Tax going to a government is a bribe now

Jane Thomas, senior campaigner at Friends of the Earth, likened the decision to grant councils 100% of business rates from shale gas companies to a bribe.

Where the fuck else should taxes go if not to a government?

20 thoughts on “Tax going to a government is a bribe now”

  1. Simples, to central Government where they can be handed over to the likes of FoE so that FoE can spend its time lobbying central Government. That way they only need to lobby a few people to get their way.

    Imagine their horror at having to lobby 100s, possibly 1000s, of Councillors and planning officers. They might not succeed and then fracking will actually take place and locals will find out that the ground doesn’t open up and swallow them and that they also get better services than they do from Central Government.

  2. this is a clear admission that public officials respond to incentives and that Public Choice Economics is therefore valid, something lefties like The Lord High Tax Denouncer keep telling us is impossible as state employees are motivated solely by the public good…

  3. Why, to FoE and its friends to finance “conservation work” to restore the landscape to the completely *unnatural* shape bequeathed by the Victorians.
    This will finance a comfortable lifestyle for numerous Grauniad readers literally watching the grass grow.

  4. It’s a common expression in politics. We talk of the chancellor “bribing” the electorate with “giveaways” (i.e. spending their money on cash transfers rather than on public services). It’s a logic unto itself.

  5. Surely it’s an ‘investment?’ All govt spending on stuff you agree with is ‘investment’. I agree with fracking; ergo it is investment. See? Simples.

  6. Just wondering why you need to make this fracking thing any more attractive than it is… for instance, these special tax breaks being offered by Gidiot.. now I presume they will already get capital tax breaks on equipment, they will get all normal expenses.. and they will be producing a product which has a price between 80 and 100 dollars a barrel…

    Is there not enough profit in this thing to make it viable?…and if not…why are the Government willing to step in to make it so?..

    [Is *help to frack* the latest scam for the Globalists? 😀 ]

  7. KJ

    The special tax breaks are actually just reductions in the rate of taxation to persuade investors to fund the initial wells – note that the tax break is a reduction from 62% to 30% on the special tax on oil revenues, and doesn’t include the corporation tax. Then Osborne or one of his successors will increase the tax once the well has been dug. Osborne is being pretty sensible on this.

  8. KJ – as Ken says, it’s fairly usual practice to encourage an industry to develop by offering favourable tax terms then ramping the tax back up if/when the industry is established.

  9. One other point – I think the marginal tax rate on oil production is still set at 62% and the 30% applies to gas wells where profitability is much lower

  10. I had to sit in the barbers shop for half an hour earlier, waiting my turn, listening to Jeremy Vine conduct the usual R2 phone-in nonsense about fracking. I now remember why I never listen to the BBC. A greater number of fruitloops you could not hope to hear, all allowed to spout the usual nonsense about fracking being the cause of all known evils, earthquakes, exploding water pipes, you name it, it got mentioned. I had to brace myself not to hurl the radio out of the window.

    I despair for this country, it’s populated by idiots (admittedly not all their fault – their State provided ‘education’ is an active detriment to their acquiring any knowledge or common sense) and ruled by idiot kings and downright charlatans.

  11. Not directly relevant to Tim’s post, but another aspect of the Green’s objections which I find maddening is their claim that it won’t reduce energy prices. This may be true, because of our open trade borders, but that will mean that we are exporting billions of pounds-worth of gas, which will be great for the balance of payments, employment and national income. Grrr!

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    Britain is not a unitary state, like France. Local governments are separate entities, not part of the same organisation. They have their own legal identity and sphere of authority. Their own separate budgets. They are not under the tutelege of the central government a la France.

    Well not so much any more because they are no longer able to raise all the money they need and so rely on Westminster.

    But in theory they are their own people.

    So offering them a great whack of money so they will not impede fracking, as they will, seems a lot like a bribe to me. You can’t say that because the government takes a large part of your income, it is fine to give a local official a brown paper bag stuffed with fivers because they are all part of the same government.

  13. So Much For Subtlety

    Tim Newman – “Ha! And it appears as though the French will be the first ones in on a large scale. This should cheer the opponents of fracking, given how inept they are at executing projects.”

    I am suddenly tempted to become an opponent of fracking. Which I otherwise think is the best thing since sliced bread. Because if I were good at it, the French would have to pay me off. As I don’t need the cash, no doubt Total would have some pettite Madamoiselle on the pay roll for just such an event.

    French fracking looks like a win-win to me. We get cheap gas. Some local government officials get a free French mistress. What is not to like? Just think what the Saudis would be offering.

  14. Simon,

    “Imagine their horror at having to lobby 100s, possibly 1000s, of Councillors and planning officers.”

    That doesn’t worry them, what worries them is having to lobby 100s/1000s of councillors who now have a direct financial interest in fracking.

    Worry isn’t the right word, terrifies is closer to the truth.

  15. As I don’t need the cash, no doubt Total would have some pettite Madamoiselle on the pay roll for just such an event.

    There are some cute girls in their head office, I did wonder what they were for.

    (Actually, that’s a bit unfair: they have it right in HQ, employing the best looking girls out of a bunch of generally competent applicants. In some places, they recruit good looking but useless girls. The worst was Nigeria where recruitment is done on family connections and so you end up with a lot of useless girls who are also butt ugly.)

  16. More a matter of the “bribe” being government, at least central government, not taking the money.

    Presumably Jane & all the rest of the FoEers are on record as denouncing FoE for bribing them with salaries. Well every honest FoE apparatchik anyway.

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