Isn’t it strange how those that have declared no financial interest in Britain have been given the remit to tell the rest of us how better we could spend our tax money? We all know of Sir Philip Green and his wonderful non-dom status, but don’t believe for a second that he’s the only one. We get travel advice from Branson, a man sunning himself on his own little island and whose companies we the tax payer subsidise, and of course the Tories favourite: Lord ‘I aint paying a penny here, but I will be directing the economic direction of the government,’ Ashcroft. If for some reason you still believe that wealthy donors to political parties do so for any other reason than self-advancement then you are living in a land of birds that apparently like to sit in clocks. Rich patrons, are so, for the advancement of: their own career; the contractual benefit to their company/ies or to protect their business interests..
If they were donating their monies for the betterment of society or its people, there are more deserving parties than the dynamic trio. The Green Party, given the right financing and polishing, could be an electable alternative that genuinely would put the environment top of its agenda. Sadly, for the majority of wealthy donors, this could lead to a detrimental affect on their gross earnings. (Gross earnings, now that’s a term that has very different meanings depending on one’s social class and pay.) There are also smaller parties that are concerned with their locality and again could be of benefit to the larger society, if their message was heard. Donations to such parties would give little clout politically, to any donor no matter how much money they gave, but it may help to create a real democratic balance of voters views and beliefs. Do we see the Ashcrofts of this world running towards them, cheque books in hand, pen poised in readiness to donate? Of course not. Rich benefactors are in reality beneficiaries.
So what is it that Sir Green has concluded? He says that we waste a lot of money on buying things at over-priced rates. Some going for a man who owns Topshop. I still can’t believe anyone shops there. That if the Civil Service negotiated better and paid slower it could save billions. In the short-term that may be true. In the long-term it wouldn’t be so. Negotiating costs down will work if the company supplying is still making a profit. If not, it has two alternatives: Lay off workers and cut costs or to move production abroad. Both eventually lead to loss of tax revenue and a need to cut costs within the same Civil service. His next point is, to not pay on time, anyone who has dealt with Government departments will already know that they never pay on time and for many years company suffer huge cash-flow issues because of it. This can and has led to companies becoming bankrupt. With credit being as difficult as it is at the moment, any further delay in paying suppliers and contractors will inevitably lead to companies going out of business and less tax revenue again with inevitable laying off of more public sector employees. I suppose this is the flaw in using tax cheats to investigate how best to get value from tax receipts.
Let’s do the maths on Mr Green and all his ilk and their penchant for avoidance of tax. A day in the life. If anyone of these people, who feel they don’t and shouldn’t have to pay tax to this country, were to become ill who would they telephone? Would it be an ambulance? Who would pay for that Ambulance? Could it be a private one? Who paid to train the medics on board? When he’s rushed through the streets to the hospital will they take him to a private one? If so, who would have paid for the doctors and nurses training? If he were to need a blood transfusion who would provide the blood and how would that be paid for? All the infrastructure that he and his kind take for granted are paid for through taxes. These taxes have to be paid by everyone else who works. This man, as with many others of his belief system, earn huge amounts of money from running his businesses in this country, ‘The Fourth Largest Economy in the World’. He’s not a tourist who accidentally has an accident and as a host country we, through common decency, provide their health care. This man lives, eats, sleeps and earns a fortune from our structured society; a society that is held together by the hard work and honesty of the majority of its citizens. Who every week or month have to look at their wage slip and groan at the amount of tax that had been deducted. They will moan and whine about it, and they will know there is waste, but they also know that without their and millions of others tax, we would have no society, no structure for Philip to make his billions from.
A point of interest raised by Ken Loach on Newsnight (6/10/2010) in response to Heseltine’s ‘we must cut the deficit rhetoric.’ “If we were to tax the top ten percent of the population a further five percent there would be no deficit.”
Michael’s response: “Then they would leave the country.”
Ken’s Retort. “So those that gained nothing from the boom are expected to pay for its downfall? While those that benefited get off without paying a penny.” Heseltine had no real response to the truth other than to waffle on in platitudes and invented history.
Rich people donate to political parties to get the best advantage they can from society. The Philip Green’s of this world show that to be the case. People will say, what he is doing is not illegal. They’re right. Of course it’s not illegal to earn your fortune from one country and pay tax in another, because politicians have formulated the legislation to make sure that’s the case. Why would a politician legislate for loop holes in the tax law? Because his wealthy donor stated that’s what he wanted. That’s why rich people and corporations donate to political parties. To make sure they get the legislation they want and the gongs that reflect their status and wealth within that society. Tax avoidance is another term for it’s them and us. If the workers in society try to promote political representation through collective bargaining that’s called militancy and everyone squeals, ‘dirty reds’.
The irony is that eventually everyone pays, even those who avoid it. The ‘deficit’ budget will put more people out of work and increase social discord, which may mean, in time, that the Philip Green’s and his true blue ilk will be less safe than they are at present. As the streets are cleared of police officers and those that are left become under-paid and over-worked; while unemployment increases exponentially and councils have power cuts to save on money, we’ll all be walking around terrified of our own shadows and eventually there wont be any of us with the money or the inclination to shop at Philip’s shops and he’ll have to piss off for good. Bring on the economic bust! Because with this bunch of money grabbers governing us we sure aint getting a boom!