Should we just give up on corporation tax?

The fuss about multinational companies paying no tax in the UK makes perfect sense.

I wrote here a few weeks ago about how, thanks to the fact that modern money accrues mostly to intellectual capital, we are gradually losing much of our tax base. Losing tax revenues is never a happy thing for a state, but it is a particular problem for a country such as ours with an expanding welfare state and a seeming inability to cut spending to anywhere near income.

When I interviewed Douglas Carswell MP a few weeks ago, he suggested that there is no solution to the problem: there is no way to tax the profits of the multinationals, so we might as well give up and work harder to cut our cloth to suit our circumstances instead.

There is a good case for both parts of this – but also a case for thinking that if we were to give up, our circumstances might not be as dire as all that.

A reader emailed last week to make the case for companies (who let’s not forget, don’t get a vote) to pay no tax at all. If we had a nil rate of corporate tax, he says, “I wonder how many foreign firms who are looking for assembly factories or even operations in Europe would flood into Britain?” They might not pay direct taxes but “all their employees would pay taxes, they would rent offices, they would create jobs in the local economy”, and all their UK shareholders would pay the usual dividend and capital gains taxes in the UK. (It is worth noting with that in mind that the 10% dividend tax credit in the UK recognises that corporation tax and tax on dividend payments are effectively the same thing.)

Add all this up, says our reader, and “I rather expect it would only take four or five years before that figure was far surpassed with the growth and the personal taxes thereon which this country craves.” This all makes some sense – after all, our aim here is not specifically to get tax from companies, it is to finance our state (albeit preferably a smaller version of our state). We need to do what works.

 

And if we don’t do this, what do we do? We could perhaps put a flat fee on companies operating in the UK. As long as they pay some kind of charge that we think reflects something of their profits every year, we let them be (think of this a bit like the £30,000 or £50,000 we charge non-doms every year to be left alone). We could keep on with the naming and shaming. Or we could chuck a pile more money at HMRC to have a go at getting companies to pay more.

But none of these will really work. The first is too random. The second is too boring and, as Michael Devereux points out in the FT today, it could also “undermine the integrity of the tax system” – if people are constantly told that other people are not paying their fair share, they are less likely to feel inclined to do so themselves. And the third? Fine as far as it goes, but it addresses the wrong problem: most big companies are abiding by the law perfectly well, so putting HMRC on their case will make no real difference.

Anyway, in the end it might not matter what we want to do. We have already slashed corporation tax in our efforts to stimulate the economy (to 22%) and it may be that over time corporation tax might, as Devereux puts it, simply wither away “as governments compete to reduce rates without finding the political will to reach a better long term solution to the allocation of international profit”. 

PS If you want to discuss any of this in person – or anything else for that matter – click here and you can bid to have lunch with me. It’s for a very, very good cause – the Global Fund for Children. And at the moment it is also a bargain (well, I think so anyway…)

PPS If you think that raising taxes is a better way to increase revenues than cutting them, you might look at the Times today. It notes that in the first year of the 50% income tax, the number of people declaring an income of over £1m fell from 16,000 to 6,000. And since we introduced a new 7% stamp duty on house sales over £2m? You guessed it. Sales are down 30%.

61 Responses

  1. 04/12/2012, Shinsei1967 wrote

    Radical and largely sensible idea so will probably never happen, like merging NI with income tax.

    However some sort of quid pro quo might help it being more popularly received, like increasing the minimum wage substantially and improving workers’ rights.

    Would people be happy with Starbucks paying no corp tax if they paid staff £10 per hour and gave paid holidays and sickness pay ?

  2. 04/12/2012, Merryn wrote

    An increase in min wage to match an excellent idea. At mo we need corp tax take to subsidise incomes of the low paid. Make the firms pay wages we don’t need to top up and in exchange cancel corp tax. Easy! WHo’s going to tell George?

  3. 04/12/2012, Ellen wrote

    of their lower unit costs, economies of scale and global marketing campaigns. Asking them to contribute towards the maintenance of the UK in return for allowing them access to UK markets I believe to be perfectly reasonable. If they are unwilling to participate fully, why not then protect and grow the interests of our own coffee and clothes shops.

  4. 04/12/2012, Ellen wrote

    That said, some multi nationals bring more – such as the possibility of technological and scientific r&d and employing much higher grade staff an boosting this reputation abroad. Also, companies who primarily export their goods and services.

    If companies want special treatment under our tax system they should really be able to demonstrate what they contribute to this economy that would not happen without them.

  5. 04/12/2012, Critic Al Rick wrote

    @ 2.

    Ah but Merryn! In the event of significantly increasing the Minimum Wage what do you think the most likely (unintended) consequences would be for:

    a) a lot of those businesses not presently subject to CT?

    b) unemployment statistics?

    c) the Budget Deficit?

  6. 04/12/2012, Luke wrote

    I suspect that the problem with nil corporation tax is that it would make tax fiddles a bit too easy, just like without CGT, people turn income into capital gain.

    Eg, I set up a service company, it makes loads of profit but pays no tax, pays me not much for a couple of years. Then I live in Belgium for a year, pay myself a massive dividend (taxed at 5% in Belgium) and then come back. (This is note entirely fanciful – I probably could run my business from Belgium one year in 3, with 50-60 days in UK – sadly I’m not making huge profits).

  7. 05/12/2012, Shinsei1967 wrote

    Good point but there would be ways to deal with those sort of loopholes.

    The UK could bring in the US system whereby you are taxed on your global income as a British citizen. Thus no paying 5% tax on dividends you receive whilst in Belgium.

  8. 05/12/2012, r wrote

    I have posted many times on here and elsewhere that I think CT is an unfair and outdated tax. Under EU Directives, the pan-EU companies can pay their tax in the country of their choice. This leaves CT as a penalty for solely UK companies. The idea if abolishing CT seems sensible to me because it is ease the burden on UK SMEs, it will encourage foreign companies to locate in the UK and each of these should create more employment. More employment = more ICT, more NI (at the moment), more VAT, more work for our courier industry. It seems a win-win situation.

    Of course, if we left the EU, we could make our own rules again . . .

    r.

  9. 05/12/2012, chris wrote

    Only if the similar things happen to personal incomes (you can always dream), the assymetry has been getting too bad at the cost of the people. (except for the US and countries like HK or Singapore).

  10. 05/12/2012, JT wrote

    Merryn – I wholehearedly agree. As I posted on another thread recently, the only effective way to deal with tax avoidance is to reform and simplify tax legislation. Anything else is basically asking for voluntary contributions.

    If you really want companies to pay more tax, then oblige them to do so by law – in ways they cannot avoid.

    Let’s also be clear. There is no such thing as a ‘fair’ amount of tax. To expect or demand that anyone pays more tax than they’re legally obliged to pay is, I’m afraid, just deluded.

    Douglas Carswell is absolutely right and demanding (as Margaret Hodge has been doing this week) what are effectively voluntary payments to HMRC is not the stuff of serious politics.

  11. 05/12/2012, Old Gaffer wrote

    I find it rather repulsive to see our government begging Starbucks and others to please give us a bit more money. The British Treasury is not a charity. It is wrong to embarrass any business into giving money when they are abiding by the horrendously complex tax rules that we have in this country. Complexity creates the opportunity to find loopholes, makes the accountants richer and in actuality deprives this country of the revenue that it should receive.
    Get rid of Corporation tax and Inheritance Tax and more business will flow into this country, more income tax from more employees, more VAT from their spending and more inherited money will be invested in British industry. Its just common sense!

  12. 05/12/2012, Elvis Presley wrote

    There must be a clear distinction between companies that make their ‘profits’ here in the UK and those which could relocate elsewhere to manufacture or sell services abroad and they are merely here because it’s financially beneficial/tradition/better skill sets/location/whatever. The later companies need to be made welcome (ie steal them from other countries) by reducing their CT to zero if necessary because we might as well have them here for employment and other non-CT taxes they generate. For the Starbucks of this world CT is clearly a waste of time (they can avoid it) so find another way of taxing them which doesn’t put them out of business or prevent new entrants into that field. Tax on turnover?

    PS Merryn – who pays for lunch?

  13. 05/12/2012, Thos wrote

    As I understand it, Starbucks, Amazon et al pay no CT because of the tax-deductible nature of royalty payments, loan interest and management fees. To me the simplest option is to treat these like dividends and subject to advance corporation tax. If the company does not pay CT, then the ACT is carried forward until they do.

  14. 05/12/2012, Tim W wrote

    What a sensible bunch you all are!

    I agree broadly with everything suggested. Taxing companies is a sneaky way to pull money out from people without them realising. We all work for and own all companies collectively anyway. Tax people when money leaves the company via wages, dividends and CGT – it’s simpler and leaves fewer loopholes.

    #7 Does make a good point about avoiding the dividend tax by moving abroad. But the way it is currently, I don’t think I’d even have to move. I run a one-man-band service company developing apps. I suppose I could have registered it abroad as the product is completely electronic and I can do it from anywhere. Then I take advantage of low CT and only pay the 10% dividend tax when the money reaches my pocket (assuming I can claim back all foreign withholding tax).

  15. 05/12/2012, David wrote

    I agree with Ellen & Elvis. The argument for abolition of CT does sound seductive. Until I remember the arguments for the ‘trickle down’ theory implemented during the Thatcher era, which has led in part to the obscene difference between high and low pay in the UK. If CT doesn’t work, replace it with something that does. Don’t let the multinationals get away with paying nothing – again using the fallacious argument that it will benefit the lower paid in the long run!

  16. 05/12/2012, Orb wrote

    So typical of the gov to always be on the backfoot! CT is indeed an outdated tax – the world has moved on with globalisation – and serves only to penalise the most needed businesses: national SMEs etc. How pathetic & embarrassing: begging multinationals for money!

    I’ve mentioned before on MW pages that begging should serve up an opportunity to lambast them for misspending! Why do we contribute to charities? Because we feel they are deserving. And so too with tax (the gov has largely become a charity!)

    Abolish it and replace with tax on business premises: something like a scale based on turn-over minus depreciation, per sq-ft, per employee, with exemptions for sq ft dedicated to things such as R&D or charitable operations etc. Let’s see how the multinationals & banks would avoid that!

  17. 05/12/2012, Boris MacDonut wrote

    Imagine the amount of litigation that would ensue as the Government would have to challenge about 5 million service companies offering workers time as a sham. I am a fan of a turnover tax however. Just giving up on CT would mean that big business and the CoLC has won .

  18. 05/12/2012, Lupulco wrote

    two points, 1] UK to charge the EU average CT – 25%.
    and/or Introduce a Property/Land Tax at 1% pa and abolish Corp Tax and Council Tax and Business Rates.

    At the end of the day, regardless of how a company pays its Taxes, it is Joe Public who picks up the tab, not the Company.
    example VAT

  19. 05/12/2012, Alan wrote

    A lot of successful companies seem nowadays to not succeed through the traditional avenues of offering a better product or the best prices, but simply by how little you can get away with legally paying in tax. This is destroying small UK companies trying to compete on such terms with these multinationals. What’s worse is that someone like Amazon gets away with collecting VAT at the local country delivery rate, so in fact, they have totally passed their taxes onto the consumer and this seems to be with the complicity of government.

    I’m going to suggest forcing foreign nationals to conduct all business through a UK Ltd branch and tax companies on turnover, much as individuals are taxed, with no claiming back of expenses for anything, period.

  20. 05/12/2012, Johnny Nobull wrote

    iphon profits to alternate tax jurisdictions. Companies would use the saved money much more efficiently than government to expand their wealth generation and in so doing, improve the performance of the country in general. Any tax within the system prior to the ultimate purchaser buying a good or service acts as a stifle. VAT should be raised to compensate. It is easy to calculate and harder to evade.

  21. 05/12/2012, Johnny Nobull wrote

    Morally obliged to pay more corporation tax; what utter nonsense. How do you quantify a moral tax? Perhaps I should morally pay less tax because of the disgraceful way the government wastes my hard earned money bailing out the bankers (who avoid paying theirs anyway), put their grubby fingers in the expenses till, hand 10 billion pounds to an unaudited EU outfit called the European Union etc. I could go on…

  22. 06/12/2012, Boris MacDonut wrote

    #21 .The moral bit of tax is the bit that provides care and cataract ops for little old ladies, basic education for children and safe streets in which to interact and travel. You should think harder before you seek to defend the indefensible.

  23. 06/12/2012, Lupulco wrote

    Moral tax,
    Just a thought, if a Company [say S*******s] pays no Corporation Tax.
    Yes they pay to the Government the VAT that they have collected. But it is their employees who pay NI, Tax etc, not the Company.
    Also it is the customers who provide the funds for them to pay for their overheads that allows them to run their business.

    So if i ask for a cup of coffee and a cake, then drink it and eat the cake, then refuse to pay for it.
    Can they get me arrested, by the Police and tried in court by the Judiciary that they do not pay for?

  24. 06/12/2012, Orb wrote

    To those misguided contributors who consider VAT to be paid by consumers and PAYE etc to be paid by employees, consider this:

    If the company were not there in the first place, there would be no end product on which to charge VAT, or employees from whom to exact income tax etc.

    If they weren’t employed, might they be adding to the benefits burden?

  25. 06/12/2012, David Atherton wrote

    It’s global corporations (ie US corporations!) who account globally. There is nothing much you can do about it, so yes, why not abolish CT for British-only firms, or at least on export profits. Competition would surely pass the benefits on, ultimately in reduced customer pricing.

  26. 06/12/2012, Romford Dave wrote

    Orb, if the Moon hadn’t had the effect it did following the collision an orb shaped object had with Earth all those years ago, there wouldn’t have been any life forms created to become employees, consumers or benefit claimants.

    Is such higher contemplation relevant to the drudge of taxation being discussed here?

    VAT is paid by the end user, no amount of creative thinking can change that unless one allows religion to intrude.

  27. 06/12/2012, Orb wrote

    Oh dear, RD @26, touched a nerve did I?

    There’s no mistaking VAT is paid by the end user…. just like profits, salaries (& thus PAYE & NI etc), overheads, production costs, marketing….

    All this translates into the ‘velocity of money’, which ultimately builds wealth.

    When an individual holds ‘money’, they have a choice. What they don’t spend it on is called ‘opportunity cost'; it could even be held back as savings, in which case no VAT – or salaries, overheads etc – would be created?

    The (respectful) word ‘misguided’ still comes to mind; no apologies.

  28. 07/12/2012, Andrew H wrote

    @22 Boris,

    That’s not strictly correct, taxation allows the government to create a monopoly in such services, and then threaten people to pay for it.

  29. 07/12/2012, Andrew H wrote

    @27, Orb,

    No, that’s not correct, opportunity cost is the difference in value between an activity and the best activity forgone (given a set of mutually exclusive activities).

    In your example you are assuming that saving is not the optimal choice, which of course it can be, because savings form the basis of future investment in capital goods (i.e. new technology and better methods of production).

  30. 07/12/2012, Romford Dave wrote

    My dealing with a moron nerve may have had light contact Orb, but whether that translates into a full on touch remains to be seen.

    Putting aside your simple, though totally irrelevant ramblings about economic activity, your comment #24 outlined those who you deem misguided are those who consider that it is consumers who pay VAT.

    In #27 you confirm that it is consumers who pay VAT.

    You’ve either fallen foul of your own definition Orb or it was intended to be considered a paradoxical paradigm for your future posts. Only you can confirm which.

  31. 07/12/2012, Orb wrote

    Andrew @ 29, RD is right: “totally irrelevant ramblings about economic activity…” (so, off the subject, ‘best’ is relative because £10 only buys £10 of any goods or services at any time, regardless of how ‘well spent’ it was? And savings in it’s pure form does not generate wealth. You may choose to take the argument further, but for me the ‘irrelevant ramblings’ will stop here)

    RD @ 30, you are right: I used the word ‘pay’ for post 24 when in fact it should’ve been ‘generate’. Otherwise, I stand firm by the rest of it. (Also off the subject, you may find that attempts to categorise a contributor using derogatory terminology draws credit away from your contribution, so contrary to your approach, thank you for your insightful contributions on other MW articles)

  32. 07/12/2012, Romford Dave wrote

    Orb, I never attempted to categorise you derogatory or otherwise, I was particularly careful to with my choice of words to simply lay out a framework for you to respond in, thus giving an opportunity for a conclusion to be reached.

    As you’ve conceded you made an earlier error, any conclusion is negated, given that we all make errors and the nature of the MW comment section prevents any corrective action to the offending post.

    It ill behoves me to criticise anyone acknowledging the insightful quality of my postings, for no other reason than such plaudits have a rarity value beyond any pricing mechanism, so I retract my earlier comments and acknowledge the depth of your own insightfulness.

  33. 08/12/2012, Johnny Nobull wrote

    #22. You misunderstood. How does one quantify a moral tax, ie calculate it. Will it be 1% of turnover? 3% of net profit? The government is very adept at raising tax in all aspects of our financial lives to pay for old ladies and our kids education. By the way I’m also an advocate of zero income tax too. Tax should be paid at the point of consumption except food.

  34. 08/12/2012, Johnny Nobull wrote

    @22  Moral tax simply exposes flaws in the the tax system. To illustrate, should a family of 4 children morally pay more council tax than a childless couple? If you think they should , then the council tax charging system t to be changed rather than imposing a moral tax on larger families.

    The end consumer pays the whole cumulative cost of producing a good or service. If there was no CT or income tax, the end net prices would be lower. Therefore the increased VAT would not mean consumers significantly pay more or less but gives them the option to pay tax only when they consume.

  35. 08/12/2012, Steve Devereux wrote

    Write a new tax code from scratch. Simplicity and no “breaks”. Flat tax preferred, same rate for CG, income. Everyone should pay into the system, on low pay, else no skin in the game; it’s always someone elses money they vote to spend.

    Get the universal “credit” sorted. Return to the “earnings related” principle so that what you can get out is related to what you’ve put in. Immigrants would get the same as a native; nothing if they’ve paid nothing in. Have a basic safety net for children with vouchers for food, energy, clothes not cash so it gets spent on what is meant. Stop perverse incentives like housing pregnant teenagers.

    Fairness nowadays seems to mean “I want someone else to pay for what I want”. My definition is you get what you pay for and you pay for what you get.

    Government live within income, stop hiding stuff off the balance sheet (PFI), stop borrowing money to send to other countries (foreign aid), stop debasing the currency (QE).

  36. 08/12/2012, Stephen Watson wrote

    Simple really: tax all companies trading in the UK strictly on the basis of UK operating profit: ie, revenues earned in the UK less costs incurred in the UK (ie paid to UK based suppliers and staff). That would hit foreign and offshore based companies that sell into the UK while favouring UK exporters; for purely domestic companies it would function much like Corporation Tax.

    The Starbucks fiddle was to make the profitable UK arm appear to make a loss because it payed unreasonable sums for intellectual property that it bought from non UK parts of the business. Under the scheme I propose, those costs could not be taken into account because the money went abroad.

  37. 08/12/2012, Jerry Fryman wrote

    VAT @15% @ Apple seems to pay their tax on the moon.
    One of the big problems with all the tax and benefit systems are the threshold points. every threshold crossed is a disincentive. Why not use a simple sliding curved algorithm to progress through the tax (and / or ) benefit system.

    Meanwhile I would love to see the formula that calculated the deal with the Swiss to crack down on tax secrecy.

  38. 08/12/2012, alanofamersham wrote

    VAT is probably the simplest tax to collect and has several advantages. So why not create a higher rate VAT and levy this on goods & supplies from companies deemed to be part of a ‘multinational group’ in place of CT. And remove any zero rated or exempt status on products from those companies. This could be done in tandem with a rise in minimum wage for such companies or in isolation.

  39. 08/12/2012, NG2 Will wrote

    Scrap Corporation tax and replace it with Land Rental Value Tax, aka a membership fee for owning land in the UK.

    The supply of land is limited and whoever has registered title has to pay, regardless of their domicile in the BVI or UK.

    Why distort economic behaviour with taxes on income or sales or genuine profits all of which are good?

    Beardsley Ruml argued for zero corporate taxes because “Taxes for revenue are obsolete” as Warren Mosler points out here; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/warren-mosler/taxes-for-revenue-are-obs_b_542134.html

  40. 08/12/2012, Minuano wrote

    Eliminate Corporation Tax and Employers NI (a tax on jobs). Replace them both with a “Business Added Value Levy” equal to 10% of the difference between the value of their (vatable) inputs and their (vatable) outputs. Easy to administer (one extra line on the VAT return) and impossible to avoid.

  41. 08/12/2012, albe wrote

    To get the multinationals to pay a bit of corporation tax – imply name and shame and let consumer power do the rest.

    Each year publish a list of all multinationals operating in the uk.

    Then in a second column list the profits that they’ve made in the UK (if necessary pass legislation to force them to show this in their accounts) then post a second.

    In the third column show the corporation tax they should pay on those profits and in the fourth column what they actually pay.

  42. 08/12/2012, Duncan wrote

    It is unbelievable that, regarding pensions, there is one rule for the many and another for the lucky few: the law regarding pension contributions has changed – the amount that can be paid in every year is being reduced (from 50,000 to 40,000) – BUT, these restrictions don’t apply to judges, the speaker of the house, the chancellor AND the prime minister. This in unconscionable !

  43. 08/12/2012, Phillip wrote

    Why not tax every business establishment individually ? Specially in the case of shops or factories where there is profit earned. National head offices could be divided among the total number of outlets or factories!! Setting up would earn tax credits against future earnings of that place.

  44. 08/12/2012, LabourbankruptedtheUK wrote

    Money Week appears to be missing the point. The tax system-(created by Parliament!), needs urgent reform so that companies pay a reasonable amount in corporation tax in the UK and not in say, the EC countries that are cheaper. I have a one man Ltd co and pay corporation tax of hundreds of pounds per week. I deeply resent the fact that multinationals are managing to skip corporation tax. Top priority Tax Reform Bill is required to repair this. Come-on Ukip, several open goals here for you to kick the conservatives (small c) into touch!

  45. 09/12/2012, modsa wrote

    No British Government will solve the problem on its own. It is just a matter of time before we are forced to cut welfare, pensions, health and defence by either the market or the IMF. Effectively we are now a third world state, but which politician will be brave enough to say so.
    Some 40 years ago I remember a Brazilian gentleman telling me, “You are all mad with your welfare state, in Brazil you either work or starve”. Be warned!

  46. 09/12/2012, oldmaninacap wrote

    can’t we have a simple tax system that taxes everything bought, sold earned in this country no matter where the company is based regardless of debt at a basic rate of say 10%. it might stop company’s getting into debt to expand and allow only properly run company’s with capital to expand and grow

  47. 09/12/2012, Engineer wrote

    Nobody should pay tax willingly. Companies and individuals should pay what the law says. Make international companies pay tax in each country proportional to their turnover there. Easy to administer and police.

  48. 09/12/2012, MJG wrote

    The real problem is the baggage we have to suffer in the form of state employees, many of whom would otherwise be unemployable and really just fulfil government requirements as ready voters which are funded by growing debt and tax on enterprise. UK PLC is just another example of a topheavy, bloated bureacracy living on borrowed time care of its past exploits. We have a choice, collapse under the excesses of this baggage and go the way of former empires like Rome and Greece or cut away the dead wood and adapt and survive in the shape of a Northern Hemisphere Hong Kong. Apologies for the mixed metaphors.

  49. 09/12/2012, r wrote

    Pretty well to the point, @MJG. The number of state employees rose by 60% under Labour’s 13 years. Add to this that the Civil Service pensions are not funded – just added to the state debt – this baggage is really costing us dear.

    Of course, there are loads of other government inefficiencies and misappropriations of our cash – foreign aid to dictator-led countries comes to mind – that also need to be sorted out.

    Surely, the biggest one is the £54,000,000 A DAY, every day in 2011-12 tax year, given to the EU.

    Of course, it is the EU rules concerning Corporation Tax that our previous government signed up to that is the point of discussion here. I am not having a go at Labout because the Conservatives are in it just as much.

    Time for UK to start ruling itself again. Also, time for UK to start setting our own tax rules.

    r.

  50. 09/12/2012, Vote with your Feet not with an X wrote

    Anyone putting forward a political party as an answer to any kind of problem should seek psychological assistance at the earliest opportunity.

    Politics is an expense, not an answer.

    And the more politicised the people become, the higher the price there is to pay, with the ultimate price being catastrophic failure, as the biggest fool takes up the challenge of leading the herd of fools on a platform of foolish promises.

    Default is the way forward for right thinking people, not tinkering with taxes in the hope of more of the same.

  51. 09/12/2012, Boris MacDonut wrote

    #52 Sounds like UKIP and folk like r at#50 would love to be that “biggest fool”.
    #51 r. The UK is a net contributor of £4 billion to the EU .I make that £10 million a day not £54 million.
    If state employment rose 60% under Labour (it stood at 6million in May 2010) then we must have had only 3.6 million state employees in 1997, but we had 5.2million. Either you deliberately exaggerate or are plain wrong. Like you are on Civil Service pensions. The employees contribute 5.5% and the employer 17%. How is that unfunded?

  52. 10/12/2012, Romford Dave wrote

    That’s the trouble with using numbers to identify whose post you’re referring to Boris, once the moderator arrive (usually after 9.00) and deletes the duplicates, nothing makes any sense.

    It’s going to become even more confusing one he realises Oldmaninacap at #46 has a doppleganger, it’ll look like you’re referencing this post!

    A bit like The Two Ronnies ‘Mastermind’ sketch!

  53. 10/12/2012, Boris MacDonut wrote

    #Romford Dave. Note no number. Whoever it was I cited made the mistake of disparaging UKIP….called them fools! Not a good idea on here.
    I fear MW would buy shares in that whole sorry charade given a chance.

  54. 10/12/2012, Romford Dave wrote

    You can use a number Boris #53, but you have to keep an eye out for duplications and hope the moderator does his job. Although I may have to email him as the joke is wearing thin it’s taking so long…..

    I’d suggest the poster hitting the half century was more liberal (excuse the pun) in his disdain of all political parties instead of limiting it to just UKIP.

  55. 10/12/2012, Boris MacDonut wrote

    #55 Dave I agree . All parties are pretty poor (with the exception of Plaid and Mebyon Kernow)…but UKIP have a prized place as the most irrational ,ill- informed and pointless one.

  56. 11/12/2012, Natalie wrote

    Why not calculate all the corporation tax you should be collecting, shrink the state by that amount and do away with the tax?

    Simples.

  57. 11/12/2012, Patrick wrote

    The tax base must broaden, The mansion tax could work the following was adopted.
    1.Tax payable on disposal, no need for valuations. The tax would be started from start to sale.
    2.off shore trusts,Co’s, pay annually.
    3. Lees holders pay on extension or sale, not the tenant.

    This would get around taxing a Illiquid, Few valuations Cheap to administer hard to avoid

  58. 11/12/2012, Doc P wrote

    The arguements are so compelling – stimulating growth, increasing employment, increasing resultant tax revenues by the various consequent increases in money flow, reducing complexity and so the cost of collection, and yes, circumventing avoidance – that it is a wonder that abolishing corp tax has not been done already.
    Could it be that as business now is such a dirty word to so many voters, and multinational businesses are frequently derided as evil, that it would simply be politically impossible to do?

    This is sad, as it seems to me that this would be the best way for UK plc to get free of its current woes, and we would all be better off as a result. Oh for a Government prepared to be brave, and actually do something!

  59. 11/12/2012, Boris MacDonut wrote

    #56 Natalie. Why not work out how much the UK should be getting from Companies. Abolish Luxembourg and the Caymans’ tax haven status and reduce Income Tax for ordinary folk by the same amount?
    #58. I don’t think businesses are evil, but some of those that run them have next to no morals. It has been calculated that to live very comfortably a typical westerner needs about £1.8 million. So why do they persist in paying themselves £5 , £10 or £20 million each and every year?

  60. 12/12/2012, Orb wrote

    Boris @ 59… “So why do they persist in paying themselves £5 , £10 or £20 million each and every year?”

    One of my favourite quotes (can’t remember who from):

    “There are none more greedy than those who already have too much”

  61. 13/12/2012, Ellen wrote

    @ 60 Orb. I don’t know where your quote came from but I like Albert Einstein’s quote

    “Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.”

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