As for the £93bn in corporate welfare – since I wrote the news stories for this paper that those calculations are based on, allow me to put straight some of the criticisms and wishfulness that surrounds it.
First, the figure comes from research by Kevin Farnsworth, a senior lecturer at York University who’s been working on corporate welfare for more than a decade. The £93bn is a “conservative estimate” of how much British taxpayers hand to business in grants, subsidies, tax reliefs and other direct support. His research was published by the University of Sheffield and is available online, although this hasn’t been enough of an incentive for critics to read it.
I did read it, I did understand it and yes, it really is mindgargling nonsense.
Well, yes, that’s going to be interesting, isn’t it, a sociologist telling us about the implications of tax breaks. And after contacting him, being shown his main paper and discussing it with him, it is interesting, if mindgargling nonsense is an allowable meaning of “interesting”.
No, really, just no. Capital allowances really just do not mean that the public bears the cost of corporate investment. Taxpayers really, really, don’t “effectively pay” the costs of the entire investment. This is not one of those two-plus-two-equals-five nonsenses, this is akin to two-plus-two-equals-splurt! Entirely meaningless.
seriously, how in buggery did we end up with the economic leader writer of one of our major newspapers having absolutely no fucking idea whatsoever about the subject under discussion? And not even taking note when it is explained?