Friday, 22 June 2012

Cameron will rue taking moral high ground on tax

Given his PR background David Cameron should have known better than commit the elementary gaffe of a sound-bite condemnation that will haunt the Prime Minister until his last day at No. 10.
By criticising comedian Jimmy Carr's now-repudiated tax avoidance scheme and their ilk as being "morally wrong" he has opened Pandora's Box. It is now open season on hunt the tax cheat; if Carr is castigated then it would be hypocrisy not to chastise similar 'offenders'.
Tax efficient schemes or legal dodges, call them what you will, are so widespread the likelihood is that some Tory Party backers - and probably among the millionaire members of the Front Bench itself - perhaps Cameron's own blue-bloodied family have exploited money-saving tax loopholes.
After all what was the UK Uncut campaign about other than to shame City giants who it alleged were bilking the taxman?  By taking the moral high ground, Cameron has joined their ranks.
What next for the Prime Minister; picketing Top Shop?
Labour leader Ed Miliband got it right when he said: “I'm not in favour of tax avoidance, obviously, but I don't think it is for politicians to lecture people about morality. I think what the politicians need to do is – if the wrong thing is happening – change the law to prevent that tax avoidance happening, and I think that is the course the Government should take.”
His conversion is late in the day - the worst excesses took root when his Party was in office - but is welcome just the same.

1 comment:

  1. A great deal will depend on the media and to what extent it/they will be prepared to fan public hostility to lax tax. One has to remember that media and entertainment and sport house some of the best paid people in the land.


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