Tax avoidance may not be illegal, it is immoral. In 2015, 11.5 million leaked documents concerning the tax affairs of the then-Prime Minister David Cameron’s family were leaked to the world. Two years later, we have another 13.4 million leaked documents of offshore investments by the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Lord Ashcroft and the Queen.
This does really show the growth of inequality in the world. A world where eight men have the same amount of wealth as the next 3.6 billion. A world where it would take a women 170 years to be paid as much as men and that Corporate tax dodging costs poor countries £100 billion a year according to Oxfam.
“Because if the very wealthy person wants to avoid taxation in Britain and, therefore, put money into a tax haven somewhere, who loses? Schools, hospitals, housing — all those public services lose and the rest of the population have to pay to cover up the deficit created by that.” — Jeremy Corbyn, on the Queen avoiding tax and settling her money offshore.
One of the biggest figures included in these papers is the Queen herself. Millions of pounds from her Duchy of Lancaster trust have been squirrelled away in the tax havens of the Carribean. And this raises a question over the Royal Family and there place in modern British society. The Queen to millions across the UK show’s national pride and is part of the puzzle of British culture, and I understand that. But at the same time I wonder why the taxpayer would continue to pay for the monarchy. When people have been going through one of the most brutal and inhumane programmes of Tory austerity in history. The Queen is supposed to serve her people, but instead of helping her people she hides all her money away. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour party summed it up best. He said at a conference by the CBI that the Queen should do more than apologise. He asked who loses if people wanted to avoid taxation. “If the very wealthy person wants to avoid taxation in Britain and, therefore, put money into a tax haven somewhere, who loses? Schools, hospitals, housing — all those public services lose and the rest of the population have to pay to cover up the deficit created by that.” All this money should be used on public services, helping the poorest in society. Is the Queen worth it, and does she really care about the people who keep her in power? Maybe a question for another time.
Another political figure involved was Tory donor Lord Ashcroft. The Brexit supporter has been accused by Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell of harbouring vast wealth in a Bermuda based-trust. He has been accussed off not paying tax on up to £450.4 million worth of assets. Although Mel Stride, the Secretary to the Treasury, said HMRC were looking into the affairs, he said he was not going to “start getting into the individual tax affairs of any particular individual, regardless of their political allegiance or whoever they may be.” Which shows the fact that without governing bodies sometimes stepping in, millions of pounds that could go to public services like the NHS and schools, is lost. Money that could help the poorest in society. But the Tories won’t do anything about it, because it’s all coming from within there own party.
“Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away your wealth” — Lucy Parsons, American Labour Activist
Its all complicated and smothered in mystery. But this shows how this current political order is bankrupt. They may not know it, but it will not be long before this system will collaspe. A system where bankers and stockbrokers can plunge us into the greatest economic crach since the wall street crach in 1929. Then when we have to go under one of the most inhumane programmes of Tory austerity and have the longest squeeze in living wages since Napoleon was emperor of France. Bankers receive bonuse’s totalling £40 billion a year. There is a economic and political elite, an elite that have funded some of the most hate-mongering groups, ideas and leaders today, Brexit, UKIP and Trump just to name a few. (And while not all Brexit supporters use hate speech, it was used by groups and people to attack people on where they are from). A system where national newspapers like the Daily Mail and the Sun can call themselves patriotic when there owners can befriend Nazis and avoid tax.
In the words of the American activist Lucy Parson’s “Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away your wealth.” She’s right, these structures have existed since civilisations existence to keep the few at the top rich and the majority suppressed.
Radical change is needed, too long have we sat back while the rich get rich and the poor get poorer. These rules and laws have been created by the powerful, to benefit the powerful. And US Senator Bernie Sanders warned of an “International oligarchy.” It’s not the immigrants to blame, it's the corrupt and bankrupt political elite. There is one rule for them, and another rule for everyone else.🔷