Skip to main content

The rich are laughing all the way to the bank

UK Revenue and Customs loses billions in tax revenue each year due to tax avoidance and evasion. Meanwhile more than one in four of our children live in poverty,  that is  3.5 million children.  With an upward trend as a result of the coalition government's austerity policies this is expected to reach 4.7 million children by 2020. Millions of our children will go to sleep hungry whilst rich tax evaders feast themselves in some far away sun spot.

A lack of anti-avoidance tax law and cuts to public services are contributing to the UK's yawning tax gap.  The difference between the tax that should be paid in the UK if the tax system worked as parliament and HMRC intended, and the amount actually paid is a staggering  £119 bn.  I will repeat that:

£119 bn!

This is the figure produced by research commissioned by the Public and Commercial Services Union and published last year. Their research estimated  that in 2013 the UK lost £73.4bn to tax evasion. Evasion is when a person or company deliberately and unlawfully fails to declare income for tax purposes.  The official estimate is still a whacking £22.3 bn. 

£22.3 bn a year!

Whatever figure we chose to believe it is a shocking indictment.

During the last five years of austerity measures the government has pursued 'benefit cheats' with determination and in doing so it has cut benefits for the deserving working poorest in our community. The bedroom tax has been forcing families out of their homes.  The disabled have faced irresponsible assessments to determine their 'fitness to work'.  Meanwhile the rich have been laughing all the way to the bank - literally so as the HSBC scandal demonstrates.

It seems there is no moral compass. They show no distinction between what is 'lawful' and what is 'ethical'.

So what is the government doing to pursue the tax cheats?

Last year HMRC closed all of its 281 Face to Face Enquiry Centres, months after it had also announced the loss of 8,000 jobs this year.

There is a clear question to be put to the leaders of all main political parties in the coming general election: what are you going to do to ensure that the rich are paying the taxes that are due?


 

Read Ray'a Novel: It wasn't always late summer 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Maternal depression can impact child mental and physical health

Maternal depression has been repeatedly linked with negative childhood outcomes, including increased psychopathology.  Now, a new study shows that depression in mothers may impact on their children's stress levels,  as well as their physical and mental well-being throughout life.

In the study, published in the journal  Depression & Anxiety,  the researchers followed 125 children from birth to 10 years.

At 10 years old, the mothers’ and children’s cortisol (CT) and secretory immunoglobulin (s-IgA)—markers of stress and the immune system (see below)—were measured, and mother-child interaction were observed.
Psychiatric assessment  The mothers and children also had psychiatric diagnoses, and the children's externalising and internalising symptoms were reported.



Internalising disorders include depression, withdrawal, anxiety, and loneliness. They are often how we 'feel inside', such as  anger, pain, fear or hurt, but may not show it.  In contrast, externalising symptom…

Palm Oil production killing the planet

Bad trade and bad products are killing our planet. We have said this before on The Thin End. There is no better example than that of palm oil. It is used ubiquitously in so many products, and its production is a major factor destroying rainforests and threatening precious species.

Demand for palm oil is 'skyrocketing worldwide'. It is used in packaging and in so much of our snack foods, cookies, crackers, chocolate products, instant noodles, cereals, and doughnuts, and the list goes on.
Bad for the planet So, why is this so bad for the planet?

The oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palms native to Africa. It is now grown primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, but is also expanding across Central and West Africa and Latin America.

Palm oil production is now one of the world's leading causes of rainforest destruction, and this is impacting adversely some of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like t…

Clear blue lakes turning murky in USA

New research reveals that many lakes in the continental United States are becoming murkier, with potentially negative consequences for water quality and aquatic life. These are the findings of a study published in Limnology and Oceanography.

From blue, clear lakes to greenish brown In the 5 years between 2007 and 2012, the dominant lake type in the United States shifted from clear, blue lakes to greenish-brown, murky lakes. Blue lakes declined by 18% while murky lakes increased by 12%. 



Overall, “blue” lakes decreased by ~ 18% (46% of lakes in 2007 to 28% in 2012) while “murky” lakes increased by almost 12% (24% of lakes in 2007 to 35.4% in 2012).  So, the majority of lakes are now murky.

Regionally, murky lakes significantly increased in the Northern Appalachian, Southern Plains, and Xeric ecoregions.

In the Northern Appalachians, blue lakes decreased by 41.4%, brown lakes increased by 17.8%, and murky lakes increased by 26.8%. In the Northern Plains, green lakes significantly increas…