BP is suing the UK government in an effort to reclaim £300 million of tax it says it does not owe.
I do not know the rights or wrongs of this case - I am not a stamp duty expert and have never claimed to be. But I am intrigued by a claim made by BP, as reported by the Telegraph:
The claimants also argue that the demand imposed “restrictions on the free movement of capital” that was “not justifed by public interest”.
Why do we allow the free movement of capital?
We do not allow the free movement of people.
So why do we choose to let capital roam as it wishes? Why is it acceptable to let capital minimise its tax? Why can capital use artifice, from the limited liability entity to the tax haven, and yet we impose the cost of supporting its errors on people?
What is the reason for condemning 5 billion of the 6 billion or so people in the world to poverty to make sure capital can make money?
Why have we made this choice?
And why do we let the European Union base much of its law on this idea?
And as a result let BP seek to claim tax from each and every one of us on the basis that we can pay, but they do not need to do so?
What is this about?
Or to put it another way - why are we still choosing money over people?