ritchie still seems unpersuaded.