Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I don't think I've ever linked to the People before. Is it a newspaper? Anyway, they've put together a list of 'wtf moments' from the Coalition, two of which go to underline the observed phenomenon that the British press haven't got the first fucking idea about economics in general and tax in particular, and the rest of which are oddly dull.
1. Today it was announced that Atos and G4s — two of the contractors that have come increasingly to supplant public services — paid no corporation tax in the 2012 tax year. That’s right, nothing, nada, zilch. That’s despite carrying out £2billion-worth of government contracts in the same period.
The news that a company that last year issued profits warnings, fired their chief executive, carried out quick asset sales to raise cash and incurred multi-million pound contractual penalties failed to be profitable in 2013 really shouldn't be so surprising. In fact, as Tim Worstall said, it's a good indication that the Government are driving a good bargain with their contract work, if its recipients aren't even profitable.

2. Ian Duncan Smith has steadfastly defended the policy known universally as The Bedroom Tax. Except, that is, today. On the day that the policy is due to be debated in the Commons, its primary architect is nowhere to be seen.
Well, "due to be debated" is a touch grandiose. It was an Opposition Day Debate. In other words any vote that resulted was non-binding and of symbolic value only. All it was was a bit of Labour grandstanding, and IDS almost certainly got more out of the conference on youth unemployment that he actually went to.

3 Nadine Dorries...
Oh please. A back-bencher who drifts in and out of the Tory party is somehow representative of the Coalition Government. That's the sound of a barrel being scraped.

4... Her Majesty’s Revenue And Customs can be swift and terrible in their revenge. If you’re a mega-corporation like, for example, Vodafone it’s all a lot cooler. You might think that the tax on the mobile phone giant’s colossal revenues would be, well, colossal. The figure of £6 billion has been mentioned.
Yes, by illiterates and morons.

It recently emerged that they paid ’an undisclosed sum’ to HMRC in 2009 as a sort of compromise. Days after the deal, Chancellor George Osborne was in India. Promoting a British company you may have heard of. Vodafone.
Large company in settlement deal shock. Also, George Osborne apparently Chancellor in 2009 shock. Of the two, the time-travelling Tory probably counts as the larger surprise.

5 It isn’t altogether clear what benefit accrued to Scottish businessman Adam Werrity...
Cor, there's a name I'd forgotten all about. Adam Werrity... I have to say though, it sort of underlines how relatively tedious the personal scandals of the Coalition have been. I mean, we've had the David Laws "man is gay" scandal, and the Adam Werrity "man is, um, oddly close to a personal adviser" scandal, and that's more or less it isn't it? The glory days of the Ron Davies badger incident or the Mark Oaten, er, glass table incident seem like a very long time ago.


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