Even by the Murphmonster’s standards this is remarkable.
Benjamin Franklin once said that only two things in life are certain. One is death, and the other taxation. You would not, however, know this from looking at the courses offered by the UK’s universities, which I have happened to do.
So, this was no mistake: UK universities really do ignore tax. Searching a little harder, I did eventually find that Bournemouth University offer an undergraduate course in accountancy and taxation, and of course there are some universities who offer places for postgraduate study, particularly in taxation law, and the occasional Ph.D. But, overall, what is staggering is the extent to which UK universities completely ignore the issue of taxation as if it is of no consequence to society at large.
That gives rise to three questions. First of all, why does the government allow that? Secondly, why is there no demand for such courses? And, thirdly, given the importance of tax isn’t something being done to change this absurd situation so that we might, in the future, have some people who actually understand how tax works, because right now we are desperately short of them.
This is really quite alarming given Ritchie’s own educational background. He did accounting and economics: and I’m absolutely certain that he was taught about tax in both sides of that degree (I was in both sides of my similar degree at around the same time at a different university).
And I’m sure there’s bits about tax in the politics parts of various courses. And why doesn’t ask his mate Prem Sikka (a professor of accounting no less) whether he teaches tax in his courses?
The idea that there’s no study of taxation in UK universities because there is no degree called “tax” is simply absurd. It’s (as noted in his comments) as if we decided that we don’t study death because there’s no degree with that in its name:
Death did produce no results
But I doubt we need a study of death, more study of how to avoid it
As we might say with tax actually.
And, umm, isn’t there an Oxford Centre for Business Taxation? Which Ritchie knows?