Just now the virtue signalling lefty press and the social media SJWs are indulging in an orgy of hypocrisy. They are disguising their bitter envy of people who are more successful than themselves in their histrionic reporting of tax haven use. All perspective has been lost and they are conflating illegal with legal practices so as to prevaricate and equivocate. It is just a massive lefty attempt to troll the public into hating those who achieve. The tax havens are being painted as the villains, whereas the real villains are the Western governments with their vindictive taxes and prodigious waste of the revenues raised from us.
It is a fact that taxes in Britain are excessive and punitive (Estonia, inside the EU, has a top income tax rate of 20%, so their economy is booming). The exchequer would gather more tax at lower rates, due to the Laffer Curve, but in this country much of the population have been brainwashed into thinking that taxes are punishment for success, which is why the rates are utterly immoral. Why should half of the money that people work for be extorted by the government? Every person has a moral duty to minimise the tax they pay, tax avoidance is perfectly legal. Show me a lefty who pays more tax than they need to. And every company has a legal requirement to minimise the tax they pay. It is called fiduciary duty. Money is far better being used in the productive part of the economy than being misused by the dead hand of government.
A lot of people don’t seem to realise that, net of benefits, only the rich pay tax. Someone on £20,00 pays just £1,800 in 2016/7 income tax (and receives far more than this in benefits), someone on £120,000 (in other words 5 times as much) pays £41,200 (in other words nearly 23 times as much), this is just theft and has zero moral justification. Because of this every successful person who can do so votes with their feet and moves to a place where the state is not so greedy and nasty. Singapore, Monaco, Malta, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Dubai, Gibraltar, the Caribbean. These places are full of high earning Brits whose education has been paid for by British taxpayers and who now choose to generate their wealth in fairer and better run places.
Successful people who have created wealth have very good reason to keep it outside the UK when there is always the possibility of a Labour government. The extremist socialist shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, want to introduce a wealth tax. To extort from people money that they have already paid tax on (often twice, income tax and VAT). He wants to steal from a family’s total assets, which would include everything including property, furnishing, cars, shares, family heirlooms and savings. When France tried this they extorted $2.6 billion a year but more than $125 billion left the country in capital flight.
It is not just the rich who avoid tax. Most taxpayers do it. Building a pension pot, contributions are tax free. Nearly everyone in Britain with a job does this. Saving money in an ISA. Tax free saving is tax avoidance. Half of all British adults do this. Buying duty free goods. The clue is in the name. Most people who travel do this. Paying cash to avoid VAT. Window cleaner, car wash, minicab etc. We all do it. It is called the black economy. It is worth £150 billion. There is a totally untaxed “illegal” recreational drug industry that turns over about £10 billion a year. And finally the huge number of people who are happy to smoke smuggled tobacco, costing the government at least £2 billion a year in lost revenue.
And the virtue signalling hypocritical lefties also avoid tax. The BBC had more than 400 staff, of whom 148 were news and current affairs presenters, who used private service companies instead of paying PAYE, so as to minimise what they paid to the government in taxes. The Guardian was originally set up as a trust so as to escape inheritance tax. It then changed its status in 2008 so as to pay no tax on a £307 million capital gain and it now uses a corporate structure based in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands. How these people have the gall to criticise others who do what they themselves do is beyond reasonable behavior.
It is not just the lefty media who dissemble and dissimulate, their politicians are at it too. Labour royalty, such as the Benn and Miliband families used artificial tax avoidance methods to avoid paying large sums of inheritance tax, despite being extremist socialists. The BBC and Guardian should be adding this to their debate about tax avoidance.
One of the most amazing examples of lefty gross hypocrisy was the 2001 sale by Gordon Brown of 147 freehold properties and 454 leasehold properties belonging to HM Revenue and Customs to Mapeley, a tax haven company based in the Cayman Islands. The National Audit Office (NAO) says that the deal was designed to avoid paying hundreds of millions of pounds of tax (it was also an appallingly bad deal commercially for the government). So how the Labour Party can now complain about offshore tax havens is utterly incredible, they were one of the main users of them in this deal. Also notice, once again, that your lefty press aren’t telling you this.
Margaret Hodge (Labour) is considered to be by far the richest MP due to her stake in Stemcor, the steel-trading business set up by Hans Oppenheimer, her father. Yet these shares were held offshore, in a tax haven, via The Link Steel Foundation in Liechtenstein.
Ken Livingstone is a well known leftie and between 2000 and 2008 he was Mayor of London. In 2012 it was revealed that he was putting his earnings through a private service company, Silveta Ltd, paying corporation tax at 20 or 21 per cent instead of income tax at up to 50 per cent. The company was jointly owned with his wife, Emma, which allowed him to split his income with her, even though it was all earned by him, thus using her allowances and status as a basic-rate taxpayer and avoiding further tax. He also paid her from company funds as his assistant. Silveta’s 2011 accounts showed an annual turnover of £238,646. Utterly amazing hypocrisy.
Cherie Blair, wife of the ex Prime Minister, set up a private equity fund. And, surprise of surprises, it is based in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands. It’s purpose, to provide private healthcare in the UK, part of the privatisation of the NHS.
The lefty press are not just gross hypocrites over tax evasion, they also effectively lie by mixing illegal with legal activities when reporting, sometimes in the same sentence, so the public are conditioned into thinking that people who have only acted wisely are in fact criminals. So, for instance, whilst the Brink’s MAT money laundering was criminal, David Cameron’s father acted sensibly and legally. The lefty media are deliberately not making these distinctions. And the biggest story, which the press are giving minimum coverage to, is the corruption of world leaders, who steal the wealth of entire countries, harming many millions of people. Which once again proves how stupid our government is in giving so much of our tax money away in aid. We are simple fueling corruption.
And finally everyone has lost sight of why we pay tax. The lefty press treat tax as if it is a good thing in itself. It isn’t, it is a necessary evil. The government should be there only to provide services that we can’t provide for ourselves in the free market. Which means mainly national defence and law and order. But instead, in order to control us, the government takes on running our lives as much as it possibly can. But they have to tax us like crazy to do this (or run out of money, as socialists always do). And everything that the government does it does badly. Everything costs vastly more than it needs to. Far more people are employed, at the taxpayer’s expense, than are necessary. There is no concern or need to look after the customer, who is the taxpayer. Waste and inefficiency are accepted because there is no reason not to. And vast sums are thrown away on black hole vanity projects such as HS2, two huge aircraft carriers and the Millenium Dome. We could halve the tax we pay and still have more government than we need. A very good reason for sensible people to use tax havens.