A note about Richard Murphy

As several comments have been pointing out:

So, a question: should the group have been able to enjoy £103 million of tax subsidies for its losses because other companies in the Arcadia Group were presumably able to offset these against liabilities owing?

Is there good reason why the state should support continually loss making companies in this way?

Is a time limit on the number of years during which losses will be supported appropriate?

Would this sum have been better used helping clear the pension deficit?

I think these are appropriate questions to ask.

A further appropriate question to ask. Unitary taxation, an idea stoutly backed by one Richard Murphy, the Sage of Ely, means that a group of companies is taxed as just that, a group of companies making up just the one tax unit. But here, with regard to Arcadia and BHS, the demand is that they should not be treated as the one economic unit, which is what that offset does, but instead be considered separately.

Is there no beginning to the consistency of Richard Murphy?

9 thoughts on “A note about Richard Murphy”

  1. “Is there a good reason why the state should support continually loss making companies in this way?”

    Because the state believes it is better to have people in employment rather than at home watching daytime television and drinking cider. It’s why the government is thinking of propping up a loss making steel manufacturer; why, in part, the public sector exists.

  2. “Would this sum have been better used helping clear the pension deficit?”

    Which sum; the losses? Not sure how that works! Or is he somehow arguing BHS should’ve been shut down years ago … and presumably the same for Port Talbot.

  3. Bernie – that’s only true if there are no other jobs available. In Newport, Wales, that might be true; but for most town centres with a BHS there are plenty of other shops looking for workers.

  4. Our principle complaint here about Murphy stands: this advocate of Unitary Taxation really does see group reliefs as ‘subsidy’.

    However, the thought struck me: are we looking at consolidated group accounts and balance sheet? In that case the tax figures would represent a build up of a tax asset across the group. That is tax losses that could be set off against future profits. If the trade as presently constituted doesn’t continue, however, then those losses will never be used. In which case there isn’t even an operation that he can theoretically describe as a subsidy.

    Richard Murphy is a self-styled tax expert.

  5. “Because the state believes it is better to have people in employment rather than at home watching daytime television and drinking cider” And much, much better than having them at home sitting in a garden shed promoting ignorance and stupidity to impressionable dimwits.

  6. Newport is the Llanwern site which has been scaled back significantly over the last 15 years.
    Port Talbot is a seperate site about 40 miles away

  7. “Is there good reason why the state should support continually loss making companies in this way?”

    I thought that was his thing

  8. Who would start a subsidiary if any initial losses were not able to be written off until it started making money?

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