The Panama Papers: more evidence of a ‘Them & Us’ world | Debbie Abrahams

[Image: The Guardian.]

Will David Cameron have the courage to let HMRC do its job? [Image: The Guardian.]


Debbie is, of course, a long-term friend of Vox Political. Here’s her opinion of the tax avoidance scandal that is currently rocking the Conservative Government in general – and David Cameron in particular:

The publication of the so-called Panama Papers is yet more evidence of a powerful and indifferent elite for whom the accumulation of personal wealth is paramount and at the expense of their fellow citizens, in many cases citizens they are meant to be providing leadership to.
Evading tax is not only illegal, but it means that there is less money collected by the Exchequer for our pensioners, disabled people, the vulnerable as well as for doctors, nurses, teachers and other public servants.

Aggressive tax avoidance although not technically illegal is argued to be against the spirit and intention of the law.

Fundamentally, dodging paying a fair share of tax is contributing to growing inequality in this country and across the world, and tax havens are at the heart of this.

The Government has been dragging [its] feet and obfuscating on comprehensive action to address tax evasion. £800m was identified in July’s budget for ‘non-compliance’ issues but only £266m has been allocated specifically to address tax fraud.

How much will be spent on tax evasion via tax havens? How many of the 670 new staff will be acting on tax evasion associated with tax havens? Why were nearly 6,000 staff let go from HMRC between 2013 and 2015 for 670 new staff to be taken on in 2016? How has the 10% reduction in HMRC staff since 2008 affected action on tax evasion and tax havens? With the Government hosting an anti-corruption summit in May, will they commit to Oxfam’s call for unilateral action, for example, compelling Crown dependencies and Overseas Territories to produce registers of beneficial ownership and preventing Government departments and contractors from using tax havens?

For many of these jurisdictions, ultimate sovereignty remains with the UK. There is absolutely no excuse for Government torpor on this issue.

Read the full article here: The Panama Papers: more evidence of a ‘them & us’ world

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4 thoughts on “The Panama Papers: more evidence of a ‘Them & Us’ world | Debbie Abrahams

  1. David Woods

    The reason no government has done anything and will online to do nothing is simple:- They, their families, and their backers all use the same tax avoidance routes, and they will not accept less profit, certainly not to benefit their fellow man!
    Not even for the planet!

  2. Jon Lisle-Summers

    Obsessive greed damages everybody, even the obsessives themselves. Archaeological evidence worldwide points to “resource exhaustion” caused by ruling elites. They never anticipate the impact of their selfishness until it’s too late. Societal collapse is the usual result.
    In the present case, too much money is out of the economic arena, that is, in tax havens, and too much money is “hot”, that is, used for quick return profits and then moved on to the next fast buck opportunity.
    The housing market in London is the classic example of the impact of both these negative strategies. Now, a typical Londoner is paying more than 50% of net income (or even 60%) for rent or mortgage. Mortgage, that is, if you can come up with a staggeringly huge deposit.
    Foreign investment for profit, not occupation, comes mostly from tax havens. This causes price hikes because it’s a promising profit opportunity. That, in turn, pushes prices upwards thus creating a endless repeating cycle. Higher purchase costs feed straight into the buy to let market which then inflates rents. It’s unsustainable. Come the bust, the wealthy can wait for the market to restart but the rest of us go to the wall.
    Mostly, the wealthy claim that what they do is legal. What they mean is, there’s no harm done. But there is huge damage done, all around, as they will discover when they’ve finished undermining the structures on which they depend. They think they’re clever but when the system truly crashes we’ll all go together. Thanks ever so much, stupid rich people.

  3. Brian

    It is distasteful to be confronted with evidence that the elected government of the day is fundamentally dishonest. How much more does the electorate have to suffer before these crooks are ejected.

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