Bit colonialist isn’t it?

Economist Richard Murphy also said that Ireland should bring its corporate tax rate in line with the UK’s, which is set to drop from 20pc to 18pc by 2020.

Didn’t they have rather a fight in order to be able to decide such things for themselves?

Speaking to the Sunday Independent ahead of his appearance at the Kilkenomics conference, the economics and comedy festival that takes place in Kilkenny on the first week of November,

Which part is Ritchie taking part in? Given that he did in fact set up a company in Ireland in order to take advantage of the tax rate…..

100 thoughts on “Bit colonialist isn’t it?”

  1. “No one believes companies locate in Ireland because of great employees, infrastructure etc. They just think of tax-dodging as the first, last and only reason.”

    Given he believes this, then it would be logical that if they increase the rate, these companies will all leave won’t they? Therefor the Irish would be fools indeed to follow his advice.

  2. “That’ll go down well in Ireland, I’m sure.”

    Indeed, particularly given his lack of tact and charm.

  3. He doesn’t rate the Irish, govt or people. Some people on Murphy’s side might call that racist if an eeevil Toreee said it. Has he considered that bright people might go to Ireland BECAUSE companies go there?

    And the article describes him as a ‘economist’, which is either factually inaccurate or the word has no meaning.

  4. Would it be possible to funnel some cash to one of the dissident Republican groups to take what they deem ‘appropriate’ action based on the above comment:

    ‘No one believes companies locate in Ireland because of great employees, infrastructure etc’

    Staggering that he can get away with what is actually a fairly offensive comment – imagine if an ASI blogger had said that about Nigeria or Jamaica (for example?)

  5. “No one believes companies locate in Ireland because of great employees, infrastructure etc”

    So why did he locate his company there?

  6. ” … ahead of his appearance at the Kilkenomics conference, the economics and comedy festival …”

    He’s a shoe-in for the second part of the festival.

  7. How does he manage to fit in his academic duties? On the basis of the last few weeks, he doesn’t seem to have any, apart from chatting to 6th formers.

  8. No one believes companies locate in Ireland because of great employees, infrastructure etc. They just think of tax-dodging as the first, last and only reason.

    What absolute bollocks. Spend a bit of time in the City of London and see how many Irish accents you hear. A lot of those staff have relocated, yes. A lot of them commute. And a lot of them are working for Irish consultancy firms. And even the ones who’ve relocated refute his point about employees, as they demonstrate that Ireland is indeed producing that calibre of worker.

    My own employer (technically Northern Irish, but with a hell of a lot of Southern staff) has just become the first Northern Irish company ever to make the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers list. We’re ahead of Facebook, in fact. It’s pretty fucking insulting to be told that no-one would dream of locating in Ireland for the staff. Really? We have world-beating staff. Our firm works in the finance industry and consistently made profit and expanded throughout the financial crisis. We built the Australian Stock Exchange’s security software. Murphy has no clue what he’s talking about.

    (Incidentally, I’m ignoring the North/South divide as it is immaterial to Murphy’s argument, since Stormont have successfully negotiated with Westminster the right to set our own corporation tax rate so that we may compete with Ireland, for obvious reasons. Not gone through yet because of the latest deadlock, but it will eventually, and Murphy would no doubt object to even its prospect. It’s also immaterial because he’s talking about the quality of staff, and obviously people commute and relocate across the border for work all the time.)

    That was it going down well in Ireland.

    And I’m not even Irish.

    Tempted to distribute his piece to some colleagues and see what happens.

  9. And yes, it is colonialist. The same people who think all Western influence in the affairs of sovereign nations is unconscionable also think a load of Western nations should band together and use their clout to force smaller countries with smaller militaries to change their tax laws.

  10. God, if Ritchie carries on like this then Jeremy Corbyn might need to make peace between Britain and Ireland again.

  11. Bloke in North Dorset

    In the early 1990s I worked with an Irishman at what was to become Orange and he returned home to work for Motorola who were setting up one of their 3 world wide operations centers there. The reason they chose that location was because of the educated workforce, infrastructure and Government support but mainly because even then it had become a tech cluster.

    Tax incentives may have got companies to Ireland as the final decider but without that workforce and the infrastructure they wouldn’t have even been on the shortlist.

  12. For a pig-ignorant cock-end like Murphy to sneer about the calibre of Irish skilled intellectual labour must be galling beyond belief. What a bigoted sneering fat little fucker.

  13. A quick glance at world-wide corporation tax rates show the following EU countries with rates of 10%: Latvia and Bulgaria. Why then choose Ireland, as the fat bigot has already decreed that there’s no infrastructure, skills or talent worth the candle there, it’s all about tax evasion?

  14. It is also worth pointing out what it takes to be a “Pariah State” for the Left: not rigged elections, not State terror over its citizens, not forced collectivisation and seizure of private property, nor immiseration of its citizens.

    No, it’s cutting a tax rate from 20% to 18%.

  15. for Christ’s sake. He’s not sneering about Irish employees. He’s merely pointing out that Ireland is attracting some business because of its corp tax rate, and that when the OECD and EU regs start kicking in, some prospective companies may choose elsewhere.

    I could read that it’s actually you that’s sneering about the quality of employees in other jurisdictions. And a couple of anecdotes doesn’t mean what you say is actually true.

    Guernsey sells itself in much the same way; sophisticated products, excellent employees, stable government, bespoke infrastructure, proximity to European markets etc.

    It also has zero percent tax for foreign owned companies.

    Now let’s see. What is the most attractive reason to move the brass plate to Guernsey, from let’s say, the UK?

    Where Murphy is concerned you like to deliberately grab the wrong end of the stick, hell, the wrong stick altogether.

    He’s got Irish residence, hasn’t he?

  16. “They just think of tax-dodging as the first, last and only reason.”

    Fairly obvious to me. The first, last and only reason.

    Read it again.

  17. Rob, are you an expert or are you as pig-ignorant as Murphy?

    It’s nothing to do with left or right. It’s about getting screwed by MNCs and trying to prevent that. Defend them to the hilt if you like, but I don’t think you know why you are defending them.

    Spite, that’s what, towards any one that doesn’t share your misguided world view.

  18. Surely a man named Murphy ought to be careful when aiming over-generalised implications of incompetence at the Irish?

  19. That’s a touch patronising, Arnauld.

    It’s also possible that:

    A) there isn’t a conspiracy by MNC’s (sigh) to screw anyone
    Or

    B) that what you call ” getting screwed” is simply trade- as far as people who don’t call providers of goods and services MNC’s see it.

  20. Anus,

    What the fuck are you talking about? I quoted Murphy, a direct quote which clearly implies he believes companies consider Ireland a place to go for tax reasons ONLY, not for infrastructure or talent. He states it clearly. You then fly off on some tangent about me defending companies but not knowing why.

    Well, sunshine – they provide jobs. Well paid ones, often. They create wealth. Compared to people like Murphy, they are fucking national benefactors.

    And if the Irish want to attract such companies to their shores, good luck to them. It’s none of Murphy’s business or any imperialist wankers trying to throw their (considerable) blubber around.

  21. square

    Yes, patronising, in keeping with every post on this blog in every thread.

    Where did I say conspiracy? Their pissing about moving the tax residence is a recognised fact. It’s not difficult to understand.

    If the operations of that trade were transparent then people may start thinking otherwise. Acceptance of sharp practice is hardly noble.

  22. “Well, sunshine – they provide jobs. Well paid ones, often. They create wealth. Compared to people like Murphy, they are fucking national benefactors.”

    Why is it that Guernsey and Jersey have such a disproportionate deficit despite those wealthy workers? The budget constrictions will hit services hard. No amount of luxury apartments will cover those cracks.

    So, sunshine, you need to get educated.

  23. @ arnauld,
    “It’s about getting screwed by MNCs and trying to prevent that. Defend them to the hilt if you like, but I don’t think you know why you are defending them.”

    I’m sorry- I read the above as implying that the MNC’s were in some kind of conspiracy to screw people. The use of MNC was my first clue, the use of ‘screwed’ was the second, the ‘don’t know why you are defending them’ was the third.

    I thought you were talking about an organised group (hence: “them”), complete with snazzy NWO style acronym (I stand corrected on metonyms!) doing bad stuff (the screwing).
    I realise now you would have just used the word conspiracy if that was what you wanted to say.

    I misunderstood. I apologise.

  24. Also: Arnauld: if jersey and guernsey are fucked, can I buy a cheap flat there now? For tax purposes, like? Or do they still have that wanky residence test shit?

    And If so: how’d you pass?

    Genuine question.

  25. square

    MNCs are merely using the laws that allow that sort of behaviour. Tax justice and transparency campaigns seek a change in those laws that facilitate that behaviour. I agree with those campaigns. It is in the general taxpayers’ interest.

    The result of those practices screw the population.

    Rob can froth away but he is entirely wrong.

  26. And apologies for three posts on the trot, but:
    Arnauld:
    “If the operations of that trade were transparent then people may start thinking otherwise. ”

    It’s just possible no-one gives a fuck.

  27. > He’s not sneering about Irish employees.

    No one believes companies locate in Ireland because of great employees

    Yes he is.

    And he’s wrong. Lots of companies locate in Ireland (North and South) for precisely that reason.

    > It’s nothing to do with left or right.

    Very true: plenty of fuckwits on the authoritarian protectionist Right are swallowing the “tax haven” bullshit, and plenty on the non-British Left aren’t — I mean, it’s not as if Ireland is a particularly right-wing country, is it? When Stormont gets its independent corporate tax rate, I’d be astounded if the DUP all started pushing to lower it to match Ireland and SF all pushed to raise it.

    There’s also nothing particularly right-wing about objecting to bigger countries trying to bully smaller countries into changing their legislation. As I pointed out above, it is the Left who object to that in all other cases. Just not tax. Using your clout to get a country to move their oil price or relax trade restrictions: evil. Using your clout to make them raise their corporate tax rate: angelic. For some reason.

    And I can’t even begin to think of a Left/Right divide on the subject of Irish employees not being worth locating a company in Ireland for. I’m certainly not objecting to that because I’m right-wing and Murphy’s left-. I’m objecting to it because I work for an Irish firm, because I have loads of Irish colleagues, because I know for a fact that some major international firms are locating in Ireland for the quality of employees available, and because I also know (because I know one of the senior civil servants who worked for the IDB) that one of the major reasons firms could be persuaded to locate in NI during the Troubles was the quality of the workforce.

    As I mentioned earlier, my employer is based in NI but has loads of employees from South of the border — I’ve not counted, but quite possibly more Southerners than Northerners. So we’ve positioned ourselves in a location that allows us access to Ireland’s workforce even though we don’t get the Irish tax rate.

    Murphy’s being an ignorant fuckwit. Again.

  28. I can’t work out if I like Squander’s posts because they are clever, well written, correct in the detail, well supported by reasonable observations or just because he can use the tags superhumanly well.

    Maybe all of those things

  29. squaure

    No cheap flats here. Not a lot of movement in the housing market. Most new developments get bought out by ‘investors’. Many lie vacant.

    There is a “residency test”. Non-locals can only buy an “open market” property. It’s got a big mark-up. If you wanted a property for tax purposes you’d need to prove you live there, used to be 90 days in the year. It has changed recently.

    Guy Hands, that PE twat, upped sticks to live here. If he sets foot in the UK he’ll be taxed as a UK resident. His wife and kids live in the UK. What a man.

    I pass because I qualify.

  30. Anyway, what exactly is so wrong about paying tax to the Irish Government? Ireland needs state spending — arguably more than the UK does. All the arguments the taxophiles make — that the money is needed for schools and hospitals and new fire engines and the Moon on a stick… well, what do they thing the Irish are spending it on? Don’t they need hospitals?

    Visiting Ireland the last few years, the development has been startling. They didn’t even have a decent road network till recently. And a few years ago, of course, we were talking about them the same way we talk about Greece now. They have done and are doing a fantastic job of fixing their country up. Part of how they’ve done that is by outcompeting other governments for tax revenues. And why the fuck shouldn’t they? What, the Greek approach is better?

    I understand the argument against actual tax-dodging, avoiding paying tax to anyone. But that’s not what the anti-Irish campaigning is about. These companies pay tax. The campaigners are just angry that they pay it to those fecking blarney-kissing bog-trotters instead of a proper decent British government with a proper British moustache.

  31. S2, still only anecdotes though. I guess you work in finance, probably a bank. Maybe one of those that fucked up?

    Look, those companies you know for a fact are moving to Eire because of the potential employees are hardly going to announce that they’re moving to reduce the tax they pay. Corps are pretty well aware that tax is a sensitive subject.

    But why is it a sensitive subject if people don’t give a shit?

    And why do you consider Irish employees superior to those anywhere else? Does that not make you ignorant?

  32. I think the main difference between the workforces of Ireland and the Channel Islands is that in the businesses we are discussing, the former are for the most part natives of Ireland whereas for the most part on the Channel Islands they are ‘bussed in’ temporary inhabitants, temporary because it’s so fucking shyte living their and the many local retards staring at you with their big cow like eyes eventually give you the willies.

    Also that fucking awful wailing busker on Guernsey just outside M&S on the high street is enough to eventually drive anyone away who isn’t physically nailed to some furniture.

  33. @Arnald

    No you’re right. It is all an enormous conspiracy.

    You really want to know how far it goes?

    You’re the only person who isn’t a part of it.

  34. No, S2, most regeneration in Ireland is because of their being part of the EU.

    http://eustructuralfunds.gov.ie/

    what is wrong is that if the source of a companies revenue is in one country, then that’s where it should be taxed. After all it is benefitting from those “taxpayers money”.

    Ireland will only be less of a tax haven when it brings in those measures as described in a quote in that article.

  35. @S2

    Fair point: you’ll start behaving like Russell Brand if you get too many compliments

    @Arnauld- it may be a sensitive subject *on here* becuase people recognise the risks in what people of Murphy’s ilk propose/despair at the media’s willingness to pass on without analysis daft proposals/just hate government meddling (delete as applicable).

    My “no-one gives a fuck” comment was more nodding towards Starbuck’s/Vodafone/google/Amazon’s/facebook’s sales being utterly unaffected by their transfer tax arrangements. Which I imagine is provable in the absolute.

    Don’t get me wrong: people here love to pick over the inherent contradictions in Murphy/farnsworth/Williams’ view of the world, but ultimately, no one in the actual real world cares: they just love their fatty coffee drinks and smartphones.

  36. Andy

    I haven’t said it’s a conspiracy. What the fuck are you on about?

    The bussed in workers are a good example of how the wealth is extracted. A few tradesmen do well for a while, but even now the main contractors are agitating that they will make staff redundant because of the lack of business.

    And you can’t busk outside M&S.

  37. @Arnald

    Headline rates of CT

    Jersey 0%
    Ireland 12.5%
    UK 20%
    US 35%
    Japan 40%

    So where do tax havens start? Is there an Arnald approved rate, below which a country becomes a tax haven?

  38. > I guess you work in finance, probably a bank. Maybe one of those that fucked up?

    Wow, the last person on the planet who doesn’t know where I work.

    The thing about companies who fucked up and thereby contributed to the crisis is that they therefore made losses. So the bit where I mentioned that my employer has consistently made profits and expanded since 2008 should have been a clue, really.

    > those companies you know for a fact are moving to Eire because of the potential employees are hardly going to announce that they’re moving to reduce the tax they pay.

    You don’t pay attention, do you? We can tell it’s not just for the tax because they locate on both sides of the border. The workforce is effectively the same because it’s a small island with an open border. Some people commute between Dublin and Belfast.

    Chicago Mercantile Exchange have just put their offices for the whole timezone — that’s Europe and Africa and the Middle East — in Belfast.

    > why do you consider Irish employees superior to those anywhere else?

    I don’t believe I said they were. I was arguing with Murphy’s claim that no-one would believe any company would locate in Ireland for the quality of the staff.

  39. Andy

    You reckon you’re an expert. Tax Havens are not just the low tax rate. You’re being deliberately facetious.

    KPMG quite clearly states the tax advantages of moving “the decisions made by the board” to Ireland.

  40. Arnauld: did… did… did you just compare your crusade against business rates being slightly lower in Ireland to Nelson Mandela being banged up in jail for a couple of decades, whilst his countrymen were oppressed by state sponsored death squads? Just checking.

    Ps: capital regeneration works rarely make actual people richer in a meaningful manner. That’s trade you are thinking of. Capital regeneration just give them a nicer place to be unemployed and poor in.

  41. Apartheid and Ireland having a lower corporation tax rate than the UK? Holy fuck. Who’s frothing now?

    Funniest thing I’ve read today, anywhere.

  42. S2

    Why should I know where you work? You’re not that important, even if you did use your real name. Do you work for an NI bank? Ulster?

    If the employees were so good then someone Irish should have said something at the time.

    Your point border crossing staff only undermines one of your arguments. Irish employees aren’t necessarily better.

  43. No Rob and squaure.

    People don’t give a shit, as you say, but its borne of ignorance, like your own. I could have used any law that is considered vile now but was normality then. People don’t care if it doesn’t affect them.

    Tax fiddling does.

    OK it’s a bit Godwin’s but you’re so dim it needs the bleeding obvious.

  44. > No, S2, most regeneration in Ireland is because of their being part of the EU.

    And how’s that “being part of the EU” technique working out for Greece?

    Funny how the EU development miracle was wrought in the one EU country which also lowered taxes and encouraged investment by corporations, and seems to have been [cough] a tad less effective in other EU member states.

    > what is wrong is that if the source of a companies revenue is in one country, then that’s where it should be taxed.

    OK, so Apple and Facebook and Google should pay all their tax in California. Right? Oh, sorry, was that not what you wanted?

    > I guess nobody really cared about Apartheid either at the time.

    Seriously? Paying tax in Ireland is the same as Apartheid?

    I honestly had no idea it was that bad. But surely, if it’s that morally egregious, we need to stop all those millions of Irish people paying tax in Ireland too. Can’t allow them to support evil.

    There’s nothing else for it: we’ll have to invade.

  45. > I could have used any law that is considered vile now but was normality then. People don’t care if it doesn’t affect them.

    Apartheid was considered normal and no-one cared about it? Which Eighties did you live through?

  46. No, S2, most regeneration in Ireland is because of their being part of the EU.

    And the crash, wasn’t that made worse because Ireland has the Euro ? You shouldn’t leave out the bad bits.

    Out of interest what do you see as the alternative economic strategy for Ireland if they are forced to have a higher CT and lose companies and therefore tax, as a result, which by your logic they must do ? For that matter what is the alternative for the CIs, tourism maybe or perhaps a French takeover, because I can’t see the UK being very interested in subsidising you.

  47. And:

    > what is wrong is that if the source of a companies revenue is in one country, then that’s where it should be taxed. After all it is benefitting from those “taxpayers money”.

    In the EU, this is nonsense. Huge wodges of taxpayers’ money is passed on from the national governments to Brussels and then it is redistributed from there back to them. It makes no sense to look at a thing sold in Paris and say that it is French and only French taxpayers who have paid for all the infrastructure that enables the sale and that German taxpayers have done nothing for it.

    Also, one of the many things British taxpayers have paid for over the years is the negotiation of the Maastricht Treaty, which is what allows the situation you object to. It makes no sense to complain of tax paid in Ireland that it means the British taxpayer aren’t getting what they paid for when the mechanism that allows that tax to be paid in Ireland is something the British taxpayer did pay for.

    If British taxpayers have changed their mind about the whole deal, fine: we’re about to have a referendum anyway. But it will be a referendum on what we the British can do, not on what the Irish must do for us.

  48. @arnauld

    “People don’t give a shit, as you say, but its borne of ignorance, like your own.”

    If only there was someone to show me what to do! To show me what is both right and just! To prohibit all other options and choices lest I make the wrong one! For my own good, I beseech thee, oh glorious one- show me the light!

    Or, if you are busy, stay out of my way, I’ll stay out of yours and perhaps everything will work out OK anyhow.

    Wisdom of the crowds/guiding hand of the market/not living in a totalitarian state/whateverworksforyou.jpg

  49. ‘bussed in’ temporary inhabitants, temporary because it’s so fucking shyte living their and the many local retards staring at you with their big cow like eyes eventually give you the willies.’

    Udder nonsense. You heifer been here ?

    And it’s ‘there’, not ‘their’

  50. Out of interest, if it wasn’t for the finance jobs then what industry would the Channel Islands be relying on? Small islands, small population.

    There’s no oil, so Shetland-style riches are out.

    Ice cream and potatoes aren’t going to support that many people.

    Transport links aren’t great, so difficult to see any big manufacturing industry basing itself there.

    Maybe attract a tech industry, but how? Tax breaks?

    Seems to me that they’ve made the right choice with tourism and finance. (That’s not saying things couldn’t be better of course…)

  51. Watching Arnald attempt to argue his points is like watching Ritchie, with the added benefit that he cannot banhammer his opponents and has to resort to more shrill deflections to cover his inadequacies.

  52. I don’t check these threads often enough to properly chime in, but reading them amuses me:

    October 19, 2.44pm Arnald claims: “for Christ’s sake. He’s not sneering about Irish employees.”

    Two minutes later, Rob points out why this statement is catastrophically wrong.

    More than a dozen insult-heavy and rationalism-light posts later, Arnald has still not managed to justify his original point or say anything sensible.

    Still, better all this than trying to explain what ‘wealth extraction’ is eh?

  53. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Arsenald seems to be of the opinion that if you are in a hole, you should ask to borrow a JCB. Murphy said what he said; it was fatuous and sneering in equal measure; he is an oaf and a cretin. That’s really all it amounts to. Trying some Jesuitical logic-chopping to justify what Murphy said just doesn’t work. The statement that Ireland attracts companies solely because of its corporate tax structure is wrong on its face and collapses under even mild scrutiny, as S2 has so amply illustrated. It’s of a piece with the manifold other intemperate remarks he has made which reveal him to be an arrogant, chippy, would-be Gauleiter with a sense of self-worth utterly at odds with his actual merit.

  54. @MC: Agreed, he’s not had to explain “wealth extraction”, but he’s discovered what urine extraction means…

  55. “They loved their fruit.”

    Nah, Arnus. ‘They’ didn’t like fruit that had been handled by blacks.

  56. The Irish built the world’s infrastructure in the 19th and 20th centuries, so it makes sense they keep building it in the 21st.

  57. I think the lefties have to move on and choose different targets. The default rate of corporation tax should be nil, just as council tax is for students or the default amount of government involvement in entertainment, football and what couples read to their pre-school children at night. Occasional exceptions could be made for bank levies or the Olympics.

    And now a quote from the extensive 2011 Sissons and Brown study of enterprise zones “The relaxation of planning regulations offered by enterprise zones is also much more cost effective than tax breaks”

  58. Andrew Carey said:
    “The default rate of corporation tax should be nil …. Occasional exceptions could be made for bank levies or the Olympics.”

    Sadly we’re not allowed to tax the Olympics.

  59. Richard

    Can you believe the amount of crap tht an IT department has to undertake to give special tax exemptions to “athletes” at a world cup, olympics or other tournament. This cost burden is not recoverable for some reason ubless the relecomms supplier ups its rates by 1 cent for the length of the tournament.

  60. You’re a strange lot. You hang on one phrase and can’t imagine it in context. So literal.

    Ireland is a tax haven. It does what tax havens do to attract business. Murphy pointed this out. Tax competition is harmful. Because you can’t understand those few sentences you come across as school children.

    Get over yourselves.

  61. The bit you’re not getting. Our view is that tax competition is beneficial. It restricts the rates which any government can charge.

  62. Lawrence of Arabia

    Missed much of this thread last night but given Murphy’s blog I can only assume this sentence is ironic?

    ‘You’re a strange lot. You hang on one phrase and can’t imagine it in context. So literal.’

    Isn’t the entire reason Tim was kicked off Murphy’s blog was he implied they (Murphy and Hines from recollection?) were behaving like Teenage trots and apparently this was evidence ‘he can’t tell the truth’ because RM was ‘never a teenage trot’.

    Anyway – pleased to see that you have no doubt, at least in your own mind, ‘won the debate’ here, and ‘offered dozens of enlightening arguments’…….

  63. “The bit you’re not getting. Our view is that tax competition is beneficial. It restricts the rates which any government can charge.”

    The bit you’re not getting is that you are wrong.

  64. > You hang on one phrase and can’t imagine it in context.

    I read the piece.

    > Ireland is a tax haven. It does what tax havens do to attract business.

    Egad! It attracts business!

    > Murphy pointed this out.

    Yes, and he said some other stuff.

    > Tax competition is harmful.

    In that case, you should be able to provide an actual example of an actual person who has been actually harmed by it. Go for it.

    > Because you can’t understand those few sentences you come across as school children.

    Gosh. Well, here’s the bit you don’t seem to understand.

    I disagree with people who think tax competition is harmful. But fair enough: reasonable people can disagree about these things. I’m not some extremist who thinks there should be no tax on anything ever. And life’s too short to fall out with people over politics. I have plenty of very good friends who utterly disagree with me about this and most other things. If that were all Murphy had said, I’d think he was wrong and I might well say so if I had the time, but that’s it.

    But that’s not all he said. He also displayed a staggering level of ignorance and idiocy. Since he’s so important these days, it is worthwhile pointing out just how wrong he is when he spouts such bollocks. And furthermore, he did it in a way that was insulting to the Irish. So he can go fuck himself, the ignorant cunt.

    And, even if he were right about everything else, he’d still be calling for Democracy A to tell Democracy B to change their legislation or else. Even if the people of Democracy A are the Enlightened Ones and the people of Democracy B are backward three-fingered bog-apes, that is still wrong. And really quite worrying when it comes from a senior advisor to a senior politician. The people of Democracy B fought a brutal war within living memory over this shit. One might hope that an advisor to the Leader of the Opposition might tread a little more lightly.

    Especially when said Leader of the Opposition supports Sinn Fein. Jesus, even if Murphy were right about absolutely everything, saying this would STILL make him a moron.

  65. > The bit you’re not getting is that you are wrong.

    Wow, that sounds like an interesting conversation. Perhaps we could write that on two big signs, set them up facing each other, and replace Parliament.

  66. Squandered, you are far too sensitive. I doubt you would be so vehement if Murphy had said of, say, France after it announces to drop corp tax to 10% “they won’t be going to France for the quality of the workforce, it is because of the tax regime”.

    I mean this blog is stuffed full of slights against other countries, their folk and their ways.

    But he still wasn’t denigrating the Irish people. He was saying that it’s tax reasons first. He could have said it about any jurisdiction. You’re a fucking idiot to think he has anything against the Irish.

    One jurisdiction should not influence tax rates set by their governments, in either direction. I agree with that. Hence tax competition is wrong from the start. I don’t agree with Murphy if he’s meaning that the EU or the UK could impose on Ireland what it thinks their corp tax rate should be.

    If the relevant transparency was available then there would be no argument. It would be obvious which corps were pissing about with profit shifting and all that. Reputational risk would become more important. You wouldn’t want to be known as a country that facilitates blatant tax fiddling.

    But what’s the point of explaining my position. I could agree with everything you lot say and I would still get attacked. I don’t give a toss, it proves your blindness.

  67. I showed Murphy’s piece to an actual (Northern) Irish person. He’s a bit of a lefty. He responded thusly:

    yeah you irish – why dont you hike your corp tax so these companies locate to the south of england with the elite, where they belong
    you drunken idiots

  68. If we are acting logically, we should be acting according to basic principles with regard to external influences, ie the same approach irrespective of whether it is an increase or a decrease.

    If C Tax rates were being raised in Eire, and to above the UK rate, what would Murphy’s position likely to be?

    Otherwise, taxes (logically) can only ever move in one direction…

  69. > I doubt you would be so vehement if Murphy had said of, say, France after it announces to drop corp tax to 10% “they won’t be going to France for the quality of the workforce, it is because of the tax regime”.

    Why? I know lots of very good French workers. They’re all in London, right enough, largely because of France’s insane employment laws, but hey. Given that France has such high employment and (last I heard) an excellent education system, I’d assume that there are loads of very good potential workers available for a company to hire. Depending on the industry.

    I might well say that they’re not going there for the ability to utilize the workforce effectively, or something like that, because said laws do make it rather difficult. I’ve known of companies who have made the calculation that moving operations out of France and into the UK is cost-effective even after taking into account the huge fines the French levy on them for doing so.

    All of which is a long-winded way of saying France is not Ireland. I’m not objecting to any hypothetical thing you imagine Murphy might say about France under hypothetical circumstances. I object to what he actually said about the Irish.

    > He was saying that it’s tax reasons first.

    No, he didn’t say that at all. He said it was tax reasons only. He specifically gave the example of the quality of the workforce as a reason that it definitely isn’t. He said what he said.

    > One jurisdiction should not influence tax rates set by their governments, in either direction. I agree with that. Hence tax competition is wrong from the start.

    No, this is absurd conflation. The issue in a democracy is choice. The British electorate may choose to lower our corporation tax in response to competition from Ireland (as the Northern Irish electorate have). Or we may choose not to. It is our choice. The existence of competition doesn’t take that choice away.

    And if you’re right that competition is an unfair influence on a country’s affairs, where does that stop? The Germans have to ban Oktoberfest because how dare they draw all those lucrative taxpayers out of other countries every Autumn?

    And what’s so fucking holy about the UK’s corporate tax rate? I mean, if you think tax competition between states is wrong, then you can’t just want Ireland’s raised to match ours; you have to demand others’ be lowered to match ours too. Why? Because the British Parliament has somehow discovered God’s magic universal tax rate? It’s a completely arbitrary figure. And what happens if we change our tax rate? Every other country has to change theirs too, to match ours? This is crazy talk. Because for different polities to enact different policies is a corruption of democracy?

    > You’re a fucking idiot to think he has anything against the Irish.

    But I don’t think he has anything against the Irish (other than the usual low-level background prejudice most of the English suffer from for some reason). No, it’s much worse than that: he insulted them by accident. Because he’s too stupid to think through the implications of what he’s saying before he opens his mouth.

    A lot of people are, of course. But no-one forced Murphy to get involved in politics. He chose this. And part of being a senior advisor to the Leader of the Opposition is that you watch your mouth.

  70. Part of the problem is that Lefties are so obsessed with Corporation Tax and they assume that everyone else shares that obsession. The idea that companies put vast chunks of operational infrastructure in Ireland simply to pay less tax is self-evidently deranged. To take Murph thought to a logical extreme, companies would be queuing up to relocate to any country that has no corporation tax. The only exceptions I know are the captive insurance companies in Gibraltar and IoM. I haven’t noticed BT, BA or any other MNC with an insurance captive moving anything else to those jurisdictions. Why not? Maybe because tax is not the exclusive driver behind such decisions? It seems obvious to me but then I am not a professor, writer, accountancy partner, entrepreneur and policy advisor.

  71. Jesus’ yellow jersey, S2. If you had written that in a Guardian column you’d get ripped to pieces. An imagined slight on an entire country producing thousands of foam-flecked words? It’s political correctness gone mad!

    and this

    “No, this is absurd conflation. The issue in a democracy is choice. The British electorate may choose to lower our corporation tax in response to competition from Ireland (as the Northern Irish electorate have). Or we may choose not to. It is our choice. The existence of competition doesn’t take that choice away”

    and Worstall

    “Our view is that tax competition is beneficial. It restricts the rates which any government can charge.”

    Tim’s statement that he believes “it restricts” is true, so do you otherwise you wouldn’t be defending the practice. Countries are not supermarkets.

    I said how I think it would stop. Transparency on all sides. Let the company take the risk with equal information, not the country ultimately reducing tax to zero. It is extremist to believe that countries should be dictated by corporations.

    And it’s not all about England, you moron, or all about Ireland and it’s better than average employees. If you can’t advance the argument further than a few quoted words in some media or other, then why bother writing at length, It’s banality.

  72. diogenes (do you live in a jar?)

    “companies would be queuing up to relocate to any country that has no corporation tax.”

    This is precisely how zero ten was sold to the Channel Islanders. The fact is the MNCs already had various shell companies and a host of SPVs, then in Guernsey, the ICCs and PCCs. HSBC had shy of a hundred subsidiaries in Jersey. The finance MNCs were always able to set their own rates with full agreement of the governments. Internet gambling? It does go on and on.

    There are other reasons for relocating, but it will not be because of the calibre of employees. That quality can only be completely anecdotal.

  73. OK Arnald, when Nissan or Dyson open a factory in Jersey, let us know. When Nestlé or Glaxo or HSBC or ATTP move their head offices and operations to Gibraltar, let’s all celebrate.

  74. Given that France has such high employment and (last I heard) an excellent education system, I’d assume that there are loads of very good potential workers available for a company to hire.

    There are. It is the utter lack of management that kills France, not the quality of the average worker.

  75. diogenes

    Now you’re being dim too.

    Those big corps always like to threaten wholesale moves with tales of woe all round. The cast majority of the time it’s all bluff. The governments accede to their demands. Rule by force.

    They don’t need to open factories or operations in tax havens. All they need is a bunch of subsidiaries spread all around the world’s secrecy jurisdictions and then use all of the various loopholes relating to those jurisdictions in tandem
    and then nobody can really know what the real positions are.

    I don’t understand why anyone would defend this. The antithesis of the free market.

  76. “Ireland is a tax haven. It does what tax havens do to attract business. Murphy pointed this out. Tax competition is harmful.”

    And like Murphy, Arnald simply cannot imagine allowing the wogs in Ireland to conduct their own affairs as they see fit.

    21st Century Colonialism, thy name is Arnald (and Murphy).

  77. “I don’t understand why anyone would defend this. The antithesis of the free market.”

    Try this on for size: Maybe some of us have a level of respect for democracy… even when it doesn’t end up giving us the exact result we hope for in all matters.

    Think that through, Arnald, if possible.

    Also note that tax competition is not the antithesis of the free market. It is a manifestation of the free market, you moron.

  78. > An imagined slight on an entire country producing thousands of foam-flecked words?

    I like writing. What’s the problem? You appear to have written quite a bit yourself here. Again, what’s the problem?

    I’m quite happy to have a bit of an argument. I don’t understand this approach of criticising the fact that the other side even are arguing. You can argue all you like but if I argue back that proves I’ve got too much time on my hands or am a saddo or something? Grow up.

    > Tim’s statement that he believes “it restricts” is true, so do you otherwise you wouldn’t be defending the practice.

    Why assume I agree with Tim? I disagree with him about all sorts of things.

    But look, there’s still a key difference there. When Tim says “It restricts the rates which any government can charge” — well, I think he’s wrong, as electorates are perfectly capable of voting for counterproductive policies. Chavez was elected. But, even to the extent that he’s right, it’s not the same sense of “restrict” as you’re implying. A lot of that real-world restriction comes from the electorate. People would happily vote for 90% taxes and free ice cream for all if they thought the 90% rate would only ever apply to other people and that the whole system would work effectively. Luckily, neither the British nor the Irish are that stupid. So the Irish Government is restricted in what it can do by the Irish people.

    The proposed restriction that I object to is this idea that the British Government should tell the Irish Government to raise their tax rates for the benefit of the British. I don’t oppose or support restriction per se. I think it matters where that restriction comes from.

    You may think this difference is trivial for some reason, but I’m a bit of an absolutist about democracy. The great thing about democracy is not that it’s a good way of making rational decisions (it isn’t) but that it prevents wars. So, even if the Irish are fuckwits voting against their own interests for a tax rate that makes their lives worse, it is still better that their wishes be respected than that they be overruled by the wise rulers of Britain.

  79. Peasant

    “Also note that tax competition is not the antithesis of the free market. It is a manifestation of the free market, you moron”

    No it isn’t, you moron. unless your version of the free market includes piracy.

    “Try this on for size: Maybe some of us have a level of respect for democracy… even when it doesn’t end up giving us the exact result we hope for in all matters.”

    Obviously you don’t because you want tax havens to restrict the tax rates in democratically elected governments.

    “Arnald simply cannot imagine allowing the wogs in Ireland to conduct their own affairs as they see fit”

    When have I said that? I said this:

    “One jurisdiction should not influence tax rates set by their governments, in either direction. I agree with that. Hence tax competition is wrong from the start. I don’t agree with Murphy if he’s meaning that the EU or the UK could impose on Ireland what it thinks their corp tax rate should be.”

    But then I could always tell you were dense. Did you really spend time on that drivel on your website?

    Pleading “Please take a moment to visit my literary/cultural website known, if at all, as…

    The Westerville Chronicles

    At present it is 14,000 words strung together that have the epic narrative quality of Tolstoy, the psychological insight of Dostoyevsky, the vivid characterizations of Dickens, the wicked humor of Twain and the literary elegance of Lawrence. And it’s all filtered through the intellectual lens of, say, Curly Howard”

    Dick.

  80. S2

    “The proposed restriction that I object to is this idea that the British Government should tell the Irish Government to raise their tax rates for the benefit of the British.”

    I have also stated this. 11.39

  81. Wonderful – the lefty conpiracy theory about vast numbers of furtive capitalists expending infinite time and energy to evade corporation tax rears its stupid, ugly head again. Arnald, this is what you get for attending taxsturbation orgies with Murph and Hodge.

    Let me run through the process for you since you appear to know nothing about how companies operate.

    Say an American country wants to open a branch in Europe. The things they would look out for are an educated workforce with an ability to speak English and access to the right markets. For sales and back office support functions, they might look at the UK and Ireland. The tax rate would be one element in the decision but tax rates are liable to change. Availability of government grants would be a factor. A decade or so ago, call centres all seemed to be staffed by Scottish people. This was because the government subsidised the wages of people in the north of Scotland and made it cost-effective for companies to open call centres there. It was not to evade tax.

    If they wanted to open a manufacturing plant, Ireland would be a bad place because of its distance from Europe. So the tax rate would not take any role in the decision. Things such as level of unionisation and relative pay rates are much more important.

    They might consider Jersey but the workforce there is small and, if you are representative, they are pitifully stupid and abusive.

    This fantasy of yours that all companies do is screw up a brass plate in a lawyer’s office and secrete money away is delusional. It happens, usually when tax rates are raised to absurd levels but then the company generally goes bust before it manages to find a way to repatriate the stashed money.

    Companies do, however, regularly open branches in foreign companies and fill them with people who conduct jobs. They are all around us.

  82. You’re so cute when you froth at the mouth, Arnald. Perhaps you could get Richard to wipe the spittle from the corner of your lips. It’s the least he could do for his number one informant.

    “No it isn’t, you moron. unless your version of the free market includes piracy.”

    Yes, it is. Countries are competing in a free market to attract business to their own country. Tax law, along with such factors as government regulation, enter into the equation. As do workforce characteristics and infrastructure. If countries choose to enhance their competitive position vs. other countries by lowering their tax rates, that is a perfect example of the free market at work.

    Only a moron would try to equate it with piracy.

    “Obviously you don’t because you want tax havens to restrict the tax rates in democratically elected governments.”

    That makes no sense. Literally. Just how do tax havens restrict governments from setting their own tax rates (law) at whatever they want?

    Unless, of course, the free market penalizes them for being less competitive vs. other countries. But according to you, there is no free market with regards to this sort of thing. So what’s the problem?

  83. “The bit you’re not getting. Our view is that tax competition is beneficial. It restricts the rates which any government can charge.”

    He gets it Tim, that’s why he’s so enraged.

    Either that or he can’t find a payday lender this week.

  84. Peasant

    “Countries are competing in a free market to attract business to their own country.”

    There is no free market in either tax competition or with any competition involving “countries”.

    It’s dominance by force. If force fails then it’s a series of more and more desperate decisions by those attempting to play the market. What do you think would happen if corp tax was zero everywhere? Do you really think that wages would rise? Surely the competition then would be on how low the wages could get to attract business.

    Maybe when everyone is a serf with their bread and their circuses, the governments reduced to a form of old people’s home, will those businesses be happy as feudal lords.

    That cannot be the outcome of any model of a free market. You are utterly deluded.

    Countries are not supermarkets.

  85. Oh, and Peasant

    Have you done any more readings in your poetry group, or maybe you comedians night class?

    Any success begging any one to visit your website? Does even Muffy bother to read it?

    She’s probably too embarrassed.

  86. One more thing: Do you really think Ireland is a tax haven because it has the power to establish dominance – by force, no less – over, say, Britain and the U.S.? Because that’s what you’re saying.

  87. Bloke in Costa Rica

    “What do you think would happen if corp tax was zero everywhere? Do you really think that wages would rise? Surely the competition then would be on how low the wages could get to attract business.”

    Anyone with that feeble an idea of how prevailing wages are set in a market economy really has no business pontificating on the subject.

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