Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Intergalactically Stupid News of the Day - Part 2

Yesterday, Cleggy met the Barclays CEO and pontificated about tax avoidance strategies.

Doncha just love Cleggy? Desperate to appear to be doing something and for once outshine Big Vince, he news grabs with a little shouty session at a banker. Sweet.

But the wider issue is very fundamental. Do our political class really expect and desire all businesses in the UK to be tax inefficient?

Just take the now semi-nationalised banks: do we want them paying as much tax as possible in every country they operate so that they make less profit? Do we want them to pay extra avoidable tax to not just HMRC but also to France, Germany, Spain, in fact every country in which they operate?

The net effect would be to depress their profits further, thereby increasing the amount the UK taxpayer must bail them out, and hand zillions to other countries' tax collectors.

How pathetically naive our politicians are. And all for a headline.

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