Do the Super Elite Play by Different Rules? A Homage to Panama
Do the super elite play by different rules? Are they allowed to get away with paying lower rates of tax or little tax as a result of complicated and expensive schemes? This is what the leak of the 11.5 million files from Mossack Fonseca is all about, the explosion of information which proves that there is no level playing field. The so called leak of the Panama papers shows that the idea referred to, is in fact the ugly, humiliating and fundamental truth. Corbyn, Sanders, Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece all promote this concept to relatively deaf ears. Many understand it and hear the message, but don't necessarily wish to believe it.
The U.S. Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr said that "taxes are what we pay for civilised society". It is the cost of the social contract. The social contract is what we all believe in: • A joined up society • Basic public amenities to use • A health system free at the point of use • A welfare system to provide a safety net through which no-one can fall • A fair and tolerant police system free of corruption nor political motive • A basic education system for all
If you have ever travelled to a 3rd world country you will notice the difference to a Western society immediately. Some, if not all of the above are missing. Money and greed corrupt and society breaks down quickly and is organised according to the wealthiest, strongest and fittest.
Tax is a good thing, a great concept and provides equality. However, we do not want equality, as one size does not fit all. What is required is everyone fairly contributing to society financially such that the society prevails with openness and fairness.
Using offshore mechanisms is not necessarily a good 'thing' but it is currently not illegal, so why criticise, comment nor label those that use these forms of savings, as criminals. The declaration of leading politicians’ tax returns compounds the issue. There is nothing interesting in seeing those. In fact it is a disgrace that Corbyn filed late and could only muster £1800 of other income to his parliamentary salary. What sort of free thinking does he possess, clearly none. So another own goal scored.
Let us get down to the proper business of making the tax system, fair, efficient, understandable, easy and clear. The rates of tax low, acceptable, encouraging business, entrepreneurialism and work. Then the application of our tax to those that deserve.
Work is our individual contract to society. Tax is the dues we pay to receive basic benefits when we need them. Panama, if we knew where it was, should be a story of fiction. An unnecessary requirement as tax, at 10% would deliver all of the above.
The government cannot eliminate multinational tax avoidance on its own but it can make a concerted attempt to expel foreign corruption from our land. Every day this does not occur, more of us lose faith in our political system and institution. If the politicians had had real jobs, they may be thinking differently. At least £122 billion of British property is owned by offshore companies sheltered from liabilities and identification while distorting the housing market. Fresh thinking, please.
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