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Tax avoidance: George does it too?

October 28th, 2010 by

A few weeks ago 38 Degrees members voted in their thousands for us to work together to push the government to do more to crack down on tax dodgers.

But in the Comprehensive Spending Review, George Osborne failed to do this. He announced lots of cuts but no real new plans to deal with tax dodging. In fact, the cuts included cuts to tax inspectors who should be tackling tax dodging.

Meanwhile it has been revealed in a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, also reported in the Daily Mail and The Telegraph, that three cabinet ministers including Osborne use loopholes to avoid paying tax. Many 38 Degrees members have asked: how we can trust our Chancellor to be doing all he can to close tax loopholes, when he’s profiting from the loopholes staying open?

Our campaign against tax dodging is likely to be a long one. We are going to have to keep the pressure on for some time to turn the tide on the government’s relaxed attitude to tax avoidance. Thousands of 38 Degrees Members emailed their MP to tell them that the Treasury should crackdown. Hundreds have suggested their ideas for our own tax cheats advert campaign spoofing the government’s own benefit cheats adverts. And our petition telling George Osborne it’s time he started paying his own tax is growing really fast.

Campaigning against tax dodging is not going to be an easy win, but we definitely can’t rely on the politicians to do it without us. People power is our best bet for winning this campaign.

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  • chrisjords

    There's a great column by Johann Hari today which reports on the protests around Vodafone's tax dodging in the UK and India, and how vital public campaigning is to making progress on seemingly intractable issues like this. Well worth a read – http://ind.pn/bRJ1Ao

    It might take a while, but we can win this one in the end.

  • http://theefaction.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/boardroom-pay-up-by-55-fortunately-were-all-in-this-together/ Boardroom pay up by 55%. Fortunately, we’re all in this together « Thee Faction

    [...] Osborne, and Vodafone, who sit happily in the FTSE 100 avoiding their tax bill as much as possible. Sign this petition to protest this [...]

  • http://twitter.com/howardlake Howard Lake

    George – pay up, pay up, don't play the game.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4HL765ELPIAP4NIMI2QKYVVLKI Eddie

    Hi, I minimise my tax, so why should someone else working not do the same. Whether chancellor or not, he is a working man. His salary is higher and he is in Government. But he is not a charity, he does not do it for free. Would you work for free and give up your benefits and actions that are lawful…. No

  • Andy

    The person who wrote this article is an idiot.

    Only an idiot would volunteer to pay as much tax as possible.

  • Pete247davis

    The issue is what should be lawful. If everybody had available the same mechanisms to avoid tax then we would have a level playing field. As it is, those who are in the PAYE system lose their tax before they are paid. Those who can afford to employ accountants or do not have their tax paid at source can use mechanisms to avoid paying. It seems for some charity is compulsory….

  • Andy

    You can still claim expences on PAYE. Though most expences should have been paid by the employer. See HM Revenue for details.

  • Jsbrennan

    Vodafone? Is Labour prepared to put down a vote of censure on Osborne? Or had the last Government given Vodafone a green light for a reduced settlement?

  • http://twitter.com/freakthoughts Sam Liddicott

    Thanks for that link. The vodaphone 6 billion is something we can win and worth chasing. A voluntary contribution from Osborne is not worth winning.

  • Vince Gregory

    Re Avoinding paying Tax.

    Yes we all expect our accountant to advise us how we can avoid paying tax. We don't want to pay tax we can avoid. There are various opportunites for us to do that and they vary for diffrent people in diffrent kinds of professions. For I can deduct some of my clothing costs, my heating bill and even things like tooth paste because of my work. So why can't George? I'm yet to understand what he has done illegal,, apart from earning more money than he is worth!

    And when we use allowances to avoid tax how is this causing others to pay more? No one pays any more because I pay less. Their tax remains the same.

    Now, I'm very willing to be shown that I am missing some important information and knowledge, so please do accept my genuine invitation to inform me.

    Thank you.

    Vince Gregory

    gregov@fsmail.net

  • http://twitter.com/freakthoughts Sam Liddicott

    I think citizens should have the right to dis-own the vodaphone settlement

  • chrisjords

    I think it's worth targeting both. Vodafone has been able to get away with dodging its tax bill because of the massive loopholes in the international tax system – and because HMRC gave up chasing them. Just as Osborne isn't going to make a voluntary contribution, neither is Vodafone. The solution is to to close these loopholes and make the whole system much more transparent in the first place – but this has to be done by Government (ie. Osborne), at an international level.

  • Matty

    Oh my word what a complete fool you are. As a clear supporter of the toffee nosed chancellor perhaps you should consider the hypocrisy in what he is doing

  • John burton

    WHy don't we all use an offshore account ? because it would cost more money to set up and service etc, than its worth with our small amount of investment , so because of this we are being penalised unfairly as compaired to someone with vast wealth. The government works out how much money it takes to run our services then takes into account how many people are paying tax and a sum is worked out so of course someone paying less than they are due means the rest are paying more , even I can work that out , can't you ?

  • Andy

    Thats a bit rude. You would not voluntarily pay more tax so why should anyone else? THAT is hipocrisy is it not?

  • Andy

    But people with great wealth also pay enormous amounts of tax. Some, like Richard Branson, pay more tax in a single year than you will pay in your entire lifetime (and every year there after). Therefore making a far greater contribution to society than you could ever hope to. In the light of that, I find the distain in you comment somewhat bewildering.

  • Andy

    Thats a bit rude. You would not voluntarily pay more tax so why should anyone else? THAT is hipocrisy is it not?

  • Andy

    But people with great wealth also pay enormous amounts of tax. Some, like Richard Branson, pay more tax in a single year than you will pay in your entire lifetime (and every year there after). Therefore making a far greater contribution to society than you could ever hope to. In the light of that, I find the distain in you comment somewhat bewildering.

  • gildedtumbril

    Every time the shysters writing new tax statutes close a loophole they open six more for the benefit of bums in 'government'. It was ever thus.