Robert Peston casts his eye over George Monbiot’s tax plans

Max Teuerman took to this blog last month to criticise George Monbiot’s attack on the government over corporation tax plans. Now the BBC’s Robert Peston has blogged his own long-promised take on the story, saying:

The government seems to be trying to do precisely the opposite of what Mr Monbiot accuses it of doing: it is trying to stem the exodus of companies and their assets abroad.

As Peston explains,

George Monbiot warns that if dividends from overseas branches of multinationals become exempt from tax, that will create an incentive for multinationals to relocate more of their operations to these overseas branches situated in low-tax countries, such as Switzerland, Ireland or Singapore.

But that is to ignore the enormous current incentive for multinationals right now to relocate every single bit of their operations to low-tax countries, irrespective of what happens to the taxation of dividends from branches.

You can read Robert Peston’s piece in full here.

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10 Comments

  • The race to the bottom continues.

    We need a transactional tax on our currency. That way any business that does business here will pay tax on their income at source.

    The ability to shift profits across borders simply means multinational businesses can outcompete local ones.

  • I see no Iceberg 4th Mar '11 - 4:04pm

    So we must lower the poor oppressed multinational corporations burdensome taxes, or else!
    Taxes should only apply to the little people.
    Don’t force the corporations to pay taxes or they will throw their toys out the pram and go elsewhere.

    Sounds exactly like a bunch of bankers to me and just as persuasive.

    Remind us how much Vodaphone and Murdoch paid in UK taxes again just for starters?

  • Stuart Mitchell 4th Mar '11 - 6:13pm

    Peston rightly rejects Monbiot’s hyperbole, but concludes that George is quite right in pointing out that these changes amount to a £100m tax cut for big business (mainly, banks) at a time when the rest of us are being bled dry. Time will tell just how much this tax cut amounts to. Peston gives Barclays as an example of a company which will benefit – heck they REALLY need a tax break right now, don’t they?

  • “In the USA recently the averagelength of time that shares are held has fallen to just over 20 seconds. Yes seconds! ”

    That’s an astonishing enough claim to ask if there is a source?

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