|The Swale and Kent Marshes from Harty Ferry|
Today however a new front was opened up in the Great Battle to Get Other People to Pay More Tax - Switzerland! Here's a taster:
The key point here is that tax avoidance by big multinationals is just a part – albeit a very important part – of a bigger and even nastier picture: tax havens and the global offshore system. This is massive. Tax havens and offshore finance have been metastatising (sic) through the global economy since the 1970s: the unseen component of financial globalisation. They lie at the heart of the global economy. Half of all world trade passes through tax havens.
This is not about a few celebrity tax-dodgers, spivs and mafiosi: as UK Uncut has recognised, this is also about multinational corporations – and, most importantly, about banks. Recently the Mail on Sunday found that Barclays, Lloyds and RBS have over 550 tax haven subsidiaries between them.
What I understand from this differs from the conclusions of the author - who sees the avoiding of tax as a great evil. I see the situation as a call to action for our government - demonstrating the need to make taxes simpler and to reduce them. For Britain to "suck in" all that international capital finance and put it to work building a great country founded on the idea of free exchange and willing participation in the task of governing. A place where someones success is reason for celebration not condemnation, where envy is no longer the driver of political action and where taxes do not punish or penalise.
I want Britain to be a tax haven!