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

1 comment:

  1. Organised tax evasion on this scale must be made a criminal offence. As such it would combine elements of treason (against the state and its people, for reasons given by John Slinger) and of embezzlement (underhand appropriation of monies which belong to the Exchequer), and the penalties should reflect that. The operators of schemes such as K2 should be first in line for conviction, and the PM should take emergency powers to recover from beneficiaries of K2 retrospectively, say, half of the tax avoided in the last three years, and all the commission paid the the K2 boss in those three years.


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