Thursday, June 25, 2009

Must have forgotten

On Tuesday Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, another of the local council - House of Commons - House of Lords brigade, not to mention being a member of the Scottish Assembly as well, asked HMG the following question:
What is their forecast of the revenue lost to HM Treasury through the use of the Channel Islands for avoiding the payment of United Kingdom tax.
The debate that went on for about seven minutes was quite curious in that practically everything the question and immediate response to it implied, was incorrect.

All we managed to gather is that HMG, together with other states and governments that is anxious to destroy economic activity by extracting as much tax as they can manage, are trying to think of all sorts of schemes whereby "tax havens" will be shut down, even if that will mean the places in question going bankrupt and money being laundered some other way. For sure as eggs is eggs, the rich will find a method of keeping their spondulikins out of the various politicians' hands and who can blame them.

What was not mentioned was that there might actually be another solution to the problem and that is lower taxation. That, on the other hand, would undermine the assumption on which much of the debate was conducted: that, somehow, HMG (or any other government) has an undeniable right to people's earnings to do whatever they see fit to do with it.

Another unmentioned aspect was the curious fact that members of what is known as "Another Place", to wit the House of Commons, had, at various times, voted themselves substantial salary increases, which they called expenses in order not to pay taxes on them. Behaviour of that kind would be frowned upon if indulged in by the great unwashed.

There are, of course, no salaries except for Ministers, in the House of Lords, and the expenses are minimal. Lord Foulkes, one assumes, is paid as Member of the Scottish Parliament. For all of that, his was one of the few names in the Upper House that cropped up in the course of the recent unpleasantness, as Wikipedia unkindly mentions:
In 2008, Foulkes had been criticised for his expenses claims, which included around £45,000 over a period of two years for overnight subsistence to stay in a flat he had inherited. Between April 2007 and March 2008, Foulkes claimed £54,527 in expenses from the House of Lords.[13][1]
The words houses, glass and stones spring to mind.