Tom Baldwin
Con-Dems benefit fact fraud - tax, avoided, evaded and uncollected, photo  Socialist Party

Con-Dems benefit fact fraud – tax, avoided, evaded and uncollected, photo Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Anger is rising at the companies and millionaires who pay little or no tax in Britain. They’re very happy to make money exploiting people’s hard work – but less keen to put anything back.

Over 100 of Britain’s richest people are hiding billions of pounds in offshore tax havens, found out by the tax office with a massive paper trail that would fill over 200 lorries!

And 98 of the top 100 companies on the FTSE stock exchange are using tax havens, with firms such as Tesco and Barclays each owning hundreds of offshore subsidiaries.

As vital jobs and services are being slashed and the cold cruelty of benefit cuts begins to bite, the lie that “we’re all in it together” has been shattered.

The PCS civil service union which represents workers in tax collection has estimated tax avoidance and evasion, mostly by the super-rich, totals £120 billion each year.

If collected this would wipe out the government deficit, used by Tory Prime Minister Cameron and Chancellor Osborne as an excuse for their attacks on the living standards of ordinary people.

No wonder then that they’re now talking tough. At the recent G7 meeting of rich countries Osborne said it was “incredibly important that companies and individuals pay the tax that is due”. The statement agreed by the G7 scores highly on rhetoric but low on real proposals.

This millionaires’ government has bent over backwards to provide giveaways for the rich. In a budget he described as “unashamedly pro-business” Osborne cut tax for companies and rich individuals last year.

He’s also cut the department responsible for collecting taxes. Already almost half of the staff have been axed since 2005 – a process started by New Labour.

Another 10,000 tax workers’ jobs are now expected to be cut over the next three years in a drive to ‘save’ £3 billion; a move that could cost far more in uncollected tax.

They’re even letting the very accountancy firms who specialise in tax avoidance write the rules! Labour too is advised by one such firm, PwC.

Another, KPMG, has been able to boast that: “As the new rules have been designed and enacted by the government, this should represent a low-risk tax-saving opportunity.”

The only way we’ll improve our lives is standing together and fighting for our futures. It is working people that make the profits for big businesses, yet under capitalism we have to struggle to get even some of this money back from greedy bosses.

A socialist society based on democratic public ownership of these companies would mean instead that every penny could be used to benefit the vast majority.