Comment IsLinked@LDV: Vince Cable – This crisis must spur us to take on the tax avoiders

Over at The Guardian’s Comment Is Free blog, Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable argues that the shocking scale of systematic corporate tax avoidance strikes a particularly ugly note in these straitened times. You can read it in full here, but here’s an excerpt:

How should the government tackle corporate tax-dodging? Tax simplification would help. There could be lower headline rates of corporation tax in return for eliminating the complex network of tax allowances which companies currently enjoy. It has been estimated that simplification alone could cut the headline rate by 5%. There is then less incentive for tax avoidance.

Beyond that, there is a strong case for a more aggressive approach to tax avoidance. The systematic and widespread avoidance of stamp duty land tax by corporate vehicles can be stopped quickly. More broadly the idea of a General Anti-Avoidance Rule is that tax is applied wherever there is an intention to avoid it, even if the loophole hasn’t specifically been identified in advance by the Inland Revenue. …

The UK has traditionally dragged its feet on measures to curb tax havens, on the basis that these helped the City of London to attract business. It is to be hoped that straitened fiscal circumstances and a less credulous approach to the City will now persuade the government to turn its guns on the tax havens and tax-avoidance industry.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in LibLink.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/10945 for Twitter and emails.
Advert

4 Comments

  • David Heigham 3rd Feb '09 - 7:11pm

    As so often, Vince put’s his finger on what needs to be done. “Simplicate, and add lightness” to business taxes is where the big benefit is. However, also strengthening HMRC’s arm in the year in, year out, steady effort to cut down on avoidance (and evasion) which the tax men would like to apply is common sense. It will benefit both public finances and standards in public life.

  • Andrew Duffield 3rd Feb '09 - 9:12pm

    If avoidable taxes on profits, transactional taxes on sales and deadweight taxes on jobs were replaced with simple, unavoidable taxes on economic rent (including the interest charged on debt-money created from nothing by the private banks) we might make some sustainable progress.
    But Vince knows that of course.

  • “Simplicate”? Ugh! One for the thread on horrible jargon …

  • Excellent to see Vince tackling this issue. Would be interesting to see if he could find out from the Liberal Democrat Party Treasurer, Lord Clement Jones what actions he took on behalf of the Cayman Islands when acting as their political lobbyist, in contravention of party rules?

    If a member of the Lords was paid by a foreign government to lobby in favour of protecting off shore tax-haven benefits, would not that be acting against the interests of the British people through lost UK tax revenues and shameful in the light of those impoverished African countries whose leaders use such tax havens to defraud the poorest in the world of literally billions of pounds by channeling it through them?

    Transparency in what members of our legislature are doing on behalf of foreign and British tax havens is crucial.

    So a list of the issues that Lord Clement Jones lobbied on behalf of the Cayman Islands, whilst breaking party rules banning such lobbying would be very useful to Vince Cables useful campaign.

    Keep it up Vince.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid-1 27th Mar - 4:24am
    The logical corollary would be that in an ideal society, corporations should, without regulation, be able to market any adulterated poisonous rubbish that they pleased,...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 27th Mar - 4:15am
    It would be a very bizarre world indeed where packaging regulations could be reasonably condemned as "authoritarian." Luckily it isn't the real world.
  • User AvatarDavid-1 27th Mar - 4:14am
    "In a few years when airplanes are noise and pollution free" That utopia has been coming "in a few years" since 1965.
  • User AvatarAlex Sabine 27th Mar - 1:30am
    @ Malcolm "Let's remember Maudling did indeed leave a mess - at least he was honest." I agree. Though by the standards of future Chancellors...
  • User AvatarAlex Sabine 27th Mar - 1:18am
    @ Philip From a long-term supply-side point of view, I agree. Higher productivity is essential, and part of that requires allowing unproductive firms to go...
  • User AvatarSara Scarlett 27th Mar - 12:32am
    This op-ed in a nutshell is this: = "I know that plain packaging of everything is authoritarian but what's so wrong with authoritarianism anyway?"
Sat 28th Mar 2015
Tue 31st Mar 2015
Sun 5th Apr 2015
Sat 11th Apr 2015
Sun 12th Apr 2015