Monday, 20 April 2015

An end to Tax-Dodging

I was asked a question on tax-dodging at the Christ Church Malvern hustings yesterday. In pledging if elected to support a bill to end tax-dodging, this was my response:

"Given that tax dodging hurts the poorest hardest in both the UK and overseas, would you, if elected, support and promote a new Tax Dodging Bill that would make it harder for big companies to avoid paying taxes in the UK and in developing countries?

Paying tax is the contribution each of us makes to living in a civilized society. It pays for our health service, education, transport infrastructure and much more besides. As we live longer, each of us will spend the majority of our lives dependent on others and on such services: taxation is the contribution we make to those services. None of us lives in isolation. We are all dependent on others.

Without those services industry would not be able to make a profit. When companies and individuals dodge taxes, the rest of us have to pay more or else go without these essential services. Quite simply, tax-dodging is immoral.

If all the tax that was due was collected, this country would be £120bn per year better off – that is twice the deficit, and 30x the amount lost to benefit fraud.

How can this government claim to be serious about collecting tax, when it cuts the staff at HMRC in half, and allows HMRC to make deals with big corporations to pay only a fraction of what is due. Instead government savages the welfare state and penalizes the least well off.

How can we take seriously an MP whose campaign fund has been financed by someone like Lord Fink who has said ‘everyone avoids tax’. I don’t avoid paying tax. I don’t suppose most of the people in this room do.

It is time that those who can step up to the plate and started to pay their way."

No comments:

Post a Comment