Blimey Ritchie!

First, HMRC’s estimate is just wrong. Tax avoidance is much higher than £3.1 billion, as I have argued. Even within the context of the HMRC report this figure is too low because it excludes disputes on legal interpretation, which appear to be tax avoidance issues by any other name. The HMRC estimate also excludes all of the tax abuse by companies like Google and Amazon, which are specifically not in their data as a matter of choice, which makes the figure both subjective, and unreliable. The true target the tax avoidance is, in my estimate, around £20 billion, although this would never be recoverable in full.

Well, quite. If you call obeying every jot and tittle of the EU and UK tax law on domicile of a corporation tax avoidance then you can come up with any number you think of, can’t you Ritchie?

He still tries to claim that Vodafone and Starbucks were avoiding for goodness sake.

36 thoughts on “Blimey Ritchie!”

  1. He is also claiming that if you are in dispute with HMRC over interpretation, this is also avoidance. One wonders why they bother with an appeals system whenRichie clearly thinks HMRC should be the sole arbiters of the law.

    AND he’s still banging on about the mythical use of dormant companies to evade tax. That one has even got into the Labour party’s tax promises despite there being not a single bit of evidence to support his theory.

  2. A few years ago I spotted a tweet from Ritchie about passport taxes and all money belonging to government and thought, wow he’s actually a communist. These days it’s just accepted. To borrow from Blackadder, pointing out Ritchie is wrong it like fitting wheels to a tomato. Time consuming and completely useless.

  3. This arrogant, increasingly delusional fantasist should be front and centre, with his blogposts being forensically torn about by Conservative Central Office, saying – if you vote for Labour this is the kind of authoritarian rubbish you can expect.

    I think it was either GlenDorran or the Bloke in Costa Rica who coined this so apologies for using it again but reading through the first page of his blog just now, I am simply staggered by the man’s sheer brassneck – who the fuck does he think he is to dictate the terms of debate?

  4. AndyC highlights the real danger of this lunatic.

    He fits right in with 21st century politicking, ignore the facts and make up the numbers.

    He has succeeded to an extent, because even in the DT, the comments following any article about rich people and big companies are full of the crap espoused by this Dick.

  5. Ritchie has been selling himself short in his estimates. I think that we can apply his logic and methods to uncover several hundred billion more of tax avoided.

    So here’s today’s little game: come up with some missing tax which can be put into a simple headline that his followers could believe, but that a moment’s thought can demolish.

    Here’s my starter for ten:


    My RitchieLogic is as follows:

    – There are around 4.5m people who cycle in the UK
    – Cyclists don’t pay Road Tax (I know Road Tax doesn’t exist, but I’m using RitchieLaw here)
    – The ‘average’ Road Tax is £150pa (using standard RitchieAveraging assumptions – i.e. made up)
    – 4.5m x £150 = 675m
    – RitchieRounding means that this becomes £1bn

    That’s quite a low amount avoided to begin with. Surely the neo-liberals here can conjure up even higher numbers from somewhere?

  6. Small people avoid £160bn in tax.

    No VAT is paid on sales of shoes of size 5 or less because these are assumed to be for children.

    Approx 5% of adults have < size 5 feet. This means that there are 2.5 million people in the UK avoiding VAT on their footwear.

    Emelda Marcos had 1060 pairs of shoes.

    A pair of the Crocket and Jones shoes worn by James Bond in Skyfall cost £360 i.e. £60 VAT.

    60 x 1060 x 2.5m = £159bn

  7. Individuals avoiding corporation tax on the wine they buy at the supermarket? They are getting away with billions that way.

  8. I have never smoked. God knows how much I have swindled the government by not smoking a hundred fags a day.


  9. We have all been avoiding breath tax since the Clean Air Act.

    Everyone knows that evil neoliberal capitalist rentier scum bosses would love to polute the air, but can’t thanks to the Courageous State.

    Thus we owe the State our clean air and should be taxed for its enjoyment.

    I can’t calculate the amount, but it would be a lot.

  10. @John Dongguan

    Your estimate is too low and is nearer £500bn I have proved it. Here*.

    An army of umpa lumpa tax collectors must be created at once. It would pay for itself many times over and I would be its King. I have proved it. Here**

    * Someone with large feet could cut off their toes to fit into smaller shoes. I have no evidence that anyone has done this but if just 10% of people were to do so it would treble the figure some people have put forward as the figure for evaded shoe VAT.

    **An army of Umpa Lumpa tax collectors would pay for itself many times over. I would be its king.

  11. GlenDorran

    ‘Wise people think otherwise’

    ‘You have been warned before’

    ‘Expect to be deleted in future’

  12. @AndyC: that made me laugh almost uncontrollably.

    Although being a pendant, it’s Oompa-Loompa. But Ritchie would make a fantastic Roald Dahl character: the BFG could take on the LHTD.

  13. @GlanDorran

    Roald Dahl had a sense of humour and a twisted imagination but even his most horrible characters had some redeeming characteristics. King Richard of the Oompa-Loompas (I stand corrected! 🙂 ) has none.

  14. The Oompa-Loompas need their shoes to stamp down on tax avoiders. Therefore the shoes will be part of a work uniform and so they will be able to claim a tax allowance for them. This has all been factored into the tax generating capacity of an Oompa-Loompa.

  15. How mad ? This fucking mad.

    ‘The Guardian summary, which appears reasonable to everyone but the spread betting market (which is much more Tory biased) is as follows at present’

    Spread betting firms are now politically biased.

    The man is a maniac.

  16. worzel

    I must admit to laughing out loud at that! All gamblers are right wing – maniac is if anything way underselling him – he needs sectioning for the common good of mankind.

  17. GlenDorran

    No doubt Arnald will appear to show us a link with a Coral in Knightsbridge as evidence ‘we’re wrong’…….

  18. It shows how delusional he has become.

    He wants Labour to win.

    Some bookmaker has the Conservatives as favourite.

    Therefore the bookmaker must be a supporter of the Conservatives.

    (And, of course, are not bookmakers also known as turf accountants?)

    Surely even the most sycophantic of his supporters must see that the idea that a bookmaker might allow political bias to dictate the odds they gave is preposterous.

    I do hope Sue Queef is around so she can give proper analysis of the creeping neo-liberal menace of right wing bookmakers.

  19. I’ve heard that the Bilderberg Group spend a lot of time at the Dagenham dog track. They do love a flutter.

  20. @ Interested
    The first Clean Air Act was “sponsored” by the Corporation of the City of London (in my childhood before neo-liberalism was invented).
    Clean Air is an invention of the flthy capitalists – OK: I think I may have to use anachronistically modern terminology and say that clean air is an invention of greedy capitalists, who demand that the poor shiver to death without their coal fires so that the capitalists do not have to pay workers while they are off sick with respiratory disease.

  21. I have quite considerable savings that due to utter laziness I have parked in a savings account that pays very low interest. I am thus depriving HMRC of considerable amounts of tax on foregone income. Also by not spending my savings I am depriving them of VAT on my purchases, and by not investing them in some money making scheme or other I am even further reducing the tax they can demand from me.

    Such rampant tax avoidance should not be tolerated.

  22. Bloke in North Dorset

    Right wing neo liberal bloggers are the most egregious tax evaders known to mankind.

    By publishing their vile views online they are evading:

    1. Employing people to print and distribute their neo liberal sophistry thus evading employers NI and corporation tax and their employees paying income taxes.

    2. They are also depriving paper and ink suppliers of legitimate business and again avoiding people being employed and paying.

    3. They also encourage tax evaders by claiming that people should have a right to spend their own money as they see fit. This is obviously against the interests of the Couragous State and must be taxed.

    I have many other examples far too numerous to list and I’m not going to waste my time providing links to right wing neo liberals so that they can make up lies about the accuracy of my information.

    Obviously left wing bloggers provide a public education service and so don’t count as tax evaders, they are really charities and should be supported by the Couragous State paid for by the bloggers tax that I propose.

    A people’s commission to decide which blogs should pay the tax and the level of the tax. It should be set up and chaired by someone who is a leading economist, tax expert and supporter of the Couragous State. The chairman should have sole discretion on the members of the commission to ensure it doesn’t get polluted by neo liberal sophists.

    Comments are closed because I don’t have time for the lies of neo liberals.

    I estimate that righ wing bloggers are evading £42.3562819Bn and wise people agree with me.

  23. What is the betting a Miliband government enobles Lord Ritchie of Downham Market and appoints him as special adviser on tax?

    Time to emigrate I think…..

  24. Witchsmeller Pursuivant

    He’s not saying gambling is right-wing, he’s saying bookmakers are. Those who gamble are blameless victims of their own addiction and ruthless right-wing exploiters like bookmakers.
    Bookmakers so ruthless, they are prepared to offer over- generous odds on a Tory victory, thereby enticing millions* of gambling victims to back them. These victims should be rightfully voting Labour, but have been tricked into accepting a bribe to vote Tory which is in their short-term interest (winnning the bet), but against their long-term interest (trusting Labour). Ergo, the spread-betters are part of the neoliberal conspiracy.

    *might be less or more, the real figures are hidden by tax-avoiding betting corporations

  25. So Much for Subtlety

    Martin Davies – “Ah yes, they are paid in cocoa beans – how much tax is being avoided?”

    Hang on. They are paid? I thought they were all trafficked. I don’t see how the usual suspects can get their modern slavery figures unless they are counting all the Oompa Loompas working in the British chocolate industry.

    On the other hand, I suppose they did have a type of Zero Hour Contract.

  26. @GlenDorran

    ‘I note you have ignored all the evidence I have provided’

    ‘which proves you are not interested in debate’

    ‘expect to be deleted in future’

  27. “Bookmakers so ruthless, they are prepared to offer over- generous odds on a Tory victory, thereby enticing millions* of gambling victims to back them. ”

    Isn’t the point that the bookmakers are offering lower odds against a Tory victory (ie they are saying its more likely thus a lower return for gamblers)?

    The point (if such mad ramblings can be considered to have a point) is that the bookmakers know that the Tories can’t win, but are installing them as favourites to entice the gambler to bet on the favourite and thus lose.

    This of course means that they are offering odds unrelated to the amount of money wagered on the various outcomes, and potentially leaves them open to huge losses if the actual money starts to move to Labour but they keep higher odds against a Labour victory.

    Which seems a strange sort of bookmaking to me, but I don’t live in RM world.

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