Defending tax avoidance, an MEP's take on Jimmy Carr
by Godfrey Bloom
Most British people feel that the government squanders their money - that tax is not a good or just cause, claims MEP
Much humbug is being bandied about on the moral dynamic of taxation. Be clear there is a long standing appeal court judgement, which distinguishes between tax evasion and tax avoidance. The former is illegal the latter is not. Indeed, the appeal court made it very clear in obiter dicta that no man is bound to pay one penny more in tax then the state can lawfully claim. Everybody avoids tax if they can at any level - pensions, ISAs, venture capital trusts, inheritance tax trusts and many more. Tax avoidance schemes are expensive at the top but, still, it would seem worthwhile.
There is a much more important question at issue. Why is the United Kingdom one of the highly-taxed advanced economies in the world? Most people are resigned to paying tax where they feel they get a fair service. People only resort to tax planning where the tax is deemed to be penal. Let me give an example, you sink your savings into starting a small business; it thrives, you employ six people. After several years of takings very little out, you are now committed to school fees and a mortgage.
The business will stand £100,000 per year. Your tax rate is 40 per cent but with National Insurance, personal and corporate, you only take £40,000 home. This is confiscatory. You turn to your accountant to legitimately decrease it. The moral dimension is important, but not necessarily in the way you might imagine. The government takes money from its citizens basically by threat of violence. If you do not pay tax, you get lugged off to jail.
We currently have a government which taxes very heavily indeed. But not for police, schools or hospitals - it gives £25m per day in foreign aid. A further £50m goes to the European Union. A commitment of £10bn this year will head to the International Monetary Fund. Arguably, most people feel that the government squanders their money - that tax is not a good or just cause.
The born wealthy British Prime Minister David Cameron and UK Chancellor George Osborne have a different perspective. Well they would, wouldn't they. A significant number of celebrity television presenters form mini-companies to avoid tax. Fair enough, but do not huff and puff about it. As to Jimmy Carr - of whom, incidentally, I had never heard of until this morning - it would seem that watching the clips of his TV satire, he is guilty of hypocrisy and nothing else. Godfrey Bloom is the UK Independence Party MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire
Why are there not more people telling the truth about this? We have a government and a House of Lords that are taxing the British population to the bloody hilt, while giving away masses of taxpayers hard-earned cash to foreign countries that do not use it for the purpose it was given. They put it straight into the bank accounts of the very rich people who do not need it.
Jack Kinsman - Grimsby, Great Britain
Excellent article and very true. A flat-rate tax, such as UKIP favours, is logical and so-simple. It's-brilliant idea.
Rob Hudson - Hull, UK
Be honest, if you could reduce your tax bill, wouldn't you? If you earnt £3.6 million a year as Jimmy Carr is said to have done, wouldn't you try to reduce the governments tax raid as he did? Perhaps, the fairest way of dealing with this is for everyone to be taxed at exactly the same rate - say 20 per cent - on all income over £12,000 and that would simplify things.
Ian J. Smith - Brandon, UK
For so long as the government try to take a full half of our national income, asa wells a great big slice out of out assets at death, the tax laws are bound to be complicated. The complexity has reached a stage that even the PM cannot tell you what the law requires bit instead he falls back into telling us what he thinks (sic) is immoral. The clear answer is lower state activity, lower state taxes and the flat taxes we all know make sense.
Andrew Smith - UKIP local, Epping
Absolutely spot on. If the government wants to make the tax regime so complicated with so many exceptions and breaks, they have only themselves to blame if people take advantage of them. Does anyone having an ISA think they are morally wrong for avoiding tax?? Higher personal allowances and then a straightforward simple low tax system would sort it all out.
Frank Ferguson - Basildon
I totally agree, I bet this argument won't be seen on the BBC however. Cameron wants to take away housing benefit for people under 25 and to a point I agree with his view. However, when you see £50m a day going to the EU and all this money going to international aid - you have to wonder where the politicians priorities are? Are they on their career path within the EU after their time in parliament or are they on doing whats right for Britain?
George - Wiltshire
Isn't there a saying that 'charity begins at home'?
Simon - Walthamstow