Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Times publishes my letter on the Libor banking scandal and need for more than inquiries

Enough of the casino banks and their bosses


Following the industrial disputes of the 1970s and 1980s, the Government claimed that one interest group in the economy, the trades unions, had become too powerful, had an unhealthy stranglehold on economic life and was manipulating politicians. As a consequence, the Thatcher Government enacted draconian legislation, and deployed the police in an unprecedented fight to implement its plans for a generational transformation of the economy.

It is to be hoped that following the corrosive role played by some banks in bringing about the continuing financial crisis and recession, the current government will act with similar decisiveness against parts of that sector.

We must move swiftly away from the current paradigm in which the prosperity of the country as a whole, and the economic security of ordinary people and their businesses, is dangerously affected by the actions of a minority of greedy, immoral and avaricious people in parts of the financial sector (reports, June 29). No other group of workers would get away with it with such seeming impunity.

Given that the recession is deepening and we face at least a decade of austerity and falling living standards, the public will no longer be mollified by blaming the previous government, or more commissions, inquiries and talk: we now want action.

John Slinger
Rugby, Warks

Viewable online here.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Times publish my letter on tax avoidance and morality

Appears in The Times here.

‘Legal’ tax-avoiders are not merely getting one over on the authorities, they are defrauding their fellow citizens

Sir, Words are very powerful things and their misuse can have profoundly damaging effects on society. It is often said that the tax-avoidance by wealthy individuals and entertainers is “legal” (report, June 19). Describing it as such fails to capture the immoral nature of the behaviour.

An individual who seeks to reduce their tax liability from, say 50 per cent, to 1 per cent, is engaged in an activity which, were it replicated by everyone, would cause the disintegration of civilised society. “Legal” tax-avoiders are not merely getting one over on the authorities, they are insulting and defrauding their fellow citizens, whose PAYE contributions must surely make up any shortfall necessary to maintain the services upon which we all rely.

John Slinger
Rugby, Warks