Posts Tagged ‘bedroom tax’

Google tax deal rapidly unravels

January 29, 2016

A tale of two taxes.

Top investor turns on Google over tax 'sham' - Times 28 January 2016

Top investor turns on Google over tax ‘sham’ – Times 28 January 2016

Google tax scam

Google tax scam

Google tax scam

Google tax scam

Last week we had the unpleasant spectacle of a smug George Osborne at Davos bragging of the amazing tax deal he had negotiated with Google.

Since Davos, a tax deal that has rapidly unravelled.

A tax deal so amazing, it was jaw dropping. Following a six year investigation of Google by the tax authority HMRC (cost of investigation, details of investigation, unknown), Google was to ‘voluntarily’ pay £130 million in tax, for a period covering ten years. This works out at a jaw dropping tax rate of somewhere around 2 to 3 percent.

A good deal for Google, a very poor deal for long suffering taxpayers, who would be only too happy to negotiate with HMRC a tax rate of 2.5%.

The current rate of corporation tax is 20%. Osborne wishes to lower to 18%.

The lax tax regime means corporations have amassed a massive £750 billion cash pile, dividends are at a record high. There is very little investment, as the corporations are risk averse, and see no future prospects.

Earlier in the week, Osborne was called by John McDonnell to appear before the House of Commons to explain himself.  He lacked the courtesy to turn up, instead sending a clueless junior minster.

On Wednesday, Jeremy Corbyn wiped the floor with David Cameron, who unable to explain the tax deal, shouted infantile insults. Of what relevance the tax under the last Labour government? We know Alistair Darling was as useless as George Osborne.

The list of those challenging this tax deal grows by the day.

Rupert Murdoch, himself a serial tax dodger, has attacked the deal.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has attacked the deal.

James Anderson,  major investor in Google, has attacked the deal.

A German Green MEP has attacked the deal.

The European Commission has said that if they receive a complaint they will launch an investigation.

In Italy, in France, Google pay a higher rate of tax.

On buying goods and service, people pay 17.5% VAT.

People pay higher personal income tax.

The HMRC investigation into Google should be published.

The tax returns of Google should be published, as should of any company with a turnover in excess of a million pounds.

The tax returns of Members of the House of Commons (and of the Lords) should be published.

In parallel with the Google tax scam unravelling, two people won their Appeal at the Court of Appeal against paying Bedroom Tax on Human Rights grounds. One a lady who has a secure room to which she can retreat if in danger of being attacked, the other a disabled man who looks after his severely disabled grandson. What can only be described as evil, the government is to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. What can only be described as bizarre, their statement that the Appeal Court contradicted the ruling of the High Court. Not true, as a superior court, the Appeal Court overruled the Supreme Court.

People, who could do without the stress, are to be put through more stress by the Evil Doers.

The number of people this ruling will effect, is small. It will probably cost more in legal fees.

The government points out the disabled man receives a discretionary payment, thus does not have to pay the Bedroom Tax. This entirely misses the point. He should not be forced to claim, and if discretionary, could be terminated at any time.

It was not ordinary people who caused the banking crash in 2008, that took down the economy. It was the criminal activity of bankers and lax banking regulation. And yet, not a single banker is in prison. The banks were bailed out, the bankers draw their obscene bonuses.

Austerity is a political choice, it is an excuse for Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public services, cuts to libraries, benefits, an excuse to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich.

The Bedroom Tax is a tax on the poor.

If we need a Bedroom Tax, then levy on those with more than five bedrooms and a household income in excess of £100,000.

It is not the just the tax dodging and avoidance. We have, as Mariana Mazzucato   highlighted on Channel 4 News last night, companies like Google holding meetings with ministers to determine tax policy.

Senior Tories met Google chiefs twenty-five times in run-up to their  shameful tax deal.

Please sign the petition calling upon the European  Commissioner Margrethe Vestager to investigate the Google tax scam.

50p tax rate

January 27, 2014
more people pay Bedroom Tax than will pay 50p tax rate

more people pay Bedroom Tax than will pay 50p tax rate

This image says it all, more people pay Bedroom Tax than will pay 50p tax rate proposed by Labour, which is only to restore it to where it was before the ConDem government dropped taxes for the rich and increased taxes for the poor.

From the screams we have heard from the rich, anyone would think the end of the world is nigh they are being asked to pay an extra ten pence in the pound in tax. And that of course is when they pay tax.

They will leave the country. Well let them, are we really going to miss the bankers, who do not generate wealth but simply screw others, Rotten Bank of Scotland is having to set aside yet more money as compensation for the get rich scams it runs.

From Davos, we are hearing bleating that the minimum wage is bad, this coming from of all people Bill Gates, one of the richest people on the planet.

The Koch Brothers, are pouring in millions, to buy the next US election.

The Rich are concentrating ever more of the world’s wealth into their pockets, or to be more exact, their offshore bank accounts to avoid tax.

Lord Freud on bedroom tax

April 7, 2013
David Cameron: increase the gap between rich and poor

David Cameron: increase the gap between rich and poor

David Cameron: take away their disability benefits

David Cameron: take away their disability benefits

Lord Freud is happy to bring in the Bedroom Tax and make the poor homeless, finally has a word with Channel 4 News on the subject of Bedroom Tax.

Disabled children are just one group who will be heavily impacted by the obscene Bedroom Tax.

Consultants write reports, a lot of time, money and effort is expended to get specially adapted bedroom for children with disabilities. All for nought when the vile ConDem government tells them to downsize to a smaller house, because they call it as a spare bedroom, subject to a Bedroom Tax.

Adults with disabilities, have sufficient stress in their lives, without the additional stress of having their disability benefits taken away.

Its says it all when David Cameron chooses The Sun to write in to say the cuts are fair.

The top rate of tax, paid by the 1% highest earners who earn over £150,000/year, will fall from 50% to 45%.

Meanwhile at the other end of the scale, the people with the lowest income – those on unemployment and disability benefits in Birmingham – face paying 20% of their council tax bill.

The bedroom tax’s authors were either careless or cruel – it must be fought

April 1, 2013

This intolerable policy is unworkable, unfair and unreasonable. It will be challenged with direct action.

Axe the Bedroom Tax

Axe the Bedroom Tax

For some time now, I’ve been trying to understand the government’s thought process as it devised the bedroom tax. I can imagine Lord Freud, its inventor, might not know enough about the social housing stock to realise it is an impractical policy (though if he doesn’t even know the basics of social housing, I’m not sure why the government is letting him tinker with it); I can understand the mean-spirited attitude that resents giving poor people anything other than as little as possible (though I don’t share it); I can even accept that – as bizarre as it sounds to me – the government might sincerely see the bedroom tax as a practical solution to the social housing shortage.

But what I don’t understand is the rationale of a group of individuals who decide to tax people for their spare rooms, and actively include foster parents in that – or people with disabilities, or people whose children are serving overseas. I mean, there must have been a conversation at some point where one policymaker asked “what about people who need a spare room to store medical equipment to keep them alive? Are they going to be exempted?” and another replied “no, let’s take money from them as well”. And if that conversation didn’t happen, what does that say about the level of scrutiny that goes into making government policy?

I ponder this because to me it is evidence that this government is either careless or actively cruel. There are simply no other explanations. The bedroom tax has certainly not come from a place of reason. If it had, the government wouldn’t have partially U-turned by exempting foster families as it has now done, or it would have listened to all the local authorities saying they don’t have the right housing stock, or it would have been deterred by warnings that the policy will lead to evictions and homelessness. That’s how a reasonable government would behave, and this government is not reasonable.

We’ve been here before, where the government attempts to introduce a tax that is unworkable, unfair and unreasonable. The fledgling campaigns against the bedroom tax have already begun to make comparisons with the poll tax, suggesting that campaigners are aware that direct action is the only conceivable response. The poll tax was defeated with mass non-payment and protest on the streets, not with rational arguments or pleas for compassion. I get the impression that campaigners against the bedroom tax will be responding with similar inflexibility to the government. Inflexibility is something this government seems to understand.

UK Uncut’s forthcoming day of action on 13 April is the obvious starting point for a sustained campaign of direct action against the bedroom tax. And what the government needs to grasp pretty quickly is that opposition to the bedroom tax will not come from hubristic activists, but from people who feel they have no choice but to fight because they are already being dragged down by a whole other set of austerity measures. For a lot of people in this country, a campaign against the bedroom tax will not be an opportunity to score political points; it will be the raft that stops them from drowning.

Over the coming weeks and months, a cocktail of local authority cuts, benefit caps, and the bedroom tax will push people into fighting back. The media and political class may condemn their actions, even if they are non-violent. There won’t be any headlines depicting these protests as what they simply are: a justifiable reaction to an intolerable policy. But when the government pushes people to their absolute limit, something has to give. This year, that will happen. And if you want to know who to blame, look to Westminster.

— Ellie Mae O’Hagan

Originally published in the Grauniad.

Note: A petition has been launched calling for Iain Duncan Smith to survive on £53 a week. Please sign and pass to others.

April Fool’s Day: Clocks set back to Dickensian times

April 1, 2013
David Cameron

David Cameron

ConDem cuts

ConDem cuts

A little late night political philosophy: it’s not enough to fight Tories so Labour get in as Tory-lite, we have to rewrite the agenda. — Mark Thomas

I want to wake up & discover that Tories’ decision to destroy welfare state & impoverish millions is elaborate April Fool. — Laurie Penny

When the social contract is broken, the people must revolt. — John Locke

Today is April Fool’s Day, or All Fools Day, the day when the hated and reviled ConDem Government set the clocks back to the 19th Century and ushered in a world familiar to Charles Dickens, a world of child labour, poverty, the workhouse and the Poor Laws.

It is day when the rich were given tax cuts and to pay for it the poor saw their benefits cut.

People who are at death’s door are told they are fit for work and have their Disability Benefits taken away.

It was the day Parliamentarians saw an increased their expenses by 25%.

It was the day when the poor were told they have to pay a Bedroom Tax, £14 a week for the first spare bedroom, £25 a week for more than one spare bedroom.

When the Window Tax was brought in, people bricked up their windows. What do we do now, brick up our bedrooms?

Councils are now levying Council Tax on the poor. A measure voted through by councillors who when not in bed with developers, are voting to increase their own allowances, after all, it is hard work working on behalf of developers, screwing local businesses and the local community.

Ian Duncan Smith, a man who has not done an honest day’s work in his life, who sponges off his wealthy wife, says these measures are to help the poor out of poverty.

Note: A petition has been launched calling for Iain Duncan Smith to survive on £53 a week. Please sign and pass to others.

Not content with impoverishing millions, today is also the day the ConDem Government privatise the NHS.

And if this was not enough, Legal Aid is also to be cut.

The best spineless Ed Miliband can offer, apart from infantile public schoolboy sound bites, is Tory Lite.

The only opposition in Parliament is Caroline Lucas and a handful of decent back benchers.

Workfare and Bedroom Tax

February 17, 2013

I have always thought Iain Duncan Smith a thoroughly odious person, a failure at everything he touches, failed politician, failed party leader, never actually achieved anything except being kept in position by his wife’s money. He has probably never done a decent days work in his life. Today he showed himself to be not just odious and obnoxious, but evil.

Last week an unemployed student won an important victory in the Appeal Court. The Court ruled she could not be forced to work for nothing. The ruling was on the regulations rather than slave labour per se, but it was still nonetheless an important victory. Finding herself without a job, she was willing to put her skills to some use by working as a volunteer at a museum. She had been forced by her local Job Centre to go and work for Poundland for nothing. It was either that or lose her benefits.

An employment minister was quick to claim it would make no difference to the scheme, it would be businesses as usual and they had absolutely no intention of compensating those who had lost benefits by refusing to work as unpaid slaves for big corporations.

Today, Iain Duncan Smith launched a vicious attack on the young lady who won her case. He made the point the former boss of Tesco started stacking shelves. In making the point, he completely missed the point. Yes the former boss of Tesco started at the bottom stacking shelves, but he was paid to do so, as he was paid to be boss of Tesco, he did not work for nothing.

These companies are not employing people on no wages out of the goodness of their hearts because they wish to give unemployed people a helping hand. They are employing them because they are free. If they wanted to help people get out of poverty, they would be offering jobs at above minimum wage. Often the very same stores that have no vacancies when unemployed inquire about a job, are the same companies that are only too happy to employ them on a temporary basis unpaid with no job prospects at the end.

These are the same companies that obtain goods from sweatshop factories, screw their suppliers, pass horsemeat off as beef.

Iain Duncan Smith asked which would you rather have when out shopping, someone stacking the shelves or a geologist. Next time this cretin fills his car, or more like has someone to do it for him, let us ask who he would rather have, a shelf stacker or a geologist. Or does he think the oil finds and extracts itself?

In attacking the young lady for preferring to work in a museum, not waste her life working as a shelf stacker, Iain Duncan Smith showed himself not only to be a cretin, but also a Philistine.

The latest nonsense to pour forth from this jerk is that the bedroom tax is to help the poor. Since when has Iain Duncan Smith or anyone else in this evil ConDem government had any interest in helping the poor? They love the deficit, as it gives them an excuse to carry out slash and burn of public services, to kick the poor, to deprive them of money.

If it is to help the poor, then let’s have a bedroom tax on 5 or more bedrooms, on second homes.

Will members of the ConDem government be giving up their mansions as hostels for the homeless?

ConDem government says Mansion Tax a very bad idea as the rich can ill afford to pay it and it would need an army of bureaucrats to value the properties that would attract the Mansion Tax.

On the other hand the poor can easily afford a Bedroom Tax out of their shrinking incomes and it is ok to employ an army of bureaucrats to assess all the properties of the poor for too many bedrooms.

It is ok to kick disabled off invalidity benefits and cut the level of benefits to everyone as it makes them better off, gives them an incentive to work harder. On the other hand the rich need tax cuts as they are suffering, and by giving them a tax cut it acts as an incentive to work harder.

What we are seeing is Double Think, the ability to hold two contradictory arguments simultaneously.

Workfare is doing nothing to help those on benefits, it simply provides free labour to Big Business and helps drive down wages. If you want to help the unemployed you provide them with high quality training, so that when the economy improves, they have improved their employment prospects. You do not help them by turning them into slave labour. You do not punish them for being unemployed, you do not punish them for an economy destroyed by criminal bankers and failed politicians like Iain Duncan Smith.

We need safe and secure communities. We create by making people feel safe in their homes, a stake in their community. You do not achieve this by making people homeless, forcing them out of what is their home, where they thought they were secure.

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