Alex Cobham can bugger off ‘n’all

He is getting rather overheated:

“If the minimising of Indian tax revenues is ‘standard’ for British investors, that’s not a justification, it’s a condemnation,” said Alex Cobham, the chief executive of the campaign group Tax Justice Network. “India needs its tax revenues for schools and hospitals. We must hope that the chancellor himself is committed to the progressive taxation of wealth and top incomes, or the UK will only see the deepening of the stark individual, racial, gender and regional inequalities that the pandemic has laid bare.”

This is about people investing in India through Mauritius. Entirely and wholly legal by the way. And which does reduce Indian tax payable in the event of a profit.

So, the defence is? Well, investment in India benefits the Indian economy. A reduction in tax upon the success of an investment increases the likelihood and amount of investment. Thus offering tax breaks – whether they be to foreign investors directly, or by double taxation treaties of this type – thereby benefits the Indian economy.

The correct people to be making this decision – whether to offer such breaks or not – are the Indian government. Not colonialists like Alex Cobham.

Cobham would no doubt start to insist that Kim Clausing proved that this doesn’t work. As Kim Clausing has expressely and specifically denied she has done.

For those who have difficulty following the point – or are Cobham or Murphy, but I repeat myself – if corporate taxation changes the amount of investment that is done then the above at the top point about changing taxation changing the volume of investment is true. Clausing showed that she can’t see any change in the amount of investment as a result of changes in corporate taxation. Then goes on to agree that the reason for this is that investors are already not paying those local corporate taxes because they use offshore, double taxation treaties and the like. Therefore we cannot see the change in investment as a result of changes in tax because the tax isn’t biting upon the investment.

4 thoughts on “Alex Cobham can bugger off ‘n’all”

  1. I can only agree that this is a matter for the Indian government. If they’re incapable of handling this, plainly they should never have been given independence in the first place.

  2. WTF?
    The reduction in dividend tax for Mauritian investors is a decision *by the Indian Government*.
    The reduction in CGT makes no difference to UK investors since they should be liable to the difference between UK CGT and local CGT.
    This is just a typical anti-Tory smear.

  3. “India needs its tax revenues for schools and hospitals.”

    Perhaps the Indian government could divert some of the money that would have gone into their space program?

  4. I would also question his basic assumption that tax money is needed for schools and hospitals.

    In his own country ( and around the world) there are thriving schools and hospitals that are not tax funded.

    Generally I find that when people start with such bad priors it’s not even worth dealing with the rest of their argument.

    He’s talking policy based on ‘facts’ that are wrong – so the policy is shite right out the door.

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