Thursday, 29 March 2012

This is what corruption looks like

Imagine being a multimillionaire and a member of Parliament. How will you carry on making money?

How about investing in a property company? They buy a lease for £65 million. Then they sell it to another company they control, for £65,000 - with no justification for the new value. That way they don't pay any tax at all, rather than 4% stamp duty. Bingo: £2.8m saved, and you carry on collecting the rent from the building's occupants (Company 1 has of course 'lost' £64,935,000 and so won't be paying tax on any profits). And that's not all: the lease was then sold for £225m - a fat profit for our enterprising MP.

To me, that looks like an organised conspiracy to defraud the taxpayer. With nobody external having a say on what the lease is really worth, the owners can name their price and choose their tax burden, robbing us of money to build hospitals, schools and all the other things we need it for.

Who is this thieving bastard?

It's Andrew Mitchell. His job now is Secretary of State for International Development: helping countries whose weak state structures mean they can't, for example, collect the taxes required to fund state services. So while he robs from us, he's happy to collect a fat salary from our taxes for giving them to other countries. The less tax he and his companies pay, the more we have to.

Nice one Andy! What a fine example to set. The Inland Revenue described this as 'aggressive tax avoidance' - and the courts disagreed! To me it looks like a textbook example of the 'socially useless' economy described by the Bank of England's director a couple of years ago. Nobody's been employed, nothing's been made, no value has been added. Instead, financial trickery has impoverished us, and enriched a few greedy men who can afford amoral lawyers.

That's capitalism, folks!

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