Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quote of the week: the Big 4 accountancy firms

From Margaret Hodge, chair of the UK's House of Commons public accounts committee, talking to officials from PwC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG, noting that their skills ought to be directed to nobler ends than minimising tax bills for big business. Quoted in the FT:
"What really depresses me is you could contribute so much to society and the public good and you all choose to focus on working in an area which reduces the available resources for us to build schools, hospitals, infrastructure."
Well said. Make that quote of the month. And yet, as The Guardian notes, these four firms earned some £400m from the British state last year, while simultaneously helping to denude this same state of the tax that pays them.
"When the burglar is unscrewing your window locks, would you pay him a fat fee to clean your windows while he's at it?"
That would be another quote-of-the-day candidate. Hodge added:
“I don’t think people who give advice to cut the tax payable should be getting government business. Quite simple.”
 Yes, absolutely. 

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