In the past few months I’ve become quite a fan of Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, with her recent tangles with big businesses avoiding tax. While I celebrate her recent tangle with Google inc., I wouldn’t go as far as she did with her language. The sad fact is that big businesses are legally required to seek as big as profit as possible on behalf of their shareholders through legal means. However, the act it self is one of the most dangerous issues facing Britain. The problem is that the oversight is in effect evil for allowing this to happen on such an unprecedented scale.
Let’s put some things into context. The Home Office budget is being cut £2.26 billion over 3 years. In October 2012, Osborne pledged to cut another £10 billion from the Welfare budget. So how much does the UK lose to tax avoidance? £100 million? £200 million? Surely not £1 billion?
Makes you realise that the Coalition has it’s priorities messed up when it hounds people on benefits. We see the outcry from the Mail, Express and Telegraph over ‘extortionate’ benefits and ‘scroungers’ but where the hell it the outrage over this? But after all, if you’re a big businessman, then this is all “perfectly sensible behaviour.”
Thankfully, the dear leader, Ed Miliband, has pledged to crack down on corporate tax avoidance. But in the meantime, I suppose it’s Gideon’s will that we just suffer till then especially when we’re seeing cuts to HMRC.
For now, say what you like about our Welfare system, but at the very least have a sense of perspective and sort your priorities out.