Interesting commentary from Andreas Whittam Smith in the Independent this morning, who says:
What are people angry about? The deepening recession? Yes. The high level of youth unemployment? Yes. The excesses of the bankers? Yes. But more than anything, I believe, people are rattled by the widening gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots". The banners at demonstrations that proclaim, "We are the 99 per cent" speak eloquently to that. "We are getting nothing, while the other 1 per cent is getting everything." Many people think so.
And he concludes:
[G]overnments can make changes in personal taxation. They can deal with the hidden truth about taxes on the very rich: that they are easily avoided.
The millionaire who, when his fortune is made, goes to live in the Isle of Man, is a tax dodger. The rich man who purchases a farm for its tax advantages, even though he has zero knowledge of and interest in agriculture, is a tax dodger. The employees of investment banks who benefited from trusts that gave them non-repayable loans so that they could avoid paying National Insurance (schemes that were subsequently closed down by HM Revenue & Customs) were tax dodgers. Making the rich pay all their taxes would be a good place to start in the enormous task of reducing inequality.
But the tax profession is clearly already lining up to oppose Graham Aaronson's proposed attack on the most egregious tax abuse schemes.
Will those who support tax abuse never listen?
And why do government's continually listen to the abusers and not those who want to do the tight thing? Why is it so hard to support ethical behaviour?