What do you get if you add £5.6bn and £6.4bn?

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What do you get if you add £5.6bn and £6.4bn? Empty What do you get if you add £5.6bn and £6.4bn?

Post by TopHat24/7 on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 2:41 pm

Answer:

Spoiler:
The combined spending on foreign aid of Japan and France respectively

Which is approximately the same amount as the UK alone, despite their combined GDP being two and a half times greater.

The only country that gives more is the US - however the UK gives 4 times more as a % of GDP.

So:

Is this, as DC would say, something for us to be proud of and to be staunchly defending or, when we have incidents like the recent floods, 'food banks', housing shortages and poor post-service veteran care, a shocking disregard for domestic concerns which should take precedent as a Goverment's primary duty of care should be to its country's citizens?

This is not meant to be an OP on immigration, but an opportunity to discuss things like the UK's perception in the world and its importance, how aid spending affects this and the UK in general and whether there is a case for re-analysing foreign aid spending (not just quantum but destination - e.g. countries where it's known to be squandered by despot leaders and/or countries with substantial economies in their own right and multi-billion dollar 'ego' spending programmes [space]).


Bit quiet on here at the moment, what say you v2??

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Post by Rowley on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 8:14 pm

I read somewhere that tax evasion and avoidance costs the UK annually around £100 billion annually. Collect half of that and you can address a good bulk of our domestic concerns without touching our foreign aid budget. Problem solved.

As it goes and just my view but a more shocking waste of our money to satisfy our desire to be seen as a big player on the world stage is Trident. We can't afford it, we will never use it and it is woefully out of step with the threats faced by nations today. Scrap that and again you can address domestic concerns without touching our foreign aid budget.

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 8:52 pm

The greatest problem with the United Kingdom's foreign aid bill - aside from the obvious, the country can't afford it - is the arbitrary target of spending 0.7% of GDP on said bill.

This leaves the foreign aid bill to be an uncoordinated mess. Rather than correctly calibrating what can be spent, which nations need it etc., this country simply aims to give a certain amount of money away with little rhyme or reason.

Many other nations have recently cut back on the amounts spent on foreign aid - examples including Australia, Netherlands, Canada and France - and the United Kingdom should follow suit.

A comprehensive analysis needs to be conducted. How much is feasible for our nation to give? What aid programs give the best benefit? How is foreign aid utilised by recipient countries? The most crucial thing is to shed ourselves of the wholly inflexible, and idiotic, 0.7% of GDP target.

Obviously, with the cries of our delightful liberal-left and the weak Conservative government, this won't happen, because foreign aid is our 'duty', and should come before all else, including our defence and our homeless.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 11:21 pm

Worth remembering Britain received nearly 3 billion dollars from the Marshall plan otherwise known as the ERP...For rebuilding after the war...Harry Truman that weak lefty liberal !!!.

That equates to around 30 billion in today's money..and it was much needed...



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Post by Derbymanc on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 8:04 am

Everyones making some good points (esp Rowleys) but the biggest issue at the moment is what we're spending at home, we've had mass floods, the food bank situation and people in poverty. Think we should be looking at solving our own problems and giving what we can after that, solve our problems and we can give more money later.

Also more needs to be done to look at where the money is going and to make sure it's going to the right places (do we really want to find money going on anything other than looking after the poorest in the countries we give it too?

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 8:29 am

You don't need to cut overseas aid to pump more money into flood provision and food banks....It's not one or the other !!

Although heaven knows why some Countries get it....

Over the top austerity gesturing which hits the most needy...just so these morons can say they are economically competent is more of a problem than overseas aid...

Though we should be cutting some of it....where its being abused.



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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 9:21 am

Rowley wrote:I read somewhere that tax evasion and avoidance costs the UK annually around £100 billion annually. Collect half of that and you can address a good bulk of our domestic concerns without touching our foreign aid budget. Problem solved.

As it goes and just my view but a more shocking waste of our money to satisfy our desire to be seen as a big player on the world stage is Trident. We can't afford it, we will never use it and it is woefully out of step with the threats faced by nations today. Scrap that and again you can address domestic concerns without touching our foreign aid budget.

Good post. Though I'm marginally pro-Trident and think tax 'evasion/avoidance' is often over-measured and over-quoted as well as over-stated in terms of it's simplicity to 'correct' and what interdependent effects could result.

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Post by Stella on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 10:14 am

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Worth remembering Britain received nearly 3 billion dollars from the Marshall plan otherwise known as the ERP...For rebuilding after the war...Harry Truman that weak lefty liberal !!!.

That equates to around 30 billion in today's money..and it was much needed...


Haven't we paid that back? If so, there's the massive difference.
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Post by kingraf on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 11:09 am

Think its Bill O Reilly who was asked in a devate why America pays so much in foreign aid and he answered "to buy friends in hot spot countries". Pretty much spot on.
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Post by Rowley on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 12:12 pm

Even if we allow for the amount of revenue lost through tax avoidance being overestimated, which it may well be, let’s just think about that. I am by no means a statistician, but I would guess allowing for the figure being overestimated by 20% would be considered wildly generous in the field of professional statistical analysis. However if we accept this figure that still means the amount the country is screwed out of annually is 80 billion pounds. Even if we collect half of that it is still nearly 4 times what we spend on foreign aid. Were we to reduce our foreign aid budget by 50% the money saved it still drop in the ocean stuff when compared to collecting half of the tax revenues avoided. Also, at the risk of stating the obvious, if we are to allow for the possibility the tax avoidance figure could be overestimated it follows we also have to allow for the possibility it is underestimated, that is just good data analysis practice.

To be honest I get a bit peed off with stuff like this. Will say now I am not accusing the OP or anyone on this thread of this, but this kind of thinking just fits in to the current trend to blame every ill on this country into anyone and everything foreign. The NHS is struggling, lets blame immigrants, the benefits system is bloated and rife with abuse, must be the eastern Europeans claiming benefits, we don’t have money to improve our flood defences, or help those affected by it, it’s because we spend too much of foreign aid. Little of this is ever supported by research or data to support it, but at the minute it seems to be the default position we adopt to confront any problem. For me it is just lazy thinking that plays to the lowest common denominator. Thinking of this nature allows our politicians off too easy, cutting our foreign aid budget is lazy gesture politics, it plays well in the current climate but on a macro-economic even a 50% cut is peanuts. Going after the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook or the banking system is long winded, difficult and pretty unpleasant, particularly for those with an eye on a cushy non-executive board position once their political careers are over but is capable of making a genuine difference to the country’s finances, and also again at the risk of making another obvious point is the morally right thing to do.

If you want to argue that the foreign aid budget is badly organised and unwisely spent I dare say I will agree, however, having worked, albeit briefly and continuing to deal with departments of government on a day to day basis I would suggest it would be difficult to find a department of government where money is not wasted. If it was demonstrable, which I am sure it would be, that there was areas of the NHS or education where money was wasted or poorly spent, I am fairly sure there would not be widespread support amongst the population to solve such things as homelessness or flooding by slashing those budgets.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 12:33 pm

There's general wastage and there's giving millions to an African despot that will inevitably mis-appropriate to build himself a mansion or many millions more to a country that invests in a space programme ahead of poverty.


But back to your central point, I think it's well meant but overly glossy in terms of what would actually need to be done and what the resultant effect would be. The quantum is also subject to the definition of 'evasion/avoidance'. For example, pensions, cycle to work schemes, charitably giving, investment in the arts, investment in small businesses/start-ups all reduce an individual's tax burden. But are any of them a bad thing?

How much have EZ's benefitted the North in particular which, at their original inception, allowed rich people to reduce their tax bills by investing in speculative real estate development in declined/ing areas that otherwise couldn't/wouldn't justify it.

Banking pays a staggering amount of tax into the system, if you include all taxes not just corporate, yet it's as fashionable to attack this industry as it is 'foreigners'.

Definitely more needs to be done to chase major corporates, but a lot of this is based on international accounting standards which the UK is powerless to change and, accept it or not, HQ's do relocate away from more onerous tax jurisdictions - taking thousands of jobs and millions of tax £s with them.

Definitely try do more, but it's pointless to just say "make them pay more tax" like it's just a tap that can be turned on and off with nothing else getting wet.

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Post by Rowley on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 12:49 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:


But back to your central point, I think it's well meant but overly glossy in terms of what would actually need to be done and what the resultant effect would be.  The quantum is also subject to the definition of 'evasion/avoidance'.  For example, pensions, cycle to work schemes, charitably giving, investment in the arts, investment in small businesses/start-ups all reduce an individual's tax burden.  But are any of them a bad thing?


Come on now, let's not do this. You know as well as me there is a huge and obvious distinction clear to everyone between participating in such things as ISA's pension schemes and the like, all of which are actively encouraged by the government and employing teams of highly qualified accountants to find you loopholes and ways to avoid paying such things as income tax or corporation tax. You know this as well as I do. I am by no means suggesting collecting this revenue is easy, but just because stopping something is difficult is no reason not to try.

As for the idea these companies will just up and leave if we actually ask them to pay the amounts our tax laws and the likes of me and you have to pay up firstly I would doubt the extent this would happen is anything like their apologists like to suggest and secondly what sort of country allows themselves to be bullied by corporations?

My general point is not about tax avoidance, but about how we manage the country's money. If there is a genuine desire to improve our finances and better respond to internal issues, lets put things that can make a genuine difference on the table, be ie Trident, be it HS2, be it tax avoidance, foreign aid just smacks to me of a lazy and easy answer.

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Post by seanmichaels on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 12:55 pm

Big corporations like Google not paying tax is a fecking crime. Hipsters on massive salaries eating for free -

There is a 'coffee lab' serving 19 different blends and four free restaurants - including a tapas and sushi bar.

Paying is never a distraction either, because it's all free.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2071057/Googles-new-floor-London-office-looks-like-Big-Brother-house.html#ixzz3wT6X9rCX


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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 2:20 pm

Rowley wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:


But back to your central point, I think it's well meant but overly glossy in terms of what would actually need to be done and what the resultant effect would be.  The quantum is also subject to the definition of 'evasion/avoidance'.  For example, pensions, cycle to work schemes, charitably giving, investment in the arts, investment in small businesses/start-ups all reduce an individual's tax burden.  But are any of them a bad thing?


As for the idea these companies will just up and leave if we actually ask them to pay the amounts our tax laws and the likes of me and you have to pay up firstly I would doubt the extent this would happen is anything like their apologists like to suggest and secondly what sort of country allows themselves to be bullied by corporations?


Did WSP not up and leave? A significant number of London financial companies moved too. HSBC's mooted move is far from just hot air too and is finely balanced. Standard Chartered similar since its biggest operations aren't UK but it is domiciled here.

Why do you think so many companies set up in Ireland - because they like the Guiness better there?

It's not a fly by night decision but it does happen. Taking income tax receipts, VAT receipts and NI with it. It's not all about corporation tax remember - this is only 6.4% of the tax 'pie', even with closing loopholes it'll only surpass excsise duties and still be a smaller contibuted to Whitehall coffers than any of income tax, NI, 'Other' and VAT (in that order). If you compared council tax and business rates, the latter paid by companies without exception or 'loophole', these would surpass corporation tax also.

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Post by Rowley on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 2:28 pm

I'm sure some would up and leave, but how far do we go. Do we turn a blind eye to every large corporation who chooses to fiddle their tax out of fear they may leave or do we do the morally right thing. Does all in it together apply to all or only those of us skint enough to not have a choice but to contribute?

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 2:33 pm

Very few wIll leave.....It's hard work leaving your comfort zone without a family....Heaven knows what it's like with one..

Call their bluff..

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Post by Alistair on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 2:38 pm

Welcome back, Trussman! I trust you had a good festive season?

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 3:57 pm

Plenty of socks...... Cool

Hope you're well..

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 5:10 pm

Rowley wrote:I'm sure some would up and leave, but how far do we go. Do we turn a blind eye to every large corporation who chooses to fiddle their tax out of fear they may leave or do we do the morally right thing. Does all in it together apply to all or only those of us skint enough to not have a choice but to contribute?

Not advocating turning a blind eye. Certainly not to 'fiddling' which is illegal. But that's different from someone using legitiame international accounting standards which mean they pay tax in a different jurisdiction.

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Post by Pr4wn on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 8:10 am

Just out of curiosity Toppy, do you think that what Google, Starbucks, Amazon etc is doing is acceptable?

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Post by seanmichaels on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 9:44 am

I knew someone who worked for Yahoo. They up and left for switzerland in 2005-2006 for tax purposes. I believe they are or have moved ops back to London.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 11:12 am

Pr4wn wrote:Just out of curiosity Toppy, do you think that what Google, Starbucks, Amazon etc is doing is acceptable?

It's legal. Which is the first and most important thing.

Would I like them to pay more corporation tax in the UK? Yes.

Do I know whether they should be paying more tax globally? No.

Some of the stuff I've heard them do seems a little unfair, i.e. off-setting losses accrued in other jurisdictions against UK business profits, if true but it's hard to know the exact facts of what's going on. A lot of hyperbole out there, mostly from people who have no experience of accountancy, let alone chartership.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 11:14 am

seanmichaels wrote:I knew someone who worked for Yahoo. They up and left for switzerland in 2005-2006 for tax purposes. I believe they are or have moved ops back to London.

And the changing, more favourable, tax environment (large reductions in UK corporation tax since 2010) may well have had a large part to play in that.

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Post by Pr4wn on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 11:17 am

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Pr4wn wrote:Just out of curiosity Toppy, do you think that what Google, Starbucks, Amazon etc is doing is acceptable?

It's legal.  Which is the first and most important thing.

Would I like them to pay more corporation tax in the UK? Yes.

Do I know whether they should be paying more tax globally? No.

Some of the stuff I've heard them do seems a little unfair, i.e. off-setting losses accrued in other jurisdictions against UK business profits, if true but it's hard to know the exact facts of what's going on.  A lot of hyperbole out there, mostly from people who have no experience of accountancy, let alone chartership.

I work in offshore finance (regrettably) so my experience of this is pretty good Smile

You can't blame the companies for doing this. They're under obligation from their shareholders to pay as little tax as possible. But is the current situation acceptable? Of course not.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 11:22 am

Does all that saving go back to shareholders though?


The government would have to get very very clever and very very creative in order to do something about the current situation and getting them to pay more tax, with no negative corresponding effects, it's not a fraction as simple as some like to make that.

If companies are going to minimise declared taxable profits, maybe give them something more to off-set, e.g. on payroll - up employer NI? I don't know. Just an idea.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 11:32 am

You could fairly easily change some of the UK taxation laws to make it illegal though? Remove some loopholes? I doubt very much Amazon and Google would just stop dealing in the UK altogether just because they cut into their profit margins a bit, given they'd still be making a fairly considerable profit...

I remember when the current French government (back when they still had left-wing policies) introduced a law taxing all earnings over a million euros at 70%. A lot of talk at the time from the opposition was about how all the millionaires would go and live elsewhere, the sports journalists thought that all the decent footballers would leave, making French domestic football incredibly weak, etc. What really happened is that one bloke - Gerard Depardieu, the big-nosed somewhat overweight actor - went and became Russian (and great friends with Poutine). The rest stayed put. Of course, this is a different situation, and just annecdotal, but I find the idea that Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc. would just stop doing business in the UK if they were made to pay a bit more tax somewhat ridiculous. For what it's worth, the tax evasion figure I heard of was £120 bn, which is over ten times our foreign aid budget, though there were doubts over how much of that could actually be recovered.


Back on topic, no I don't think foreign aid should be slashed. I think it's to our credit that we do more than most to help others around the world. Do I think it should be looked at closely to make sure it's going to the right places? Sure. However, I tend to agree with Rowley that blaming the foreigner has become an easy option.

<begins left wing rant - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED>
Moreover, there's no guarantee that the money saved would be spent on things like flood defences, homelessness, NHS, etc. In fact, since the Conservatives got back into power the spending on these has been largely cut, while of course Osbourne gave his PR staff a 42% pay rise, and the MPs themselves have had an 11% pay rise, while other public sector members, such as teachers, doctors see their annual rise capped at 1% year on year.
</ends left wing rant>


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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 12:02 pm

No, you couldn't MfC, as these big corporations are all listed entitites subject to IFRS/IAS not UKGAAP therefore not something UKG has unilateral power to change. This is my point.

And your interpretation of what happened in France is indeed, Mad, the policy was a disaster and you are totally ignorant of everything other than Gerard D it seems. French private schools in London, for example, have rocketed due to the volume of wealthy families moving over.

And Yahoo did move. WSP did move. HSBC look likely to move.

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Post by Rowley on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 12:17 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:

And Yahoo did move.  WSP did move.  HSBC look likely to move.  

In all fairness there are more factors in this than just the vague possibility our tax laws may at some point become less porous. Equally as likely an immigration system that makes the transfer of foreign staff expensive and ridiculously convoluted, prohibitively expensive real estate prices in and around London and continuing uncertainty over our EU membership drive this as much or more so than tax.

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Post by seanmichaels on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 1:20 pm

A lot of fund platforms / managers are based in Dublin due to their low rates of corporation tax.

Yahoo employees were given ridiculous relocation packages to move to Switzerland. I went out there and stayed a while. Their lives were ridiculous, good salaries, skiing on tap, amazing flats with views over that big lake. Freddie Mercury statue at Montreaux. They all came back after 2/3 years though.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 1:58 pm

Rowley wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:

And Yahoo did move.  WSP did move.  HSBC look likely to move.  

In all fairness there are more factors in this than just the vague possibility our tax laws may at some point become less porous. Equally as likely an immigration system that makes the transfer of foreign staff expensive and ridiculously convoluted, prohibitively expensive real estate prices in and around London and continuing uncertainty over our EU membership drive this as much or more so than tax.

Real estate costs are a drop in the ocean compared to an extra 1% on a multi-billion dollar coporation! And they are only exorbitant in London, hence why M4 corridor and other locations are popular for major HQs.

Basically a load of phoney excuses to duck the point.

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Post by Rowley on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 2:20 pm

It’s not ducking the point, disregard the real estate point if you want, but the other two are valid. I work with a lot of large multinational companies on a day to day basis and the degree they stress about immigration varies, but our continued membership of the EU is a genuine and legitimate concern to them. One is a European based company, which is a huge employer and investor in the UK who have pretty much said they would have no choice but to consider leaving the UK was we to vote to leave the EU, as the free movement of European workers between members states is absolutely essential to their operations. They have also articulated concerns over whether the UK would remain a feasible operation were proposals to increase salary levels under Tier 2 for migrant workers to be passed or were they passed at the higher levels proposed.

I don’t work in the city and my dealings with such companies are restricted to a quite specific and narrow field of their operations, but even in that narrow field I am aware of two factors completely unrelated to their tax affairs which will and do influence their ongoing operation in the UK. My original point was that tax is not the only factor, that point remains valid.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 2:27 pm

Leona Helmsley : "Taxes are for the little people!!"

How stupid of Rowley to forget.... Rolling Eyes

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 2:34 pm

Rowley wrote:It’s not ducking the point, disregard the real estate point if you want, but the other two are valid. I work with a lot of large multinational companies on a day to day basis and the degree they stress about immigration varies, but our continued membership of the EU is a genuine and legitimate concern to them. One is a European based company, which is a huge employer and investor in the UK who have pretty much said they would have no choice but to consider leaving the UK was we to vote to leave the EU, as the free movement of European workers between members states is absolutely essential to their operations.  They have also articulated concerns over whether the UK would remain a feasible operation were proposals to increase salary levels under Tier 2 for migrant workers to be passed or were they passed at the higher levels proposed.

I don’t work in the city and my dealings with such companies are restricted to a quite specific and narrow field of their operations, but even in that narrow field I am aware of two factors completely unrelated to their tax affairs which will and do influence their ongoing operation in the UK. My original point was that tax is not the only factor, that point remains valid.  

Not denying cross-border employment issues are a problem too, lad from my team has just transferred to Spain and it's been a nightmare, but it's an issue they would be faced in lots of countries - the US, the world's most prosperous country, has a nightmare of a system for example but major corporates don't ditch their because of it.

The EU point is valid (I'm pro IN) but is very much a current one (no matter how long it's been grumbling on. Tax has always been an issue and always will. Therefore it is as transitory as it is valid.

And, whilst there has been significant grumbling, and I do think leaving the EU (a one off, irreversible, spot decision) WOULD result in relocations, there isn't really any evidence of it to date - is there?

There are lots of examples of companies moving to different tax jurisdictions though. For another example, number of friends worked for Betfair, all were made redundant a few years back or be part of the relocation to Malta or Ireland. Fairly significant low-skilled labour employer, must've been hundreds if not thousands of UK jobs lost.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 3:25 pm

since this has gone rather off-topic, on the idea that somehow money from the overseas aid would be spent on flood defences...

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2016/jan/07/liz-truss-is-choosing-to-protect-farmers-over-flood-victims

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Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 3:29 pm

Good thread Toppy. Certainly agree re. aid to countries wasting their own on, for example, space programmes before getting things like basic sanitation sorted etc. That said, I'm not sure cutting what we currently give makes a lot of difference in the overall scheme of things.

Rowley wrote:I read somewhere that tax evasion and avoidance costs the UK annually around £100 billion annually. Collect half of that and you can address a good bulk of our domestic concerns without touching our foreign aid budget. Problem solved.

As it goes and just my view but a more shocking waste of our money to satisfy our desire to be seen as a big player on the world stage is Trident. We can't afford it, we will never use it and it is woefully out of step with the threats faced by nations today. Scrap that and again you can address domestic concerns without touching our foreign aid budget.
With you on the tax evasion but don't buy the line re. Trident. Russia is increasingly rattling its sabre and China has hugely increased its perception of what should be its 'sphere of influence', especially in the Pacific. Putting yourself in the boots of the Russian/Chinese leadership, they'd only think one thing of us if we ditched our nukes.

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Worth remembering Britain received nearly 3 billion dollars from the Marshall plan otherwise known as the ERP...For rebuilding after the war...Harry Truman that weak lefty liberal !!!.

That equates to around 30 billion in today's money..and it was much needed...

Good point. The Marshall Plan was something else - would it happen today?


Re. corporations and them paying tax (or not), what bugs me is the lack of an explanation from UKG as to why it isn't seriously addressed. Why can they never have an adult conversation with the public on an issue of obvious importance? mad
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Post by Guest on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 3:37 pm

What do you get if you add £5.6bn and £6.4bn?

Lemmy's Bar tab!

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 3:46 pm

Was the Marshall Plan aid? Or a loan that was paid back?? Think the differences are pretty wholesale.

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Post by Rowley on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 6:07 pm

I am curious at what point does paying the full level of tax cease to be the government’s decision and when does it become the individual person’s or company’s decision. The likes of Google, Amazon and Starbucks are exempted or apologised on behalf of because they employ a lot of people and therefore pay a lot of taxes in other ways. Individuals such as Gary Barlow are given a pass for participating in aggressive tax avoidance schemes because he writes some charity singles and does his bit for Comic Relief so raises more money than he swerves.

Can anyone do this? If I volunteer at my local Help the Aged shop on a weekend can I have the value of my labour deducted from my tax bill? Or is Truss right, are taxes just for the little folk.

We’re not some tin pot African dictatorship or some off shore Caribbean tax haven, we’re a developed nation, a permanent member of the UN security council and member of the G7, yet we’re cowed into bending over by the threat a few companies may leave if we have the temerity to expect them to pay more in corporation tax than your local corner shop. It would be funny was it not so pathetic.

I am with Truss on this one, make them pay, if they don’t like it, let them leave. I suspect we would see far less leave than their scaremongers would like us to believe. Or alternatively we could just reduce our foreign aid budget, there is far more nobility in kicking a man when he’s down than picking a fight we might lose, that just happens to be the right thing to do.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 6:23 pm

Wives have friends and family....Kids are settled at school and have grand parents that dote.........Cultural....language barriers abroad in many cases....Comfort zones disappear..

Cultural....language...procedural barriers in many cases.....Other difficulties chucked in...Constant worries about something happening to a loved one back home..

Posters are making it sound easy to pack up and leave..

Anything but...


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Post by TopHat24/7 on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 11:08 am

Rowley wrote:I am curious at what point does paying the full level of tax cease to be the government’s decision and when does it become the individual person’s or company’s decision. The likes of Google, Amazon and Starbucks are exempted or apologised on behalf of because they employ a lot of people and therefore pay a lot of taxes in other ways. Individuals such as Gary Barlow are given a pass for participating in aggressive tax avoidance schemes because he writes some charity singles and does his bit for Comic Relief so raises more money than he swerves.

Can anyone do this? If I volunteer at my local Help the Aged shop on a weekend can I have the value of my labour deducted from my tax bill? Or is Truss right, are taxes just for the little folk.

We’re not some tin pot African dictatorship or some off shore Caribbean tax haven, we’re a developed nation, a permanent member of the UN security council and member of the G7, yet we’re cowed into bending over by the threat a few companies may leave if we have the temerity to expect them to pay more in corporation tax than your local corner shop. It would be funny was it not so pathetic.  

I am with Truss on this one, make them pay, if they don’t like it, let them leave. I suspect we would see far less leave than their scaremongers would like us to believe. Or alternatively we could just reduce our foreign aid budget, there is far more nobility in kicking a man when he’s down than picking a fight we might lose, that just happens to be the right thing to do.  


You just sound bitter at life, Rowley.

Nobody gets a pass, or should, for breaking the law.

If you knew of a legitimate legal way to pay less tax, allowing you to better provide for your family (or give to charity, whatever you feel), would you not take it up? Doubt you'd scoff at it and say it was your moral duty to pay as much tax as you possibly can.

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Post by BamBam on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 11:39 am

If you've ever paid cash in hand for work, or negotiated a lower cash fee, you're most likely contributing to tax avoidance.

I don't like what Google, Amazon, etc do, but until it is illegal they'll carry on. The UK tax code is one of the most complex in the world, and advising these companies on their tax affairs is what is keeping me in a job.

Morally, I don't agree with it, but as long as its the way I pay my bills I won't be railing against it too loudly.

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Post by Rowley on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 12:34 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:


You just sound bitter at life, Rowley.


Any more bitter than you regularly do over scroungers, the unemployed or whatever the Daily Mail are demonising on a particular week?

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 12:55 pm

Rowley wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:


You just sound bitter at life, Rowley.


Any more bitter than you regularly do over scroungers, the unemployed or whatever the Daily Mail are demonising on a particular week?

About parity, I'd say.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 12:58 pm

this is going to end well...

for what it's worth, I could claim some tax back from my marriage, but choose not to, as I make enough as it is to support us fairly comfortably - no great luxury, but we don't live paycheck to paycheck as we had been for the last couple of years - and I happen to think paying taxes is important.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 1:00 pm

I think paying taxes is important too.

I pay, what feels like, a f*ck load.

No interest in paying a penny more than I'm meant to though.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 1:05 pm

But again, there's surely a difference between not voluntarily paying loads more money in taxes for an individual person, and big corporations employing people to actively look for loopholes in the taxation laws to ensure they pay as little tax as possible? The key phrase in your post is "meant to", which could have various interpretations. One could easily argue that by the spirit of the laws Amazon, etc. are "meant to" pay a whole lot more tax than they do... Out of interest, you work in the private sector right Toppy, do you declare your own tax? Or does it come straight out of your paycheck?

This is a general question since having only recently moved to the UK I have no real idea of how it works here as opposed to France, where you declare your own income tax (that is, you fill in a form stating how much money you made, and someone works out your income tax based on that, albeit if you work in the public sector your form is already pre-filled). Interestingly, in France, if you're married (or in a civil partnership) you can declare you and your partner's income jointly, not sure you can do that in the UK?

I think this particular angle has probably run its course with respect to the OP anyway...

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 2:00 pm

I'm happy to say I'm bitter !! Laugh

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Post by BamBam on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 2:38 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:I think paying taxes is important too.

I pay, what feels like, a f*ck load.

No interest in paying a penny more than I'm meant to though.

Would you consider investing 50k now setting up a scheme which would allow you to save 10k annually on tax?

Effectively, thats what these companies do, with far sillier numbers

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Post by seanmichaels on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 2:50 pm

BamBam wrote:

Would you consider investing 50k now setting up a scheme which would allow you to save 10k annually on tax?

Effectively, thats what these companies do, with far sillier numbers

Sounds like a pension to me....

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Post by Rowley on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 3:48 pm

Can we stop comparing tax avoidance with pensions. A pension is not set up with the intention of reducing your tax liability now, it is set up so you can eat, clothe and support yourself in your post work years. The government make it tax deductible so you're encouraged to do it and they don't have to foot the bill in your old age. It's mutually beneficial. Tax avoidance isn't.

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