Kraft deploys the Bono defence in Cadbury move to Switzerland
According to Kraft the shift to a holding company based in Zurich will promote "tax efficiency". This is a term we hear rather frequently from the tax avoiding community. It does not mean that there will be any improvement in manufacturing productivity. No energy will be saved. No new jobs created. The quality of Cadbury chocolate will not improve, in fact, in conventional economic terms there will be no efficiency gain whatsoever.
When tax lawyers and corporate spokespersons utter the term "tax efficiency" what they really mean is that corporate shareholders - in this instance largely Americans - will pay less tax by shifting profits to tax haven Switzerland. The inevitable outcome of such "efficiency" gains is that British citizens will either face further public service cuts or higher household tax bills.
What this reveals is a major flaw in the current structure of globalisation. Companies and rich people can locate wherever they are "tax efficient". Ordinary people lose out from the process. There is a term for this: its called the Bono Defence. Named after the Irish rock musician whose band shifted its tax base from now bankrupt Ireland to the Netherlands in the name of "tax efficiency", the Bono Defence provides stark warning that tax dodging doesn't promote better economics; it promotes failed states.