Thursday, January 26, 2012

Occupy London comment article in FT, seeks tax justice

Occupy London - those protesters who have been sneered at and smeared as being a bunch marginalised, bearded, out of touch anti-capitalists - have a full comment article in the capitalists' newspaper of choice, the Financial Times. That, in itself, is a very fine thing.

And we are delighted to see them wading in in an area that is very dear to our hearts, tax justice.
First, tax avoidance is endemic in the UK. Companies use complicated structures to hide their earnings from HM Revenue & Customs. Individuals stash money abroad while enjoying all the benefits of living in this country. Tax havens are used by 98 of the FTSE 100 companies, according to Action Aid. Sir Philip Green was reported to have avoided about £285m in tax and still he became a government adviser. In calling for Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man to disclose those with financial affairs on the islands, Ed Miliband, the Labour party leader, is moving towards our position.

Adopting a system of “formulary apportionment” could stop corporations avoiding tax. It would create a tax base for UK companies aligned with a level of activity that actually occurs in this country rather than relative tax advantages."
Spot on (read more about that here.) And crucially important.

It goes right to the heart of two things that are very much a focus of the Occupy movement more generally: the corruption of capitalism, and inequality. More on this later (time has run out for today's blogger.)

Now read on.


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