Comment [email protected]: 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.
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.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

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

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evans 26th Sep - 1:00am
    Jack, I simply believe that the purpose of education is to enable each and every individual to achieve their full potential, not just to provide...
  • User AvatarDavid Pocock 26th Sep - 12:53am
    I was there! My first time doing anything like this too. Was a good experience I am happy to report thanks to the veterans who...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 26th Sep - 12:16am
    @Mick Taylor "And Dave Orbison, insulter par excellence complains about that sort of behaviour!" I don't recall Dave Orbison insulting people on LDV (though he...
  • User AvatarDave Orbison 25th Sep - 11:17pm
    @Mick Taylor - what specific economic policy that has actually been articulated by Corbyn is lunatic? What specific civil rights issue has Corbyn articulated that...
  • User AvatarSimon Parker 25th Sep - 11:13pm
    Good to see Charlie hard at work Will try to get my hound put on the campaign trail. Charlie is definitely not Camrron's poodle!
  • User AvatarMick Taylor 25th Sep - 10:34pm
    And Dave Orbison, insulter par excellence complains about that sort of behaviour! Let me say again, Lib Dems cannot easily work with the Labour Party...