“closing those huge loopholes that only people right at the top, very wealthy people who can afford a football team of lawyers and accountants to get out of paying tax”
– Nick Clegg, April 2010, on how he would pay for cuts.
I admit I am a little bias. I despise everything the Conservatives stand for. They are a cancerous leech created and represented by a very rich minority, they cause chaos and they destroy and their rise to power is in the same lugubrious category to me as the rise of AIDs or the news that a robot army with 10 inch metal penises has risen in rebellion and is coming to specifically rape me, and me only, or even worse, right winged American Christians are all moving to England en masse. I hate everything they stand for, everything they say, everything they do, I hate that I’m sure George Osbourne says “crickey” a lot, and I hate that they are now in control of the Country.
I think the writer Charlie Brooker says it far better than I ever could;
The Conservative party is an eternally irritating force for wrong that appeals exclusively to bigots, toffs, money-minded machine men, faded entertainers and selfish, grasping simpletons who were born with some essential part of their soul missing.
I did however like the Lib Dems a short time ago. When Clegg had principles. When he was discussing his priority to close down tax loopholes that the very rich use to actively tax avoid. So that being said, isn’t it amazing how a few months in office can change a Politician’s opinion to the point where he is happy to discard his principles entirely?
Whilst the Coalition plans £61bn worth of cuts across the entire public sector because they have a sense of emergency about saving money, whilst claiming they are not doing this on ideological grounds; they seem perfectly happy to employ Sir Philip Green as a Government advisor. He will be in charge of a White Hall spending review, to ensure that cuts are met across department. He will identify areas that can be cut.
Why is this a problem?
Sir Philip Green is Britain’s 9th richest man. He owns Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Topman, Topshop, and Wallis. He owns about 12% of the UK’s clothing market. He is the UK’s 9th richest man however, because his companies are in his wife’s name, who happens to live in a tax haven, in Monaco. Which means, in 2005 alone, the arrangement cost the Treasury £285mn (which would employ 12,720 public sector workers for a year, according to The Gov statistics site), because his wife Tina did not have to pay any tax on the £1.2bn dividend she received. Green therefore, is one of the UK’s biggest tax avoiders. Whilst he is still actively avoiding taxes and making over £1bn a year in dividend payments, he has told his UK staff in 2005 that members of the Company’s final salary pension scheme must work five years more and increase their contribution to the pot by half, if they are to receive the same payout. He is also known for using sweatshops. So, he is a billionaire because he uses and abuses cheap labour in sweatshops, he actively tax avoids to net himself a lovely £1.5bn, and he makes his workers contribute more, and work longer, for the same shit payout. And he is the new efficiency advisor? Really?
Whilst Green gets knighted at Buckingham Palace, and then suns himself in Monaco on the money he’s saved from avoiding tax, his employees who make him that money in the first place, work for pittance, and have to pay tax because they’ll end up in prison if they don’t. The little people, the same little people who would must have been naively enticed into voting Tory in May, are being screwed over beautifully.
As well as employing 12,720 public sector workers for a year, had he not avoided tax on that single dividend and paid the £285mn, the Government would have enough to pay for certain schemes they are scrapping, like £150mn the the health in pregnancy grant, a one off payment that helps mum and baby stay healthy and covers wider health costs for pregnant women, which the Tories are entirely scrapping. Or the £180mn child tax credit supplement they intend to cut quite viciously.
David Cameron told the Sun recently that “benefit fraud is the first and the deepest cut we will make“. He is talking about single mums and struggling families who scrounge a few extra pound a week to help pay the bills. Hypocritically, he is not talking about the man he just appointed who costs the UK a fortune in lost tax revenue every year, to look into savings across the public sector,
And they wonder why people like me refer to them as the same old Tories, looking after their own? The same old ideological right winged warfare against anyone who isn’t actively tax avoiding and who doesn’t earn millions of pounds a second?
Clegg, that ‘progressive’ politician has kept breathtakingly quiet on the subject. Like a lapdog who will do and agree with everything his master tells him. Who needs principles anyway?