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The Great Tax Robbery

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:57 am    Post subject: The Great Tax Robbery Reply with quote

The Great Tax Robbery - How Britain Became a Tax Haven for Fat Cats and Big Business by Richard Brooks


The Great Tax Robbery is a must-read expose of the grubby underbelly of the UK tax avoidance industry. Its a world in which corporate barristers advertise offshore scams, where corporate CEOs devise entire business plans around tax dodging, where high level collusion between government and tax dodgers results in business-friendly laws that cost the country billions. Its a complicated subject but, as youd expect from a Private Eye journalist, Brooks is never dull to read. He writes with pace and conviction, a wry sense of humour and a sharp eye for the dark absurdity of the tax avoiders desperate tricks.

The book is also a trenchant defense of taxation as a tool for ensuring a just society. Brooks begins his book with a quotation from Oliver Wendall Homes: I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization. And Brooks is clear to outline just what a fantastic bargain this deal is: For every pound I earn I will pay around 7 pence for immediate access to professional healthcare for my family, 5 pence for my childrens education, 2 pence for living in relative security and 11 pence for pensions and social security for my compatriots. Brooks shows that tax represents a cheaper and more efficient way to provide basic services than any private system ever devised. If it were a club, he writes, only a fool would not join.

But the super wealthy are enjoying the benefits of the club without paying their membership fee. These spongers include not only rich individuals like Philip Green, Lord Rothermere (owner of the Daily Mail) and virtually every Premiership footballer, but also countless corporations that make money in our economy: Apple, Starbucks, Vodafone, Cadbury, Google, Boots, Nike, Barclays and too many others to name.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I might buy this. The other grim book is 'Treasure islands' by Nick Shaxson which is partly about the London City corp but also other countries dirty money secrecy regimes.

Never forget that non-domicile status made the UK a tax haven since 1914
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a surprisingly comprehensive report about Ireland's tax haven status - a status recently repudiated by our so-called leader. He actually uttered the words at Davos recently: 'we don't do brass plate companies in Ireland', which is a prime example of the old 'how can you tell when a politician is lying?' joke. (Answer: their lips are moving).

So many companies are listed in the marble-tiled, plant-filled foyer that there are no brass plates or printed guides. Instead, it takes a computer to search through them all. This is 5 Harbourmaster Place, a Celtic Tiger-era chrome-and-glass building at the edge of the International Financial Services Centre, in Dublin.

It might not look big enough to house them all, but this modest-sized building is home to about 250 companies. One is Orpington Structured Finance I. It has gross assets of 1.7 billion, which would make it one of the most valuable firms in Ireland. Except it has no employees. It has no buildings or machinery. Nor does it pay any tax.

Its big business: the total value of assets in the Republics shadow-banking sector, at 1.7 trillion, is almost 11 times the States gross national product, which is the total value of all products and services produced in a single year.

And Treasure Islands gets a mention, fuzzy. Cool

These 'companies' who can't even afford a brass plate have no employees, no buildings, no tax liability.
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
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