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joy ride
9th Feb 2015, 14:38
HSBC and Tax

Interesting blog:

HSBC ? the tax-dodging bank with a Tory chairman | Vox Political (http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/02/09/hsbc-the-tax-dodging-bank-with-a-tory-chairman/)

I might watch BBC TV's Panorama at 8.30 tonight...

highflyer40
9th Feb 2015, 15:32
Surely its the banks job to help you pay as little as it can. That's what you pay them for. Nothing wrong with tax avoidance, and to be honest everyone shoulder be doing it! If the government wants this practice to stop it needs to radically simplify the tax laws and end any loop holes.

Effluent Man
9th Feb 2015, 15:40
It was evasion not avoidance. And neatly blows Boy George's point about lower tax rates meaning that the rich pay their taxes right out of the water.

ORAC
9th Feb 2015, 16:08
It was advise by the Swiss branch of the bank and legal under Swiss law at the time. Would you wish any advisor to give you anything but the best advise if you pay them for it?

Legal for the bank , but, possibly, illegal for some of the depositors.

Tim Worstall explains (http://www.timworstall.com/2015/02/09/sigh-22/)

As explained elsewhere, the lack of prosecutions is because HMRC operates a policy of not prosecuting if identified miscreants pay up. Why? Because they're tax collectors not police and more people pay up that way to avoid a hand on the back of the collar. Nothing new there, and nothing likely to change.

In the meantime......
Miliband sparks diplomatic crisis (http://order-order.com/2015/02/08/miliband-sparks-minor-diplomatic-crisis-labour-leaders-letter-helps-spain-attack-gibraltar/)

At the moment it seems Labour can't open their mouths without putting both feet in it.....

sitigeltfel
9th Feb 2015, 16:20
HSBC and Tax

I might watch BBC TV's Panorama at 8.30 tonight...

Panorama has seen accounts from 106,000 clients in 203 countries, leaked by whistleblower Herve Falciani in 2007.Remind us who was in charge of government and HMRC in 2007?

But the chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge MP, said (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31291702): "I just don't think the tax authorities have been strong enough, assertive enough, brave enough, tough enough in securing for the British taxpayer the monies that are due."Ah yes, Margaret Hodge ( AKA Hodge The Dodge). She was given a platform on BBC Breakfast TV this morning where she spouted forth about the activities of HSBC. Very strange that neither she, nor the BBC bothered to to mention that she holds over 2 million shares in her family steel firm Stemcor, which has been the subject of tax dodging allegations in the past. With bases in many countries throughout the world there was scope for Stemcor to declare positive revenues in the most tax favourable regimes and minimise those where the greatest tax would be levied. They wouldn't do that of course........nope........not never.........perish the thought!

Effluent Man
9th Feb 2015, 17:09
It was on R4 at lunchtime. Although initially raised in 2007 there was apparently no details released as to who or what the scheme was. That came in 2010 after which Dave promoted Lord Green to a ministerial post.

I wouldn't get too excited about the stuff thrown at Miliband. Labour have been at or around 33% in the polls for the last two years. The electorate have factored it in and those who believe it are clearly in the 67% who don't vote Labour

NutLoose
9th Feb 2015, 17:46
Sorry it's the Governments fault not the banks, the bank is there to serve its customers, and all they are doing is putting their clients first.

The Government is responsible for loopholes in the systems, it is exactly the same for the likes of Google and Starbucks, they abided by the rules in place, it is not down to those companies to pay out more than they are liable for under the system in place, it is down to the Government to ensure that the proper amount of tax is paid by closing those loopholes.

airship
9th Feb 2015, 17:58
I've banked with HSBC for almost 20 years now. They've never ever proposed to help me evade or just avoid taxes. At times, it's even had a positive credit balance of €12-15,000. For very brief moments only admittedly. :p

27mm
9th Feb 2015, 18:57
Can't believe HSBC are the only bank involved.......

Shaggy Sheep Driver
9th Feb 2015, 19:01
Margaret Hodge, she's like the land lady who sets the rent at £1000 a month then berates tenants for not paying more!

Cornish Jack
9th Feb 2015, 19:02
the bank is there to serve its customers
Good Heavens!!:hmm: Which of these fine altruistic establishments are you referring to, kind Sir? When I first opened a bank account in the 50s, 'twas so ... but now? You really have to be joking:ugh: Back then, I actually knew my manager - he was a family friend. But now? The self-serving bar stewards even tried to charge me for transactions carried out with an account in credit of over £2,000:yuk: Still, as long as the little dears get their annual bonuses, all's well ... Eh!:mad::mad:

airship
9th Feb 2015, 19:06
What's even stranger is that HSBC have been (or are being) officially investigated and/or fined severely for similar activities by other countries (eg. USA, France etc.) but apparently NOT the UK. Which is coincidentally where HSBC is based. Nothing to do with keeping "the City's" unblemished record for financial propriety intact? Or perhaps underlining the importance of the banking / financial sector to the UK? Shirley not! :}

Fareastdriver
9th Feb 2015, 19:13
I would guess that some Labour MPs won't be shouting too much.

joy ride
9th Feb 2015, 19:27
airship wrote:

What's even stranger is that HSBC have been (or are being) officially investigated and/or fined severely for similar activities by other countries (eg. USA, France etc.) but apparently NOT the UK. Which is coincidentally where HSBC is based.



What most annoys me is that Cameron and Osborne both promised to close Avoidance loopholes a while before the Olympic Games started. They also pretended to be surprised about the loopholes, but now this is proven to be dishonest as they knew full well in 2010.

ConDem, Labour, whatever..."A pox on all their houses"!

airship
9th Feb 2015, 19:28
New UK Labour / Conservatives, US Democrats / Republicans, French centre-right and centre-left parties are all chips off the same block IMHO. They've always mostly protected big business and tax-dodgers similarly whilst claiming otherwise. Maybe Milliband's Labour will be different. I wouldn't bet on it though. Surest way to ensure some concrete measures would be taken would be to vote Communist at the next election... :p :uhoh:

ETOPS
9th Feb 2015, 21:02
Used to love how the newspapers always banged on about secret "Swiss numbered bank accounts" :rolleyes: How else would you refer to them :ugh:

Anonymous was the term they were looking for.........

SpringHeeledJack
9th Feb 2015, 21:53
After watching the program, it had the usual components of such an exposé, but I felt that the 2 customers who they tracked down and confronted in public having already made amends to the tax authorities, by showing them on national TV in an unguarded situation seemed somewhat cruel and unnecessary. A private civil matter for two individuals dragged into infamy. All the ba$tards who have reamed the exchequers of millions and billions and nothing done :rolleyes:

I felt a sense of nausea on seeing that duplicitous squawking parrot talking of people minimising their tax through nefarious means. She wouldn't have the self wisdom to see the irony there :yuk:


SHJ

Wingswinger
10th Feb 2015, 07:04
that duplicitous squawking parrot

I take it you refer to Margaret Hodge M.P.

ORAC
10th Feb 2015, 07:27
Yep, that'll be this Margaret Hodge M. P. (http://order-order.com/2015/02/06/i-wouldnt-take-money-from-pwc-says-ex-employee-hodge-family-firm-stemcor-employs-pwc-admits-she-still-receives-pension-from-pwc/)

joy ride
10th Feb 2015, 09:25
On the BBC site today:

BBC News - Global authorities call for investigation into HSBC tax scandal (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31327042)

To me, inter-party mud slinging is just a diversion from the real story. It seems that yet again UK does nothing while other countries start taking action. The relationship between this government, banks and wealth is far too cosy and corrupt.

Curious Pax
10th Feb 2015, 10:19
On the BBC site today:

BBC News - Global authorities call for investigation into HSBC tax scandal (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31327042)

To me, inter-party mud slinging is just a diversion from the real story. It seems that yet again UK does nothing while other countries start taking action. The relationship between this and previous governments, banks and wealth is far too cosy and corrupt.

Corrected that for you - and I say that as one of the more left-inclined members of the forum. Politicians of all shades are paranoid about being seen to do anything that could be claimed to affect the wealth of the country, but occasionally it would be justifiable to call someone's bluff. The bankers' bonus issue is a case in point. The cry is always that to rein it in much would merely lead to the best talent going to work abroad. Firstly the cry always comes from a vested interest, and secondly would it really make much difference? It's not as if most of the bonuses are for making a difference - in the main they seem to paid regardless of results.

The issue of whether or not to prosecute tax evaders is also interesting - would those saying they should be left in peace as they have paid back what they owe apply the same logic to benefit fraudsters if they repaid the money? (FWIW I think they should both be prosecuted).

joy ride
10th Feb 2015, 10:26
^ Apt correction!

M.Mouse
10th Feb 2015, 10:40
With all the self-righteous, and possibly envious, shouting about tax evasion the wider point is being missed that taxation in the UK has become outrageously high.

Does it not seem wrong that when my income reached a quite high level, through my own hard work and sacrifice to attain my qualifications and experience, that my effective rate of tax became around 50%? And after that when I spend any money I pay 20% VAT on top of the cost of an item or I am taxed to the hilt when buying petrol and so on. I currently have a limited company in order to do work for a well known international company. That work means I drive a considerable distance each year. I looked at buying a company car. If I buy a car that I would enjoy driving (I see little point in working so hard if I cannot enjoy the fruits of my labour) I am further taxed at a penal level for the 'benefit in kind'.

If taxes were lower and perceived to be fairer who could object to paying their fair share? Although politically right wing I have liberal tendencies and appreciate that the successful need to help the less successful and the helpless but when I see millions being poured into Africa in aid and welfare payments thrown at the feckless, idle and cheats, when I see many benefitting from our welfare system whether it be the NHS or housing or some othe benefit when the beneficiary has contributed nothing to our society then forgive me if I get angry about the amount of tax I pay.

I don't evade tax but I sure would if I thought I could get away with it.

Andy_S
10th Feb 2015, 11:09
With all the self-righteous, and possibly envious, shouting about tax evasion the wider point is being missed that taxation in the UK has become outrageously high.

Well said Sir.

There seems to be an attitude amongst some, indeed most governments that they have a greater entitlement to what we earn than we ourselves do.

Like yourself I recognise the need to pay tax and acknowledge the benefits to society as a whole that arise from supporting those who are less able to look after themselves than me. However I really wish that governments of all colours would remember that the revenue they raise is actually earned by others. Rather than treating us as a convenient Piggybank to fund their pet projects they should perhaps only take what they REALLY need.

joy ride
10th Feb 2015, 11:51
I agree about tax burdens, but just look at British High Streets everywhere, where there used to be family owned tea rooms, cafes, toy shops, grocers, etc., now we have Starbucks, McD, and even now Boots and WH Smiths foreign-owned and avoiding/evading tax. There are now SO many individuals and corporations paying little or no tax, that Tax income to the Government has gone substantially down. These tax loopholes are at least part of the reason why our tax bills are so high.

Lon More
10th Feb 2015, 12:25
Maybe this (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/apr/20/cameron-family-tax-havens) and
this (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-tax-shock-12m-2866929) nifty bits of tax avoidance go some way to explaining government's unwillingness to investigate further

rh200
10th Feb 2015, 12:28
Banks are a business, their job is to maximize profit for their shareholders, nothing wrong with that, as long as they do it legally.

They do this by providing a service to the customer, that advice as long as its clear whats legal or illegal is up to the customer to decide to follow.

If the bank breaks or assists in the breaking of the law, then they should be prosecuted.

If they have fond a loop hole, good on them for being competent. We should then try and close it, if the cost benefit analysis shows its worth while.

sitigeltfel
10th Feb 2015, 13:29
Maybe this (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/apr/20/cameron-family-tax-havens) and
this (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-tax-shock-12m-2866929) nifty bits of tax avoidance go some way to explaining government's unwillingness to investigate further

You seem to have missed this (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tories-brand-ed-miliband-a-hypocrite-over-labour-donors-tax-avoidance-8648433.html) and this (https://cyberboris.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/how-ed-and-david-miliband-exploited-a-tax-loophole-described-by-gordon-brown-as-tax-abuse/) and this (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2093272/21K-day-David-Miliband-exploits-tax-loophole-Government-pledged-close.html).

Funny how some peoples minds work ;)

londonblue
10th Feb 2015, 13:49
I think this just about sums it up:


Big accountancy firm accused of saving people money (http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/business/big-accountancy-firm-accused-of-saving-people-money-2015020695157)


For PwC read HSBC

Effluent Man
10th Feb 2015, 16:33
The current trend towards zero hours contracts has radically altered the relationship between government and business. Whereas before companies paid a wage that was sufficient for the worker to live on now they provide perhaps twenty hours a week and the part time employee goes cap in hand to the government to make up his £130 to a living wage.

Consequently the taxpayer is indirectly subsidising the business owner who has his income boosted by it no longer being necessary to pay his employees for holidays,sickness and all the other benefits that used to go with a full time job. Pretty neat what?

M.Mouse
10th Feb 2015, 16:57
Effectively I am working a 'zero hours' contract. I am employed, via my own company, by a large international company. It actually suits me fine because it gives me enormous flexibility and I am fortunate to not actually need the work to live and support a family.

Zero hours contracts are pernicious in that the 'employee' is effectively not an 'employee' but a contractor hence he/she has no entitlement to the normal accepted benefits of being an employee e.g. redundancy pay, paid holiday, pension benefits.

For the employer it means they are not subject to the myriad of costs imposed by legislation i.e. holiday pay, maternity/paternity pay/leave, National Insurance, P.A.Y.E., pensions, etc.

Does anyone see a pattern here?

Government driven costs have become unreasonably high for employers just like personal taxation.

My contract suits both parties but I would shed no tears if the practice was generally outlawed for the benefit of employees in general and wider society as a whole.

Lon More
10th Feb 2015, 17:40
Funny how some peoples minds work

Indeed. Mine does; sometimes not too sure about yours.

Thank for pointing this out. I'm in complete agreement and if I'd seen those links I would have included them

MG23
10th Feb 2015, 17:57
There are now SO many individuals and corporations paying little or no tax, that Tax income to the Government has gone substantially down. These tax loopholes are at least part of the reason why our tax bills are so high.

Do you really think governments will cut tax rates if people start paying more tax?

Personally, I stopped caring about pay rises in the UK when I realized that the government would be taking at least 2/3 of every extra pound the company paid me (40% income tax, 2% employee NI, 12% employer NI, 20% VAT, God knows what other taxes on top).

I agree about tax burdens, but just look at British High Streets everywhere, where there used to be family owned tea rooms, cafes, toy shops, grocers, etc., now we have Starbucks, McD, and even now Boots and WH Smiths foreign-owned and avoiding/evading tax.

Edit: oh, yeah, and I believe you'll find that's largely due to councils pushing business rates to levels that small businesses could no longer afford, combined with pushing parking prices to levels where only laybouts bother to go to the High Street any more. We have tons of small stores around here that can survive on a few customers a day, because we don't have those kind of government-created problems.

axefurabz
10th Feb 2015, 19:14
What most annoys me is that Cameron and Osborne both promised to close Avoidance loopholes a while before the Olympic Games started. I must have missed that one - when did it become an Olympic sport? :suspect:

OFSO
10th Feb 2015, 21:23
Same old story:

(a) There is a level of taxation which Mr Average considers reasonable, he may dislike it but he'll pay it. Increase the level of taxation, more people will find ways to avoid it, income from taxation drops.

Example: taxation was increased in Spain, businesses found it unprofitable to continue with so many staff so sacked a lot, or more businesses closed, more people out of work*, less tax collected.

*Officially, that is, although a sizeable number of people found work on the black so earn money on which they don't pay tax.

(b) People are not stupid. In the UK they know they are paying for a NHS where more goes on consultants than doctors, that "road tax" doesn't go on roads, that PFI companies are making a fortune from public transport. They know how much goes on subsidies to foreign countries which, were they to sort themselves out and use their assets appropriately would be richer than the UK. Resentment among the tax-payers builds, again they see the so-called "great and the good" fiddling their taxes and say "why shouldn't we".

Example: tax fiddling endemic among the royal family of Spain and among the leading politicians. While the Prime Minister of Spain has evaded prosecution, he's used the "taint by association" method against the Catalan President. Workers read the papers and think "why shouldn't we also".

In other words, sort the system out and you'll get cooperation from the tax-payers. Well, from most of them.

Krystal n chips
11th Feb 2015, 05:18
This interview is worth watching for several reasons.

Neither of the parties representatives actually manages to answer the questions.....no surprise there.....and towards the end of the interview give a credible impression of a couple of children arguing in the school playground.

And they wonder why the population don't have any faith in politicians .

http://www.channel4.com/news/catch-up/

I'm sure Dave will have a perfectly (im) plausible explanation for all the untimely revelations however.

sitigeltfel
11th Feb 2015, 07:29
I must have missed that one - when did it become an Olympic sport? :suspect:

If it was, the Greeks would lift all the medals.

joy ride
11th Feb 2015, 09:29
Tax Evasion/Avoidance possible links with terrorism and smuggling:

BBC News - Global views on the HSBC tax scandal (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31300712)

Capot
11th Feb 2015, 10:35
BREAKING NEWS!

INTERNATIONAL BANK AND ITS SENIOR DIRECTORS FOUND TO BE CRIMINAL FRAUDSTERS!

Wow, that's a new one. Never heard of such a thing.

Fareastdriver
11th Feb 2015, 15:36
The more the BBC rattles on about this subject the more it looks like a Labour Party Party Political Broadcast.

Andy_S
11th Feb 2015, 16:52
The more the BBC rattles on about this subject the more it looks like a Labour Party Party Political Broadcast.

I notice that the BBC News Website is Currently running the headline "Miliband attacks 'dodgy' PM in HSBC donor row".

As opposed to, say, a more neutral and objective "Miliband and PM trade tax accusations".

I really try hard to defend the BBC's partiality, but they really don't make it easy to do so at times......

Fox3WheresMyBanana
11th Feb 2015, 16:55
Should be fun watching Milibrain's response to this one.

https://html1-f.scribdassets.com/3uy2q2ola84avils/images/1-d5324fc9c7.jpg

It would seem that neither the Labour Party nor the BBC can be bothered to check the simplest facts these days. The BBC headline does not match the content at all. What did the original version of the article say? And why haven't they changed the headline?

Fareastdriver
11th Feb 2015, 18:54
The way Ed Milliband is ranting and raving in the commons could well be counter productive. Calling the Prime Minister 'dodgy' may well get the cheers of Labour MPs and the Benefits Brigade but what about the undecided voter. He/she/it may well feel that this sort of behavior is not what they want in a person leading the country.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
11th Feb 2015, 19:07
I think it's much more basic than that; Labour appears to be being stupid.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11406762/Watch-Labour-park-bright-pink-bus-on-zebra-crossing.html
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/02/11/259012D300000578-2948893-image-a-10_1423649629475.jpg

Everything they are doing at the moment is biting them back, big time.

MG23
11th Feb 2015, 19:12
I think it's much more basic than that; Labour appears to be being stupid.

So what's new?

They've been responsible for most of the stupid or downright insane policies in the UK since WWII.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
11th Feb 2015, 19:15
Ah, but they are now doing 'transparently stupid within 12 hours'!

No more taking 5 or more years for it to be obvious they've f#cked up. ;)

MG23
11th Feb 2015, 19:20
Ah, but they are now doing 'transparently stupid within 12 hours'!

No more taking 5 or more years for it to be obvious they've f#cked up. ;)

Well, that's true of the left in general. In the past, they had the mass media between them and the masses, and the media would ensure that nothing really stupid or vile that they said was publicized. Now, with Twitter and Farcebook, they can spread any insane thought worldwide with just the touch of a button, and no mediation.

People who used to be able to believe these people were sane and reasonable and just had a different opinion are now able to see that they're actually batcrap insane.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
11th Feb 2015, 19:33
It's one of the joys of the internet, worldwide, that 'professional' politicians are being shown up for the selfish, stupid, power-obsessed d!ckheads they really are.

Effluent Man
11th Feb 2015, 19:40
If Labour strategy is wrong we will see some movement in the polls away from the 32-34% range that has held constant for two years. My guess is that those voters are quite unmoved by the cut and thrust of electioneering.

As Labour polled 29% in 2010 a 3% increase combined with the collapsing LD vote means seats gained by Labour. I think that the lower figure of 32% is quite firm. The Tories then need 39% for a simple 1 seat majoity and above 40% for a working one.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
11th Feb 2015, 19:50
Will we see a shift in the polls, or just a shift at the Election?
There are an awful lot of possible Bradley Effects at this one, for practically every party. The major ones would appear to be.
Voters reluctant to admit they will be voting UKIP for fear of being accused of being racist (or, of course, because they are racist)
Voters reluctant to admit they won't actually vote, since the election is seen as important.
Voters for all mainstream parties in traditional voting areas reluctant to admit they have changed their intentions.

Effluent Man
11th Feb 2015, 20:12
The fact remains that Cameron needs a swing from Labour compared to an election where Labour fielded the most unpopular leader since 1983.

Fareastdriver
11th Feb 2015, 20:42
All these percentages of voters going one way ot the other are now meaningless. They are all using history as the basis of their forcasts. Now we have the SNP with a very strong showing in Scotland. They will, if the polls are correct, take about fifty seats from Labour. They will not be Tory seats but nevertheless it screws up any forcasting for the next election as to who is going to form the next government.

We will not find out until the dust has settled.

om15
11th Feb 2015, 21:34
We will not find out until the dust has settled.

We are entering a very different phase of politics with the surge in the minor parties I think,
For the 20th century there was a pattern of the two parties rotating, with one lot restoring the economy/shafting the workers and the other lot wrecking the economy/shafting the bosses depending on your view of things.

With the minor fringe parties entering the fray, with agendas solely based on a geographical section of the electorate or a particular group, rather than a national interest, then the cycle seems to be at an end.

The one common denominator of all main and fringe parties is the abysmal standard of politician they are producing, think back to the days of Barbara Castle, Airey Neave and the like, all with pre politician backgrounds, not many of the present batch have served an apprenticeship, driven a bus or served in the forces.

We could very well be in a hung parliament shortly, with UKIP and the SNP having a completely disproportionate influence on matters of quite serious consequence. Or even more horrifying having Red Ed and Balls Up running things.

Effluent Man
12th Feb 2015, 18:15
Dave on the news running from reporters with a face like thunder. Milipede takes a shock early lead.

airship
12th Feb 2015, 18:29
Since we're onto politics, IMHO the current shennanigans over the HSBC tax scandal is just another in a long line of David Cameron's more or less near disasters during his premiership including most recently that of Scotland almost leaving the United Kingdom. At least help was available from other parties for the common good on that occasion. God help us all if he wins re-election though, resulting in the UK leaving the EU as a result of another one of his gaffes... :(

MG23
12th Feb 2015, 18:31
The fact remains that Cameron needs a swing from Labour compared to an election where Labour fielded the most unpopular leader since 1983.

If the Tories are going to act like Labour, you might as well elect a real Labour government than a fake one. At a time when the country needed another Thatcher, the Tories gave it another Heath.

Effluent Man
12th Feb 2015, 18:37
Far be it for me to defend Dave but remember he didn't have a majority. Taking a Thatcherite line would have shaken out the LD's and meant a re-election. They knew that they would never have a better chance than being up against Gordon Brown.

Post42 - Well now we have that response!

MG23
12th Feb 2015, 18:41
Far be it for me to defend Dave but remember he didn't have a majority. Taking a Thatcherite line would have shaken out the LD's and meant a re-election. They knew that they would never have a better chance than being up against Gordon Brown.

If Cameron wasn't such a Wet, he would have had a majority. Any real leader could have beaten Gordon Brown.

Effluent Man
12th Feb 2015, 18:51
You fundamentally misunderstand the crucial fact relating to the UK electorate. Success is dependent upon winning the middle ground and any party placing itself seriously off centre loses support. If you ran on a Thatcherite ticket in both social and economic policies you would get possibly 25-27%.

rh200
12th Feb 2015, 20:19
You fundamentally misunderstand the crucial fact relating to the UK electorate. Success is dependent upon winning the middle ground and any party placing itself seriously off centre loses support. If you ran on a Thatcherite ticket in both social and economic policies you would get possibly 25-27%.

Not just the UK, the average grunt has to see a real and urgent problem to allow urgent reforms. If elected on a mild platform (no matter which way) and you only just get in, and then bring in some shock reforms, your screwed.

cavortingcheetah
16th Feb 2015, 17:08
One wonders if Stephen Kinnock, the son of that Kinnock and the husband of the Danish Prime Minister, she of Obama shuttercock fame, practises tax avoidance. It is rumoured that he has been selected as the Labour Party candidate for Aberavon in the upcoming British thrill seekers general election.
Perhaps he could be approached outside of the House of Commons for an unprivileged statement on his tax planning programme?

Effluent Man
16th Feb 2015, 17:30
What a strange post. Is there any reason to think that he has a particularly high income? The Tories would be better to stop digging on this. Public opinion is strongly against them and Lord Fink has achieved the seemingly impossible task of making Miliband look smart. The latest three polls all show an increasing Labour lead.

G-CPTN
16th Feb 2015, 17:51
From Wiki:-
In June 2010, the Danish tabloid B.T. accused Kinnock of tax evasion. At that time he was paying tax in Switzerland where his workplace was situated, and therefore had his main residence there, although his wife's political website states that 'The family lives in Østerbro in Copenhagen'.
The couple had previously stated to the media that Kinnock would spend his weekends in Denmark, sometimes including Thursday, and that he regarded his home and base as being exclusively with his family in Copenhagen.
According to the tabloid, he would possibly exceed 183 days a year in Denmark, meaning he would be fully taxable there. Helle Thorning-Schmidt repudiated the accusations but said the couple would ask the Danish tax authority for an audit.
The audit by the Danish Tax & Customs Administration (SKAT) was concluded on 17 September 2010, and in its Official Report SKAT stated that 'Mr Kinnock does not have tax liability for 2007, 08, or 09, as he does not reside in this country within the meaning of the Danish Tax at Sources Act' [various Danish newspaper reports as of 18 September 2010.]

Effluent Man
16th Feb 2015, 18:17
Thanks CPIN, I didn't know that,but it confirms my view that The Tories hope to detoxify the issue by scattering the sh*t as widely as possible. It's typical damage limitation strategy.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
16th Feb 2015, 18:33
It doesn't detoxify the issue, but ensures other parties cannot gain advantage from raising the issue.
For people who have a limited capacity for disgust, it dilutes the damage to the Tories.

Personally, my capacity for disgust is unlimited. ;)

Shaggy Sheep Driver
16th Feb 2015, 18:51
The latest three polls all show an increasing Labour lead.

The last two times they've been in power they have wrecked the economy. I wonder why voters might think they wouldn't do that again a third time? Or maybe they just don't care?

papajuliet
16th Feb 2015, 18:57
Seems to me it's win win for Labour on the tax issue. Rightly, or wrongly, the Tories are seen as the party for the rich people and they're the ones who are perceived as avoiding paying their dues.
Did anyone see, a few days ago, the report of a multi-millionaire who hadn't paid tax for 24years?

Effluent Man
16th Feb 2015, 18:57
SSD,But that is a subjective opinion. Obviously one that one voter in three does not share. What I see is a society fragmenting and getting worse. One where for many working in a rubbish dead end Macjob provides barely enough to put a roof over their heads and food on the table. With no prospects why should they care who is in power?

Shaggy Sheep Driver
16th Feb 2015, 19:00
It's not subjective that Labour wrecked the economy the last 2 times they were in power. I remember it well! It happened! It migh well suit some who think there is a free lunch on offer to turn a blind eye, however. There may be a few rich so and sos who pay little tax but the fact is the rich in UK pay a lot more tax proportionally than any other sector. Hunting down the odd evader would be good for morale, but ain't going change anything in the real world.

The mac jobs and other stuff has no easy answer, and is a lot more to do with globalisation than any actions or lack of actions by UK politicians.

Effluent Man
16th Feb 2015, 19:10
No,it's not subjective. You can find some very well regarded economists who argue that Brown's actions ameliorated the meltdown. In fact I believe Warren Buffet was one.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
16th Feb 2015, 19:15
And there are plenty of people who think astrology and aromatherapy are other than delusional. Doesn't mean they are right, and certainly doesn't mean they are being objective!

Brown spent like a man with two arms and no pockets, inflated the public sector, and promised 'no more boom or bust'. Of course the 'boom' turned to 'bust' as it always does, and the rest is history in the form of the biggest peacetime debt ever, fuelled by the biggest deficit ever!

And last time, it was 'Sunny' Jim. It took a Thatcher to sort his mess out (remember 'the sick man of Europe', nothing working, bodies unburied, rubbish piles in the streets, a dead economy?), but sort it out she did. Unfortunately we don't have a Thatcher in the 21st century.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
16th Feb 2015, 19:41
You can find some very well regarded economists who argue that Brown's actions ameliorated the meltdown.

..having caused it in the first place.

I could see it coming a mile off, and I was not alone by a long chalk.
I am fed up with this "no one saw it coming" rubbish.

with globalisation than any actions or lack of actions by UK politicians.

..and this is more rubbish. The politicians could have, and can tomorrow, take action to prevent globalisation turning the average western citizen into a low wage slave. But they don't.

Effluent Man
16th Feb 2015, 20:01
I'm guessing that like me you are of the "Prophet of doom " school. I saw the property crash (or correction) coming. I didn't foresee the bank crisis though.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
16th Feb 2015, 20:43
..and this is more rubbish. The politicians could have, and can tomorrow, take action to prevent globalisation turning the average western citizen into a low wage slave. But they don't.

If you're going to call it 'rubbish' you should justify your rudeness by some examples (of such actions) that would prove your point!

Fox3WheresMyBanana
16th Feb 2015, 21:00
Prophets generally don't tell you why things will happen.

So, next 'prophecy'.
Go look at car loans.
The Next Subprime Crisis, Auto Loans, Won't End Well - Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellingenheld/2015/01/28/the-next-subprime-crisis-auto-loans/)
No lessons learned from the 2008 crisis, by the financial markets or the Governments.
The trigger this time will likely be job insecurity and wage decreases rather than interest rates, but I reckon you've got about 3-5 years before this one blows up in everyone's faces.
On its own, this is insufficient for a major crash, but go look at income to the US Government ( and other major Governments). It's increasing coming from income and payroll taxes, e.g.
The 1 Chart That Reveals Just How Grossly Unfair The U.S. Tax System Has Become (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/chart-shows-corp-taxes-grossly-unfair_n_3321737.html)
except that globalisation is taking those jobs away and /or reducing wages, so income tax receipts are not meeting forecasts, e.g.
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4db294c0-5925-11e4-a722-00144feab7de.html
So deficits in the US & UK are getting bigger again
Three reasons we're failing to reduce the deficit - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/11168941/Why-are-we-still-failing-to-reduce-the-deficit.html)
US Fed Government Revenue for 2013 - Charts Tables (http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/fed_revenue_2013US)

Now a coalition (not Labour) Government is running out of other people's money.

Take a look at payday loans, and pension payouts (e.g. annuity rates). The ability of a large and increasing number of citizens to withstand any kind of financial shock is minimal. The growths in financial status are increasingly being restricted to the already-rich.
People don't feel secure, and that kills spending, which...etc.

I reckon QE in Europe will kick the can down the road for another year or two, but there will be another major crash in 3-5 years. For most people, there has been no recovery from 2008 anyway. Resilience is waay down.

I met a girl who sang the blues,
and asked her for some happy news,
but she just smiled and turned away

Fox3WheresMyBanana
16th Feb 2015, 21:12
SSD - happy to.
Domestic - unfair competition. The Government is simply ignoring wholesale breaches of employment and related laws with regard to the workforce.
Immigrants living 10 to a house, widespread H&S abuses not being reported by workers for fear of job loss and not being investigated (from the Government's own surveys, http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr502.pdf), use by companies of agencies to get round employment protection laws, zero hours contracts (as used by 62 Labour MPs 62 Labour MPs employ workers on zero hour contracts despite party campaigning against them | Daily Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2633390/62-Labour-MPs-employing-workers-zero-hours-contracts-despite-party-campaigning-against-them.html)!)
International - Amazon, Google, Tax. 'nuff said. Legislate.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
16th Feb 2015, 21:47
Fox, that's so weak. It's just a list of bad practices. It doesn't explain how eliminating those will help UK against global competition. It would actually increase our costs and make us less competitive! The days of we in the west having captive markets are long gone. My point was that it's globalisation that has backed us into this corner!

If you know the way for us to get out of that unpleasant position, do tell.

As for Amazon, Google etc they pay all the tax the law demands in UK. They minimise tax by basing parts of their organisations elsewhere, beyond the reach of UK tax authorities. There's nothing the UK can do about that; it would take worldwide co-operation on the setting of tax levels to fix it. You can whistle for that!

I do worry about the gov opening up pension pots for folk to spend as they wish, though. That's a short term cash generator which will have horrendous come-back when those releasing pension pots come to retire.

But hey, most folk don't even have pension pots to speak of now except in the public sector (where there's no pot - the taxpayer pays it to PS pensioners out of today's and tomorrow's tax revenue - there's no ring fenced investment of PS pension contributions). How long will that miss-match of retirement expectations last?

Fox3WheresMyBanana
16th Feb 2015, 22:36
Come on SSD, I can't cover the whole thing in one short post.
How would fixing all those improve the UK economy (my point)?
Immigrant workers spend a lot less in the UK than Nationals. They are saving it up to take home - ask them, I have!
The workers who are properly resident (families, etc) are net contributors, but the increase in emigration of professionals alone (such as myself) more than cancels out that contribution (I did a long post on this, evidenced, a few months ago).
Secondly, all of the removal of money in pocket for the average worker shifts it into rich people's pockets. They simply don't spend anything like the same proportion of it. A few rich people is massively worse for the economy than a large middle class.The rich say so themselves (The Pitchforks Are Coming? For Us Plutocrats - Nick Hanauer - POLITICO Magazine (http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014.html)).
Injured workers still costs the NHS, immigrants or not.

Now, improving UK productivity and competitiveness is another (your) point.
Three things are always needed; investment in R&D, well qualified workers, access to capital. The UK has historically underspent on the first - I don't think Government can fix that. The education system is now barely average and, in STEM subjects, going down rapidly. I can give you a long list on how to fix that, but the DfE doesn't want to know, so I emigrated. I'm not alone. You have pitifully few well qualified STEM teachers and it's getting worse.
Don't take my word for it, ask James Dyson (e.g. 'Invent relentlessly' warns Sir James Dyson as his company puts £250m into R&D centre - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/engineering/11244143/Invent-relentlessly-warns-Sir-James-Dyson-as-his-company-puts-250m-into-RandD-centre.html)).
The Government has relied on giving the banks money and asking them nicely to lend it. Hasn't worked (never would have). Legislate.

Pension pots - agreed. That's another part of my crash-delayed 3-5-years argument. My pension pot is no longer even in the UK,and it seems a lot of others have done the same as the Government is rumoured to be about to restrict this (except it would now look stupid given anyone is to be allowed to access it).

p.s. The UK can legislate to tax what HMRC thinks is a fair rate for Apple, etc tax any time it likes. Far from requiring others to act first, the UK is dragging its heels ( The UK is one of the few rich countries not to have general anti-avoidance legislation, which the government is preparing now). Legislating against Royalty payments (or just plain taxing them) would be a start, but it needs a means to close off other possible loopholes at the same time.
Good article here
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/10/15/us-britain-starbucks-tax-idUSBRE89E0EX20121015

.

Jetex_Jim
18th Feb 2015, 04:58
The Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator has resigned and launched a blistering attack on the paper’s management and owners over its lack of coverage of the HSBC tax story, which he described as a “fraud on its readers”.

Peter Oborne resigns, saying Telegraph's HSBC coverage a 'fraud on readers' | Media | The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/feb/17/peter-oborne-telegraph-hsbc-coverage-fraud-readers)

Peter Oborne .. claimed the paper deliberately suppressed stories about the banking giant, .. in order to keep its valuable advertising account.

Gosh, imagine that.

joy ride
18th Feb 2015, 12:27
On the BBC site today:

BBC News - Swiss police raid HSBC's Geneva office (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31516416)

Curious Pax
18th Feb 2015, 14:50
Yes, the Guardian article about Peter Oborne.
Quite amusing to see them running around like a salivating dog over that one. I can understand their joy at being given the story.

Possibly limited salivating, as HSBC are reported to have put their ad spending with the Grauniad on hold as a result of the expose.

As any Private Eye reader will tell you the Telegraph has form for this sort of thing - try finding very much in there that is particularly critical of Qatar for example.

Andy_S
18th Feb 2015, 15:35
Possibly limited salivating, as HSBC are reported to have put their ad spending with the Grauniad on hold as a result of the expose.

But that's OK. The Grauniad can fall back on the assets they've squirreled away in, ermm, offshore, ermmm......

sitigeltfel
20th Feb 2015, 08:09
The UK Labour Party have been making lots of noise over tax avoidance lately.

But what do we see in the news today?....PWC Labour Donation (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/pwc-the-accountancy-giant-that-promoted-tax-avoidance-gave-386605-to-labour-10057763.html)

That's right, they took £386,000 from a company that provides accountancy and legal advice to help companies avoid tax!