4 January 2012
"We want to make the UK the best place to start, finance and grow a business." - George Osborne, September 2011
.....(ahem just not for 99% of the population)
So much for George Osborne and David Cameron's soaring rhetoric expounding the virtues of the small business. Once again the gold plated 1% such as Goldman Sachs and Vodafone swan off into the sunset tax free while entrepreneurs struggle to fulfill a biased tax crackdown.
The proposed move by HMRC to inspect up to 20,000 firms from April to check if they can back up their tax returns with paperwork going back for a number of years is being heavily criticized not only for its hypocrisy but also allegedly undermining government pledges to cut red tape.
Mobile phone giant Vodafone settled a long-running dispute with the revenue by paying £1.25bn, but it is alleged that they should have paid nearly £6bn.
"Tax avoidance by big corporations is rife in this country, some estimates put it up to £100 billion each year. The thought of Cameron going after small companies that have few resources, while senior people in HMRC let corporations off with a slap on the wrist, is immoral.
"The government must increase transparency in tax dealing, especially with international companies who are able to move their profits to avoid taxation. Cameron should be working on an international agreement for fair and transparent taxation of these international companies. Sadly, his loyalties lie with them rather than ordinary people."
Stuart Jeffrey, Green Party Policy Coordinator.
Should we expect any less from a government that hails Philip *Monaco Tax Haven* Green as one of its business advisers? Too scared to go after the real culprits it seems as though the HMRC is going after small businesses to meet its targets.
The Big Society has an elite membership; apply only if your company is worth billions of pounds and you plan to fiddle the country on your tax bill. Small business owners need not apply.