Private Equity and Tax
Polly Toynbee responded to this article in her latest comment piece in the Guardian newspaper: Gordon Brown, she said, “will be asked why, as in most other countries, private equity cannot be made more accountable, why it shouldn't post bonds to protect pensions and, above all, pay taxes like everyone else?” Quite right Polly. The next day, the FT published chancellor Gordon Brown's response, in another front page story, with the tantalising headline: "Chancellor pledges justice on tax rates." Brown pledged, in relation to private equity and in response to Ferguson's remarks, to "make sure there is justice and equity in the treatment of tax arrangements in that area." As the FT story outlines, Brown looks like he is starting to act too. Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, drew his own conclusions from Brown's comments: "the fat cats are losing the argument on tax, and it was very noticeable that he (Brown) did not leap to the defence of the industry which he has done before."
From a different perspective, the poverty campaigners War on Want are building their own campaign on tax dodging. Tax, they say, is a key weapon in the fight against poverty, adding that "the UK is a major part of the global problem of corporate tax dodging. We believe it should be part of the solution." Quite right too.
All this looks rather like tax justice, catching on fast.