Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/750/16058
Taxing words from Cameron?
Tom Baldwin, South West Socialist Party
According to a report by the PCS civil service union, £120 billion of tax goes unpaid every year. This money, mostly avoided and evaded by the super-rich, could virtually wipe out the deficit.
Campaigners for tax justice rightly point out that the rich shouldn't be cheating the taxman while the rest of us suffer huge attacks on our living standards.
Now it seems they have found an unlikely ally in David Cameron. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos he attacked tax-avoiding companies, telling them to "wake up and smell the coffee".
Does he now believe the rich should be paying for their own crisis? What's behind this miraculous conversion? Or is he just upset that big business seems ungrateful for all the handouts?
Last year his government cut corporation tax by 3%,and the top rate of income tax by 5% in a budget described by Chancellor Osborne as "unashamedly pro-business".
Accountancy firm PwC reported that the corporation tax bill for Britain's biggest companies tumbled by 18% last year, despite a rise in profits.
Look both ways
Cameron went on to add "we will cut our tax rates and be competitive but in return we do ask that people pay their fair share."
The real test of Cameron's sincerity is whether his words are matched by actions.
Staff numbers at HMRC - the government's tax department - have been cut in half since 2005 with more cuts planned, while HMRC bosses have a cosy relationship with big business.
Why would the Tories challenge tax avoidance when it's been so good to them? Numerous Tory donors have 'questionable' tax arrangements.
For example Lycamobile, their top corporate donor last year, hadn't paid a penny in corporation tax for three years.
Tory donor and 'non-dom' tax avoider Lord Ashcroft was even brought into the cabinet!
This government is hand in glove with billionaire tax cheats. Cameron's words are completely hollow. This is a government of the rich, for the rich - they give us job cuts and their mates tax cuts. Workers need their own party that will stand up to this abuse.
In The Socialist 30 January 2013:
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