Author Archives: Richard Warren

Taxing multinationals

It’s time multinationals paid more tax. And the way to do that is with a point of sales tax.

Tax avoidance is huge. Take Google: The company generated more than GBP17billion in UK sales between 2005 and 2013, but paid only GBP52 million in Corporation Tax on UK profits for that period. Even George Osborne’s subsequent back taxes deal with Google, announced earlier in 2016, netted only an additional GBP130million, including interest.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 35 Comments

Lib Dems: The Co-operatives Party

Theresa May’s plan to introduce worker directors onto company boards is a start, but she still has a long way to go to catch up with liberal thinking:  Jo Grimond advocated worker-owned firms more than 50 years ago, and she hasn’t reached that point yet.

But the Lib Dems need to be more consistent and outspoken in support for worker-owned firms and other types of co-operatives, too. Over the decades, we’ve had the occasional burst of enthusiasm, such as when Nick Clegg called for the creation of a “John Lewis economy” in 2012, but it doesn’t appear to be integrated into our policy-making as it is over at the Co-operative Party. It ought to be for the following three reasons:

First, by supporting co-operatives we can create a coherent, credible, principled centre-left alternative to Corbynite state socialism that might help us find common ground with some Labour and Co-operative Party supporters. Significantly, the Co-operative Party is increasingly keen to distinguish itself from Labour now, and shares some of our views on key issues. As Labour MP and chairman of the Co-operative Party, Gareth Thomas, says, the co-operative movement is pro-business and pro-EU; so are we. 

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 23 Comments

Brexit: An opportunity to extend freedom of movement

Let’s turn Brexit on its head. Let’s not only lobby to remain members of the European Union’s single market, but have free movement of goods, capital, services and people included in our future free trade agreements with some non-EU countries. After all, as liberals we’re not only Europeans, but internationalists. Let’s turn crisis into opportunity by breaking down borders between this country and others around the world.

Wouldn’t it be great if Britons could live, work, study and start a business in Japan, South Korea or Australia with the same ease as we can in Spain and Germany today? It would strengthen trade and political ties between us and those nations, enrich our cultural experience and ensure Britain is internationalist not isolationist in this brave new Brexit world.

Although many Britons would oppose free movement of people from large countries with low per capita incomes, such as India, or having any kind of free trade deal with autocracies like Saudi Arabia, it would be difficult to argue against these arrangements with small and medium-sized democracies with per capita GDP’s similar to our own: Migration from countries like Taiwan, Norway and Canada is likely to be moderate and  counterbalanced by Britons heading the other way, so wage levels, public finances and housing supply are not likely to be strained.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 15 Comments

Lib Dems: The creatives’ party

 

The EU referendum debacle has shown clearly which group of voters we ought to target most: the creative sector. According to the Creative Industries Federation, 96 per cent of its members voted Remain. It’s one of many political battlegrounds where Lib Dems and creatives are on the same side. Creatives habitually call for freedom of expression, freedom of movement, free markets, greater diversity and more support for the self-employed. The Liberal Democrats is the only party to consistently call for those things too, as evidenced by our opposition to the Snoopers’ Charter and support for immigration.

Already, many if not most creatives consider themselves liberal. It’s simply a case of putting a capital “L” at the start of the word and adding “Democrat” after it. Incidentally, the same is probably true of scientists, most of whom also voted for Remain.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 49 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 25th Feb - 12:26am
    On a development site with approval for 100 homes: - sometimes the approval is in phases governed by the planning conditions - builders can not...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 24th Feb - 10:58pm
    I am an Unionist albeit one that lives in England. But I'd suggest several things to preserve the union. 1. We and the other unionist...
  • User AvatarPaul Holmes 24th Feb - 10:12pm
    @TCO Council tenants are not allowed to sublet their premises. And no, many Councils do not have suitable smaller accomodation to offer for tenants to...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 24th Feb - 10:10pm
    My understanding is that councils can now borrow more for their own commercial undertakings and some (many ?) are doing that to fund their own...
  • User AvatarHywel 24th Feb - 8:59pm
    "Whoever you are, the Liberal Democrats will stand up for you" Homophobes, transphobes, racists, holocaust deniers, anti-vaxxers Are those in the 'whoever' the Lib Dems...
  • User AvatarDavid McDowall 24th Feb - 8:47pm
    I share Alexandrine's disgust at the conduct of Arab governments towards their Palestinian communities. They have little to be proud of. But why are these...