Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Another boring rant by yours truly. I will use this for other things soon. I don’t know what but something that might interest more people. Broaden my horizons to something more people will take notice off while slipping in these ramblings between. Either way, this time I’m going to talk about tax and not just about tax but the excessive amount of tax and current debt owed to us in tax from companies. Did I say tax enough in that sentence? One for luck; tax.

As everyone already knows - or should know - the VAT went up 2.5% again. That means that VAT is now at 20% after being lowered to 15% while Gordon Brown was in charge. We’ve seen it rise 5% in just two years to try and sort out or “crippling debt” so we don’t become the next Ireland or Greece. There are countries in a lot more debt than us. I’m going to explain it using the “Debt-to-GDP Ratio” which is how much debt a country is in and how much products they create and export to pay back those debts. In simple terms; the lower the percentage, the better and more stable the economy is in. According to the list in the “CIA’s World Factbook 2010”, Zimbabwe have the worst ratio. It’s at a staggering 282.60%. That’s an insanely high number but they’re a poverty stricken country so that much was obvious. The second in this list is some what a surprise but not at the same time. Japan. Their percentage is 189.30%. That’s almost a 100% less than a poverty ridden country which may seem good but that’s a crippling debt. The UK’s 68.10% is nothing in comparison. Japan are in three times more debt (ratio wise) and still borrowing. For more of these figures, click this.

Currently, Britain owes about £952.80bn in September 2010. Those were the published figures but according to some statistics it’ll rise even further. They’re predicting that by April 2011 it’ll rise to £1043bn and then £1.2trillion the next year. Wow. Maybe it is worse than we thought. Let’s compare us to some other countries. Depending on where you look online you find different statistics so it’s a bit hard to actually have a definitive answer on who owes what as all I can find is the Debt-to-GDP ratio which is a shame. If the CIA online figures are correct then the USA owe the most with $13,450,000,000,000 being their external debt. Shamefully, the UK is trailing in second with $9,088,000,000,000 but I don’t understand enough to actually guarantee these figures are accurate. They seem to be hiding behind the debt-to-GDP ratio instead of giving a real figure. We all know the government don’t like us knowing everything about their constant short-comings. For more official CIA statistics on all external debt, click here.

Thanks to this vast vagueness that the government seem to supply, I can’t find any real numbers bar the public sector debt which is £952.80bn but surely has increased since September 2010. For now, I’ll compare ratios. We’re the country with the 22nd highest ratio which is a bad thing. That means there are 21 countries which are worse than us and, yet, we’re the ones taking the most extreme and bizarre methods. For example, the VAT rise. This rise has been judged by economists to “hit the poorest the worst” but that was bound to happen as it was a idea coined by the Tories. Now, what they don’t realise that there’s probably more money to be spent by the working class than the others. It means that you’re the working class, be prepared to be miserable and never enjoy anything because you now can’t afford comforts. A 2.5% rise seems very minor but considering VAT is on almost everything, it will add up and it will start to show. It’s already shown on stuff like petrol prices (which are at their highest price ever).

Let’s carry on with this VAT rise. Gordon Brown - a heavily criticised prime minister who was condemned for his lack of charisma even though he’s an economic genius - lowered the VAT to 15% during a recession to make sure there’d still be spending and the economy growth didn’t shrivel up and die in a drought filled manner. David Cameron - a ‘charismatic’ liar who screamed ‘new Tory’ and criticised Labour for Tory mistakes that were still being rectified from John Major and Maggie Thatcher - raises the VAT to 20% so that he can watch the poor writhe in pain in an inhumane fashion as they slowly lose possessions and any enjoyment in life. Maybe an exaggeration and a bit excessive but you see what I mean. Cameron has made it more expensive to eat, travel and even clothe yourself. He says we need to pay back our crippling debt quickly or we’ll end up like Ireland or Greece but if he was so concerned on paying debt then why have Vodafone and Topshop gotten away with their ludicrous debt to the government?

This has been a fairly undisclosed and had very little media hype apart from a few journalists who actually care. One of those journalists, Johann Hari, brought this to my attention and I was appalled. Vodafone currently owe about £6bn to the government. Shocking, isn’t it? It gets worse. Not only was this debt not paid, it’s very doubtful it will ever get paid because George Osborne has apparently ‘written it off’. That’s £6bn that could’ve plugged one of the holes in our ever drowning economy. That £6bn (which sounds like an insane amount of money to me) could have helped pay off the interest to our debt at least. That £6bn will never be seen, in my opinion. This is because George Osborne may have ‘written it off’ but then he travelled to India - on government expenses - to help Vodafone promote their service and if that wasn’t enough he hired a worker from Vodafone to be a financial advisor! They hike up the cost for the poor and hit them harder than a giant corporation who could spare that without a sweat? How is that just? According to UKUncut they’ve tired to to dodge another £1.6bn which was owed to India, but unlike Britain, they made sure they got that money.

Now to move on to the tax dodging Topshop. It’s not really Topshop but the owner of Topshop, Philip Green. He is a businessman who makes all the decisions of Topshop and effectively rules the business. Although, it’s not his name as the head of the company. It’s Mrs Philip Green, his wife. His wife also lives in the tax haven, Monaco, how convenient. That means that the £5bn they rake in doesn’t get taxed. If that wasn’t bad enough, according to UKUncut; he built his business, his empire, his mass fortune on the blood, sweat and tears of sweatshop labour in Mauritius where his workers work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for minimal wage. This man - who is famous for giving himself the biggest bonus in UK corporate history, £1.2bn - avoided £285m tax on that £1.2bn because it was done through offshore accounts and his glorious Monaco wife. That’s only the £285m on his bonus as well, not including his other tax dodges.

A massive corporation and greedy tycoon dodging taxes. Shameful. Unfortunately, there’s more to this tax-dodging tale. Our Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, is an infamous tax-dodger himself. The man who rules our economy and has publicly and famously criticised the national debt and said “we simply cannot afford to increase public debt at the rate of £3bn each week” has now shamefully increased our debt with his own corruption. To me, this is sickening and unjust. Why should the poor suffer even more than they already do just because massive businesses want to maximise their investments from stockholders? Why should one man’s greed be allowed considering he makes his money in the UK and even lives here? Why is it that the government hired a tax-dodger to chase up tax-dodgers, control our economy and decide on public spending? Why are people who have not come near a financial struggle in their entire, privileged and sheltered lives, decide on our funding of the public sector?

Quite simply, why is Britain so unjust?