\”But some of these schemes we have seen are quite frankly morally wrong.
\”The Government is acting by looking at a general anti avoidance law but we do need to make progress on this.\”
Doesn\’t mean we have a law against it though.
For the law isn\’t and shouldn\’t be based upon morality. Most certainly not the Prime Minister\’s personal vision of morality….we\’ve been down that route before and didn\’t like it at all.
To elaborate for unlearning econ\’s benefit.
Until quite recently the majority views in this country included……we should have capital punishment for it\’s moral that if you take a life you lose yours. That buggery should be a criminal offence because, well, it\’s immoral, innit? To the point actually that there was one year when more were hung for sodomy than were for murder.
We\’ve also had variations of morality: plays, the threatre, Christmas, were declared immoral by our rulers at one point and thus banned. Well into the lifetimes of those living now we had censorship of theatres for \”immorality\”. We currently have laws against the ingestion of recreational pharmaceuticals on no more basis that I can divine than that they are immoral.
There are two related problems here with basing the law on a moral basis. The first is that to impose a particular morality on all is simply an imposition, a denial of liberty and freedom. The second is that there are a number of different moralities. Whose is to be imposed?
For example, take the vexed question of abortion. At one end we have those who insist that it is immoral, anywhen and anywhere. I include myself among these extremists. At the other end of the spectrum there are those who would at the very least encourage abortion if not actually insist upon it. Perhaps the eugenicists might insist upon the abortion of the \”unfit\”, or there\’s at least one country where today if you have a second child without a licence they will, sometimes at least, perform a forced abortion at 7 or 8 months.
No, we cannot base the law on such moral visions.