Thursday, December 6, 2012

The UK is the next tax haven

hmrc © confused

News comments:
Last week Apple was like Gold, the UK Conservative party a force for capitalism and my childhood TV presenters were beacons of virtue.

This week Apple is just another tech stock, the BBC is a home for the seriously disturbed and the UK Conservative party is more Stalin than Stalin.

Us Brits are learning what it is like to have been brought up in a communist country. Everywhere we turn, we are guilty until proven innocent. We learn from Boy George Osborne's Autumn statement those of us who have created wealth are to be investigated thoroughly for tax evasion and avoidance.

Dragons Den, the Apprentice, aspiration and making the world a better place for the next generation are in tatters. The UK is heading towards the sort of anarchy Greece is enduring. (bloomberg)

Thankfully I rent, drive a 15 year old car and have a dual personality.

Australia has got it right though; as a country we all want to live in, its Government is asking the wealthy to buy a passport. Seems like a good idea. (telegraph)

But while we all fret over the impending "guilty until proven expensively innocent" by HMRC, nobody has noted that the UK is becoming a tax haven. Boy George is slashing corporation tax to 20% and less with capital allowances and other freebies (hr). Compare that to the hefty 40% the US has to pay or the 30ish% EU countries tend to like coughing up. So whilst I and my mates are whipped with electric cable for hedge fund crimes, the rest of the world can set up UK subsidiaries and pay some tax at lowish rates to help Starbucks et al avoid the continuing nasty PR headlines. Nice.

Today's shorts:
HMRC appeal against Rangers (dailyrecord)

HMRC storms Jersey and kills old people (citywire)

Another BBC man arrested (independent)

Today's longs:
Citi's Christmas Present (investorplace)

Apple turns rotten (reuters)

Gossip:
People with manicured hands to be jailed for not doing a fair days work.



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