It highlighted companies (such as Vodafone and Arcadia) that use legal loopholes/processes to avoid paying tax on large amounts of cash. I have blogged about this before and my belief that we should be closing these loopholes and making companies pay what they should. They are not doing it illegally but I think it is morally wrong. But it would take compromise, IE I think we would need to “relax” the burden to encourage the companies to keep it in country and make it worth their while (on the principle that something is better than nothing). We would have to do this because it is much easier for companies to just move their operations to other countries with better “conditions”, so we could end up throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Anyway, my main issue is that when we hear about these being argued, it is always along the lines of if we claim all this cash then we could avoid all the cuts. This is such a misleading argument because the answer is always no. Cuts are necessary, and we do need to streamline the way government, both local and national, do business. There are things that need looked at. However it ALL needs looked at, including the tax situation. With the avoidance issue being addressed then some of the cuts that are being made because we “have to” could be avoided and people can keep their jobs. It would also mean that the cuts could be properly thought about and introduced over a decent period of time instead of this slash and burn approach.
I get really annoyed with this “all or nothing”, “either/or” type of argument, it is quite misleading, it makes people think that there is a magic bullet for a solution and there isn’t. It is a multitude of actions and decisions that make up the whole. These actions and decisions are also mixed with the Ideology of those who are making them which is where the Ideology issue arises, but that another blog post for another day.