Over in the Observer, Simon Hughes is making his views on tax avoidance perfectly clear.
Every pound lost to tax avoidance, tax planning, tax efficiency, or whatever other euphemism is used, by people who simply don’t want to make their contribution is a pound that cannot be spent on vital services. At a time when we are asking individuals and households to make great financial sacrifices, behaviour of this kind from the corporate sector is simply unacceptable.
He singles out the water industry as “one of the worst cases of widespread corporate misbehaviour that has been exposed so far.” He goes on:
Thames Water stands out as a particularly disturbing case. One in five people in Britain are Thames Water customers. The need to clean up the Thames by upgrading the Victorian sewer system has been known about for 30 years. And the borrowing spree by Thames Water is one reason why it cannot raise the funds itself to finance the construction of the Thames tunnel, a project designed to stop sewage flowing into the river and projected to cost £4.1bn. Instead Thames Water has come to the government for financial support, and is asking its 13 million customers to stump up an extra £80 a year each. I, and others, such as Sir Ian Byatt, the former director of the regulator Ofwat, have argued that the government should look again at this project and at its support for it.
You can read the full article here.
* Mary Reid is the Tuesday Editor on Lib Dem Voice.