Oxfam rhetoric disappears up its own funadament

The total amount of lost tax revenue is far higher than £100 billion, as the figure only includes tax dodged by individuals, and not companies.

And a high proportion of tax evasion takes place on British offshore tax havens, with more than a third of the £12 trillion held in tax havens around the globe believed to be held in British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, according to Oxfam estimates.

Emma Seery, Oxfam\’s head of development finance and public services, said: \”These figures put the UK at the centre of a global tax system that is a colossal betrayal of people here and in the poorest countries who are struggling to get by, and put the Government on the side of the privileged few. If they want to get on the right side of this debate, now is the time to take action.

\”Britain\’s credibility is on the line; talking tough on tax, whilst continuing to usher a third of the world\’s wealth into UK tax havens, risks making a mockery of David Cameron\’s leadership at the G8 Summit in June.\”

Did you see that switch there?

We start with Ritchie\’s absurd estimate of the amount of cash tax dodged into tax havens. This is only some fraction of the world\’s wealth. One third of this goes into British ish tax havens. So it\’s one third of tax dodging goes into British ish places.

But by the fourth paragraph that\’s one third of all the world\’s wealth. Which is simply entire and gross nonsense of course.

I don\’t actuall know what the world\’s wealth is: but US GDP is some $15 tillion, US wealth is some $60, $70 trillion or so. Let\’s just say that wealth is 4 x GDP. Global GDP is what, $70 trillion at present? Ish, ish? Global wealth is thus $280 trillion. Of which apparently $4 trillion is in British ish tax havens dodging taxes. 1.5%…..I\’d say that was a pretty effective tax system myself. No system will ever be entirely leak free after all……

16 thoughts on “Oxfam rhetoric disappears up its own funadament”

  1. I can recall the resident ‘troll’ on these pages, Arnald, saying that tax ‘avoidance’ and tax competition are worthless because all it does is lead to ‘a race to the bottom’ as ‘tax havens’ starve legitimate democratic governments of income. As usual, he was 100% wrong. Without these low tax jurisdictions, the Western nations (especially those in the EU ) would be engaged in a race to the top. Already we have Ed Miliband’s two chief advisors from Compass looking at an 85% top rate from 2016- my riposte is why stop there – surely if an 85% rate is desirable a 99% one is even more so. If you don’t recognise disincentives (and neither of these two do) what difference does it make?

    As to the issue of Oxfam bending the truth, I’m brought back to another proposal from the deadly duo of Murphy and Reed – a complete ban on advertising as ‘wasteful expenditure’ – of course when I asked if this applied to NGOs and the Courageous State I was denounced as a troll for the twenty eight time and barred. What do you expect from these people – honest debate?

  2. From the most recent accounts on the Charity Commission website, page 57:

    “The employee in the £90,000 to £99,999 band and two employees in the £100,000 to £109,999 band work in countries with high tax regimes.
    The appropriate tax is included in their emoluments above.”

    Are they saying the UK is a high tax country? And they topped up salary due to high tax?

    “2011/12 represents the first full year in which a pension salary sacrifice scheme was introduced, which has reduced the number of staff paid between £60,000 and £89,999.”

    Are they saying that a number of well-paid staff dropped salary into pension instead? Isn’t that tax dodging?

  3. Every time I hear Ritchie’s GBP100 billion figure, I wonder why no-one’s asked him if it includes his own tax avoidance or not.

  4. Do these people ever discount for tax inadvertently overpaid and never reclaimed, or for items which could be expended but aren’t?

    I suspect I know the answer, but just thought I’d throw it out there.

  5. Of course, BOTs are self-governing, in any case. What are Oxfam and Ritchie suggesting we do about their laws? Invade?

    He really is a fascist cunt.

  6. *Do these people ever discount for tax inadvertently overpaid*

    Dont be absurd. The Courageous State owns all the money anyway, so it is impossible to pay too much. /sarcasm

  7. Also, I’m a bit concerned about the increasing use of the phrase “tax dodging“. As any fule kno, there is tax evasion, what is a crime, bang ’em up, &c &c, and tax avoidance, which is legal. And, for that matter, not necessarily wrong. Making my sandwiches for luch rather than buying a hot pasty is tax avoidance. Wine from the supermarket instead of beer in the pub is tax avoidance. There are huge temples to tax avoidance in most airports on the planet, identifed by the words ‘Duty Free.’

    But ‘dodging’ – a word with no legal basis – is just a way to make legal activity look illegal.

  8. Must get around to adding up all the sudsidies to the Oxfam businesses and see if it is more than the amount they contribute to the charity.

  9. Oxfam is a charity, is it not?

    I wonder if that gives them any tax advantages?

    But of course, they wouldn’t use those advantages, would they, because that would be immoral and unfair.

    Should we ask them, do you think?

  10. Oxfam getting tax advantages? Let me see…

    Business rates are lower than the poor shopkeeper next door.
    Then there is the fact that it can donate its trading profits, reducing CT to Nil. The poor shopkeeper next door of course pays IT on his profits or CT if he incorporated as well as Income Tax on any dividend he takes. And if he donates to charity, his family starved.
    Then there’s VAT… er, except there isn’t really. There is for the poor shopkeeper next door.
    There’s the little Gift Aid scam they run. You know the one: you can only gift aid money donations; not items of furniture and the like. Except you’re not donating your furniture, on no! You’re asking them to sell it for you.then you gift aid the receipt.

  11. If I remember rightly, Oxfam pays out more than half the receipts to Oxfam employees – but I’m not at all sure I do remember rightly, and I can’t be bothered to go and work it out again. Anyone know the actual figure for money spent on stuff to directly help poor people in Africa?

  12. @ #14 Dave
    Oxfam doesn’t do country-by-country reporting in its accounts, so I can’t tell you the figure for Africa. The amount spent on stuff to directly help poor people in 2012 was

  13. was GBP253m compared to GBP19m on campaigning. Oxfam’s total staff costs were GBP101m, most of which was on running their shops which contribute GBP20-odd million to funds to help the poor; which means that they are worthwhile but they would make heavy losses without the unpaid volunteers whose time is probably worth a large multiple of that.

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