James Warren 52 minutes ago
First of all, the COE’s investment is nothing in the context of Alphabet’s $500 billion market capitalization. Second, international tax planning is a matter of the relevant laws, which are thousands of pages long and not particularly driven by either logic or good sense. It can’t be repeated often enough that taxes are a forced exaction by governments and taxpayers are completely within their rights to do whatever they can to minimize the cost within the law’s provisions. To the extent the issue is a moral one, it is a moral duty on the part of the government to ensure that the rules work in a fair and even way. There is no moral duty on taxpayers to pay large sums just because the business is large.
This article follows an equally vicious and unjustified front page article in the Times complaining about the remuneration of some of the Church Commissioners’ investment advisers (who seem to have done a particularly splendid job last year). This is none of anyone else’s business, and certainly not justification for muck-raking journalism that seeks to stir up outrage at anyone who is financially successful at the slightest hint of a connection with a tax-haven or a generous bonus. High level financial professionalism is expensive, but people pay for it because it is worth it. Where’s the scandal in that?
Did You Ring Sir 3 hours ago
Why does the Times give a platform to this man ? He has for long been a religious fundamentalist masquerading as an ‘economist’ to push his extreme agenda. About 15 years ago he produced papers concerning the Consumer Credit Act which were among the most economically illiterate I have even read, long on assertions about ‘extotionate’ interest rates, but lacking any logical analysis that paid attention to the facts. His career since then I didn’t follow. But I observe that university ‘professors’ are usually appointed to grind axes and not to teach objectively.
Andrew Kinsman 3 hours ago
I fail to understand why Professor Murphy feels the need to comment on internal Anglican affairs. I understand that he converted to Quakerism during the transition from the first Mrs Murphy to the current one.
DeadCatBounce 5 hours ago
Companies are not going to behave as the Church wants because it would mean engaging in the market with one hand tied behind your back. And the Church isn’t a big enough investor (£7bn is nothing) to change policies and behaviours.
So maybe the Church should just buy Gilts and premium bonds. Terrible returns but hey, clear consciences.
Julian Doncaster 5 hours ago
Is there a chance that the Times could put this goofball back under his stone?
Gary Taylor 5 hours ago
The Church should wade into tax policy and country-by-country reporting?!! Christians are being persecuted throughout the Middle East, Church membership is falling in the UK, and the rights of gays is creating an ideological schism, but no – country-by-country tax reporting is key.
An epic lack of perspective.
Simon Andrews 6 hours ago
The front page carries a story about the need to raise standards in UK universities. The Thunderer is written by Richard Murphy, the recently appointed professor of practice in international political economy at City University. Case in point, I think.
Paul Hewison 7 hours ago
The church commissioners are supposed to get the best return on their investment portfolio. They are barred from pornography, tobacco, gambling, non-military firearms, high interest rate lending or human embryonic cloning and now it seems, companies that do not pay enough tax.
If they do all that is required of them ethically they are then criticised for a poor return on their investments. They can never win.
judy ludlow 7 hours ago
Oh well, either the BBC or the Church. Always good for an easy piece.
Geoff Taylor 9 hours ago
A Labour MP saying that Google does evil is not evidence of Google being so. I doubt that I am alone in thinking that effective (legal) tax planning is not an evil in and of itself. This concept of “evil” is central to the article’s argument, for if Google isn’t evil then the Church”s ethical problems melt away. So Mr Murphy really should have explained what this “evil” really is.
Quoting an attention-seeking politician just doesn’t cut it.
Chris Miller 7 hours ago
@Geoff Taylor Particularly when that attention-seeking politician is the egregious Margaret ‘Enver’ Hodge, whose own family business (Stemcor) pays a tiny amount of Corporation Tax on its billions of turnover, for perfectly legitimate reasons. So it can’t be the case that she’s just too stupid to understand the arguments, she really is just a hypocritical grand-stander.
Mind you, she’s an intelligent and well-informed source compared to ‘Professor’ Richard Murphy – a retired accountant who has appointed himself an expert on economics generally (he sometimes claims to be the father of ‘Corbynomics’) and all matters tax-related. If you’re in need of a laugh, visit Tim Worstall’s blog, where he has a column ‘Ragging on Ritchie’ devoted to refuting the many statements made by the Sage of Ely (refuting them on the great man’s own blog is impossible since he deletes any criticism):
Tim Palmer 5 hours ago
@Chris Miller @Geoff Taylor
I second your recommendation, Chris. Murphy is a joke, beyond parody. Why The Times should give this third-rate poseur column space is beyond me.
David Lowder 10 hours ago
I wonder if Mr Murphy would attack any other religious group with the same fervour, I doubt it.
Still, £300 is £300 isn’t it?