Tag: Tax

Dirty Money – Lovely Jubbly.

Photo by Les Anderson on Unsplash

Now, let’s get something obvious out of the way. Do I like a fiddle? Do I like to pick a pocket or two? Do I enjoy getting away with it? Well, if the opportunity arises to save a few quid I will take it laughing all the way from the pub to the bank. Have I been known to engage in activities that should ideally stay in a dark cupboard lest the very beasts of hell are let loose to defeacate upon the heads of babies? In short, am I cleaner than a freshly scrubbed and laundered starched white cotton cloth? Yet I have to admit that perhaps I have let slip my moral standards from time to time. My righteousness is as a filthy rag rather than crisp white linen. Jesus died to save sinners, but when he saw my track record on all things nefarious, immoral and perverted, it was too much even for the son of God. He was referring to me when, upon the cross, he cried up to God saying “Forgive him, for he not only knows what he has done, but he has encouraged others to do similar, only with less embarassment and more lubricant”. Jesus wept. Not for sinners, but for the complete waste of time his 33 years on earth was spent in order to redeem my wretched black hearted soul. As the last nail was banged in, all he could think about was my irretrievably ungrateful indifference to his suffering while I considered the next venture into silk pantied and lace lined debauchery with a sweet, cherry lipped vicar’s daughter and her vibrator on the lawn at the Queen’s garden party. “Christ, all that healing and vintnery for bugger all” he thought before letting out a wet fart.

That established, am I qualified to consider the implications of the ‘Paradise Papers‘?

First, let us not forget the ‘Panama papers‘. This was the leak of over 11 million documents from law firm Mossack Fonseca and shed a little light on over 200,000 offshore entities. They contained personal financial information about wealthy individuals and public officials that had previously been kept private. Some of the Mossack Fonseca ‘shell’ corporations were used for illegal purposes, including fraud, tax evasion, and evading international sanctions. The Paradise papers are a similar leak from law firm Appleby which again shed light on offshore tax havens and the avoidance activities of wealthy individuals and corporations such as Apple.

‘Only the little people pay taxes’. I forget who said that, possibly someone as wealthy as Croesus and the morals of a rutting dog with easy access to a pack of bitches on heat. They share the same disdain and indifference towards others as they fuck anything that looks like it needs fucking as long is it feels good. They are now fucking the great British public by stealing a decent education from children, kicking the zimmer frames away from our grannies and laughing in the face of the mentally ill.

As dogs sniff arseholes, the wealthy sniff loopholes.

They are aided and abbetted in their endeavours by lawyers whose attachment to ethics is as loose as a coke fuelled casanova’s commitment to celibacy at an orgy. They are advised by accountants whose devotion to public service is in inverse proportion to their devotion to gaining pecuniary advantage, and serviced by politicians whose obseqiousness in the presence of wealth would make an Edwardian butler blush in embarrassment. The rules of the game are so rigged that not only is the line between good and evil blurred, it has been erased, deleted, rubbed out and thrown away waiting discovery and study by some future historian of 21st century moral philosophy. Plutocrats, the 0.01%, the ‘super-rich’ are so detached from the rest of us that not only do they think we should eat cake, we should pay them for the ingredients, the recipe and the aga to cook them in while they insert a finger of fudge to milk our collective prostates for more cash. Their moral universe is so distorted that they would consider buggering schoolboys over the high alter in St Paul’s Cathedral acceptable if the price was right. To them, the general public are bovine, nothing but a source of capital accumulation, and when we have lost our usefulness we are thrown away like a snot damped tissue in the gathering winds of an October gale.

Why do only fools and horses work?

 

Should we laud the rich as tax heroes?

Boris Johnson, aka ‘top cornflake’, argued in 2013, that the top 1% contributes almost 30% of income tax and that top 0.01% contributes 14% of all taxation. However, as income tax is 26% of all government revenue (NI raises 18% and VAT raises 17%) this equates to 8% of all government revenues. Therefore his claim that top 0.01% contributes to 14% of all taxation is just wrong. The top 1% actually contribute 8% of all government revenues.

In making this claim he is arguing we should thank the rich for their contribution:

“I proposed that we should fete them and decorate them and inaugurate a new class of tax hero, with automatic knighthoods for the top ten per cent”. Of course this is jest and rhetoric; surely he cannot be serious and muses on this as bit of lefty baiting?

He creates a value system, which results in lauding the rich for taking more than they ever have done, by trying to claim they are contributors beyond calling enough to warrant knighthoods. I don’t think giving 8% of all revenue is anything to be proud of, especially when the gap between the 99% and the 1% is so large. This is much, much worse if we focus on the 0.1%. The disparity within the 1% is breath-taking.

I would invert that value system and call it a self-serving  justification for the biggest income and wealth grab we have seen since Edwardian times.

This is mere number crunching, the actuality is more relevant. People’s lives are affected not by overall tax rates quoted by Johnson but by their absolute incomes and thus the % paid as a proportion of that income. If we focus on this, then we find that the poorest 20% pay 36.6% of their income in taxes, just a tad more than the top 1% who pay, 35.5% (Dorling 2014 p162). Tax heroes? How heroic is it to pay about the same proportion of your income as the bottom 20% do, when what you have left is riches beyond the dreams of avarice?

You might want to consider that 36% of a low wage leaves much less than 35% of a very high wage.  Food, petrol, utilities, clothes still costs the same amount whether you are rich or poor. If I earn £10,000,000 pounds pa and am taxed at 80% that leaves a ‘mere’ £2,000,000 to live on. Poor me, some tax hero!

See: http://www.thersa.org/events/audio-and-past-events/2014/inequality-and-the-1

Dorling D (2014) Inequality and the 1%. Verso. London

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