thundril wrote:Can we benefit by making some distinctions?
1. Justice is not the same as law. What is 'legal' is a matter of interpretation of written-down laws; what is 'fair' is a matter of opinion.
I can go along with that, Thundril. Apartheid in south Africa was 'legal' but never (at least to us) fair.
ISTM that Nick is trying to explain what is legal, and also (incidentally) defending the 'fairness' of the tax regime. I have to take his word on the former, whilst I might disagree about the latter.
[I've moved this part of your post, Thundril, but I think it fits in here...] Yes, I am trying to explain what is legal, but also to explain some of the reasoning behind some of the legislation. I am also, specifically in this thread, trying to show that the Eye, in this case, is putting 2 and 2 together and making 5. I have tried to show that the tax example cited in the Eye is entirely fair within the current tax regime, the salient points of which (dividend tax credits, and capital allowances, losses brought forward, etc.,) have been consistent for decades, including under Labour governments.
Whether the amount of tax taken, and the use to which it is put is "fair" is a much wider question, and not one I can answer succinctly. (And not here, and not now.) But what I can do (or at least I can try) is explain why some aspects of tax stories one reads about in the press do not in fact lead to the conclusions which are drawn, and, worse, bandied about by the howling Left as conclusive proof that the lizards are feasting off the remains of the workers.....
Might I make a distinction, too? My rantings in this thread have been against the article in Private Eye, and the way is distorts the truth of the matter. I have not covered what tax policy should be, only sought to show that the Eye's claims are inconsistent and baseless, for elementary reasons.
That is distinct from your next point, and I'll try to keep the two separate:
The distinction between justice and law in the context of taxation is (IMO) quite well expressed
Ah! Our old friend Richard Murphy! Famed or claimed originator of Corbynomics. My criticisms of him are manifold, but in particular, he is dangerously ignorant, but claims otherwise, suckering in a whole raft of gullible fellow travellers. (I am not aiming this at you, Thundril; you have always been open to discussion, IRL as well as on the forum.)
Secondly, I do not think his political assertions stand up on their own merits.
Thirdly, I am appalled by the implications of many of his assertions, not least the one cited.
Fourthly, he seems very proud of the fact that he decided that the economics lecturers at his university didn't know what they were talking about, and is proud of not going to their lectures. This is somewhat ironic, as he now lectures students......
And finally, I do not think he is a nice person, not least because he bans dozens of critics from answering his posts.
For forceful, consistent, incisive, irreverent, and often rather funny, rebuttals of Richard Murphy, take a look at http://www.Timworstall.com
This post is getting long, so I'll come back to these points anon.
"At its core tax justice demands that each person pay the right amount of tax at the right time, in the right place and at the right rate.
Right has a special meaning here. It means that not only do you comply with the law. Tax avoiders can claim they do that. It does not even mean that you comply with the spirit of the law – which is what HM Revenue & Customs expect. It is about putting this desire to do the right thing into action, so that what is declared for tax purposes reflects the economic reality of what the taxpayer has actually done."
....and that one too.
2. Osborne-Whatsit makes prettily-patterned stuff that no-one really needs. It is a medium sized, not very important company, whose tax affairs are (in the greater scheme) of no really great concern, except that it is connected very directly to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. For this reason, it's conduct ought to be exemplary, and if it isn't that is worthy of note.
Needs...? Maybe not, but wants...? Yes, like a vast number of other businesses, supplying to people like you are I, who have wants as well as needs.
As for Osborne and Little, from the article, ISTM that its conduct is exemplary, and I bet George would have something to say to his dad if the company's financial affairs caused him political embarrassment! I do not know the company intimately, but can make that judgement based on the info the Eye provided, for all the reasons stated, rather than the fatuous conclusion they seem to draw, that somehow HMRC is being cheated out of tax that they should somehow be paying. The article in the Eye is not worthy of note, but having been bandied about the internet, rebuttal is important.
The apalling damage George Osborne is doing to 'hard-working families' (and to the Tory Party FTM) is worth discussing; the Private-Eye tax story, while it may flag up something worth looking into, is tittle-tattle by comparison.
The effects of tax credits is certainly worth examining. The Eye story would be less important, even if it were true. Which it isn't.