Tuesday, February 08, 2011

To us, it's an obscure shift of tax law. To the City, it's the heist of the century

Here's an article we've been waiting for for some time. We have blogged it briefly before, and have also had this pointed out to us by Richard Brooks, who is now undoubtedly one of the most influential people in British tax today.

This is George Monbiot writing, in his own inimitable style, about what he calls
"the biggest and crudest corporate tax cut in living memory . . . a kind of corporate coup d'etat is taking place."
This is big, big news. We hope that the likes of UK Uncut, and TJN in the UK for that matter, get stuck into this one. And talking of TJN UK, Richard Murphy has this to say:
"Monbiot is exactly right. . . . I think it technically accurate. And the warnings that are made are also appropriate: this is an enormous and deliberate tax heist."
And the details are rather wearingly sickening:
"How did this happen? You don't have to look far to find out. Almost all the members of the seven committees the government set up "to provide strategic oversight of the development of corporate tax policy" are corporate executives. Among them are representatives of Vodafone, Tesco, BP, British American Tobacco and several of the major banks: HSBC, Santander, Standard Chartered, Citigroup, Schroders, RBS and Barclays."
Brooks believes that these proposed changes, together with some other changes, mark the most far-reaching shift in the UK corporate tax base since it introduced residence-based taxation (where UK residents are taxed on their worldwide income) in 1914.

But read the whole article. It's a shocker. There's a whole lot about the City of London, which we blogged yesterday.

Oh, and one other thing we should point out. He comments on this TJN-supported book, written by, ahem, today's TJN blogger. Monbiot has this to say:
"Nicholas Shaxson's Treasure Islands – perhaps the most important book published in the UK so far this year."
If you haven't read it yet - buy it. (But then, er, I would say that, wouldn't I?)

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