We deserve better

Published in Letters by

GODFREY BLOOM and his party, UKIP, have made a pitch for those who feel the country was better run in the 1950s.

Yet there is nothing ‘‘traditional’’ in the argument he is making about the responsibilities of multi-national companies (Letters, December 6).

In excusing the tax-avoiding behaviour of companies such as Amazon and Starbucks as no more than their ‘‘duty’’, he is expressing an extreme view of how capitalism should operate.

Also, he is denigrating all those British companies, large and small, that do pay their taxes. The sums lost to us by large-scale tax avoidance are huge, dwarfing benefit fraud.

Multi-nationals are able to come here and to make the sort of profits that they do by making use of British infrastructure and British workers, whose skills, education and free health care all come courtesy of the taxpayers.

Yet we have the unedifying spectacle of companies such as Starbucks announcing big profits to shareholders apparently while claiming to the Inland Revenue that they are making a loss.

This is not the way to nurture successful, profitable businesses.

In Germany, businesses are expected to demonstrate responsibility to the community. Larger companies are legally obliged to include employees on their boards.

We deserve better than we seem to have got used to in the UK.

Chris Walker-Lyne, Millfield Road, York.

Comments (7)

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10:01am Wed 12 Dec 12

The Great Buda says...

Rose tinted specs alert.
Rose tinted specs alert. The Great Buda
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Wed 12 Dec 12

ColdAsChristmas says...

Wow, a four word response from Buda.
There are aspects of the 1950's that were surely superior as a nation state to what we have today. For example if you looked on the roads you would see almost all vehicles were built in the UK, and indeed, even the machinery that made that possible, hence very high employment rates. We had much more open countryside in those days too, without the threat of giant windmills. Of course there are the negatives such as poor housing and Capital punishment. You could go on all day about this but at the end of the day it is history either way.
As for the who pays what tax, that matter is more easily concluded. If Starbucks etc have complied with UK law by paying nothing in corporation tax on a huge turnover then the fault is with our law makers and not the companies concerned. Look no further than Gordon Brown, Alastair Darling and George Osbourne for your answers to that one. I do believe the letter was more a dig at UKIP rather than our system that allows for abuse to occur legally.
Wow, a four word response from Buda. There are aspects of the 1950's that were surely superior as a nation state to what we have today. For example if you looked on the roads you would see almost all vehicles were built in the UK, and indeed, even the machinery that made that possible, hence very high employment rates. We had much more open countryside in those days too, without the threat of giant windmills. Of course there are the negatives such as poor housing and Capital punishment. You could go on all day about this but at the end of the day it is history either way. As for the who pays what tax, that matter is more easily concluded. If Starbucks etc have complied with UK law by paying nothing in corporation tax on a huge turnover then the fault is with our law makers and not the companies concerned. Look no further than Gordon Brown, Alastair Darling and George Osbourne for your answers to that one. I do believe the letter was more a dig at UKIP rather than our system that allows for abuse to occur legally. ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Jam tomorrow says...

It isn't that simple. For a start these companies have not paid Corporation Tax. They have paid every other tax though. Amazon is a Luxembourg based company, it has a huge warehouse in Britain but not its HQ. It isn't avoiding Corporation tax it simply isn't liable, it pays it in Lux. Do we like it; no we don't but that's the way it is. Starbucks is British but seems to dispose of its excess profits by paying a massive fee as a sort of franchise payment to Starbucks HQ. That's the one that smells a bit. I agree, this letter is a side swipe at UKIP and it shows how popular they are becoming.
It isn't that simple. For a start these companies have not paid Corporation Tax. They have paid every other tax though. Amazon is a Luxembourg based company, it has a huge warehouse in Britain but not its HQ. It isn't avoiding Corporation tax it simply isn't liable, it pays it in Lux. Do we like it; no we don't but that's the way it is. Starbucks is British but seems to dispose of its excess profits by paying a massive fee as a sort of franchise payment to Starbucks HQ. That's the one that smells a bit. I agree, this letter is a side swipe at UKIP and it shows how popular they are becoming. Jam tomorrow
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Wed 12 Dec 12

YSTClinguist says...

Is it UKIP policy to support tax avoidance? If so they've lost a lot of possible votes.

The government is closing down loopholes and 'tax experts' whome the government is talking about criminalising are searching out new ones to help corporations avoid paying taxes. There is the possibility here that there is a shift in how we look at the principle of avoiding tax, where it could be seen as attempting to evade tax through legal (but immoral) means.

From Starbucks own Business Ethics and Compliance document: http://bit.ly/VVtrDY


Page 13:

"Starbucks policy is to deal honestly and fairly with government authorities and to comply with valid governmental requests and processes. Partners must be truthful and straightforward in their dealings with the government and may not direct or encourage another partner or anyone else to provide false or misleading information to any government official or representative."

Top of Page 14:

"Starbucks commitment to working fairly and honestly with the government includes all interactions with government officials."
Is it UKIP policy to support tax avoidance? If so they've lost a lot of possible votes. The government is closing down loopholes and 'tax experts' whome the government is talking about criminalising are searching out new ones to help corporations avoid paying taxes. There is the possibility here that there is a shift in how we look at the principle of avoiding tax, where it could be seen as attempting to evade tax through legal (but immoral) means. From Starbucks own Business Ethics and Compliance document: http://bit.ly/VVtrDY Page 13: "Starbucks policy is to deal honestly and fairly with government authorities and to comply with valid governmental requests and processes. Partners must be truthful and straightforward in their dealings with the government and may not direct or encourage another partner or anyone else to provide false or misleading information to any government official or representative." Top of Page 14: "Starbucks commitment to working fairly and honestly with the government includes all interactions with government officials." YSTClinguist
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Wed 12 Dec 12

ColdAsChristmas says...

I don't speak for UKIP but UKIP did not write the tax laws that allow for the current situation to exist.
I don't believe it good enough either for Starbucks for example to make a donation in lieu of corporation tax. It is for Mr Osbourne to get his act together and close these loop holes as his predecessors should have done previously. An A4 version of company taxation would go a long way to help.
I don't speak for UKIP but UKIP did not write the tax laws that allow for the current situation to exist. I don't believe it good enough either for Starbucks for example to make a donation in lieu of corporation tax. It is for Mr Osbourne to get his act together and close these loop holes as his predecessors should have done previously. An A4 version of company taxation would go a long way to help. ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Wed 12 Dec 12

CynicaloldGit says...

I was very interested to read after the bye election in M/brough, the following comment by a UKIP organiser.
"UKIP is a party for the disaffected from the mainstream parites, there are also people who come to us because of their disallusionment with politicians in general."
There used to be a party some years ago which attracted the same people mentioned by the UKIP worker people, it was called the NSDAP ....Nationalsozialis
tische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei......
......better know by its abreviation...the N azi s!
The thing is, some of the things the N azi s said, made perfect sense too, but we all know the other side of them.
I was very interested to read after the bye election in M/brough, the following comment by a UKIP organiser. "UKIP is a party for the disaffected from the mainstream parites, there are also people who come to us because of their disallusionment with politicians in general." There used to be a party some years ago which attracted the same people mentioned by the UKIP worker people, it was called the NSDAP ....Nationalsozialis tische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei...... ......better know by its abreviation...the N azi s! The thing is, some of the things the N azi s said, made perfect sense too, but we all know the other side of them. CynicaloldGit
  • Score: 0

8:06pm Wed 12 Dec 12

ColdAsChristmas says...

Very interesting CynicaloldGit. I do believe that UKIP need to branch out more, rather than appearing to reach out to Euro sceptic Tories mostly but that is a matter for them. I'm just an observer. The big problem we have in British politics is that there is not much difference between the three main parties. Look at the main policies before making comment on that point. They are all trying to appease the Greens and all of their leaders have had privileged backgrounds and out of touch with reality. What I will say for the leader of UKIP is that at least he has for the long term ran a business. I don't consider being a SPAD for a political party and then offered a safe seat as any kind of merit.
All of the three main parties for example are committed to spend a fortune we don't have on renewable energy and this seriously will damage any prospect of repaying our National debt. As we sit here this evening freezing, without a single wind turbine turning and no solar energy until sunrise; I ask the question: Where is this man made CO2 that is supposed to be trapping in heat? At least UKIP are right on that scam and not in denial of the facts. Just remember that it was Ed Miliband who wrote the October 2008 Climate Act the Coalition are happy to accept! Nuff said.
Very interesting CynicaloldGit. I do believe that UKIP need to branch out more, rather than appearing to reach out to Euro sceptic Tories mostly but that is a matter for them. I'm just an observer. The big problem we have in British politics is that there is not much difference between the three main parties. Look at the main policies before making comment on that point. They are all trying to appease the Greens and all of their leaders have had privileged backgrounds and out of touch with reality. What I will say for the leader of UKIP is that at least he has for the long term ran a business. I don't consider being a SPAD for a political party and then offered a safe seat as any kind of merit. All of the three main parties for example are committed to spend a fortune we don't have on renewable energy and this seriously will damage any prospect of repaying our National debt. As we sit here this evening freezing, without a single wind turbine turning and no solar energy until sunrise; I ask the question: Where is this man made CO2 that is supposed to be trapping in heat? At least UKIP are right on that scam and not in denial of the facts. Just remember that it was Ed Miliband who wrote the October 2008 Climate Act the Coalition are happy to accept! Nuff said. ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: 0

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