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A low-tax think tank is worrying the left

Over at Devil’s Kitchen, the blogger subjects Guardian columnist and socialist Polly Toynbee to a thorough take-down. One thing that struck me about this piece is how obviously rattled advocates of Big Government now are by the activities of the Taxpayers’ Alliance. The TPA has been one of the most effective organisations in recent years for pointing to the waste of public sector spending and highlighting where taxpayers’ money ends up. It is, of course, a statement on the still-feeble nature of the Tory opposition that this sort of work is not being done by members of the opposition in Parliament. So the TPA has filled a void. It is now drawing the rage of the left that sees power slipping away. In the case of any columnist for the Guardian, of course, the rage is matched by economic fear: the fear that in any possible cull of public sector spending, many of the public jobs that are advertised in the Guardian’s pages will disappear, causing a mighty blow to the Guardian’s finances, not to mention a serious reduction in Labour’s client class.

Meanwhile, the Guardian has been running a noisy campaign against so-called tax havens – which on some definitions are just places that operate low or no taxes. The horror. And yet the Guardian is structured within a highly tax efficient trust, meaning that its tax bills are low. How conveeenient, as they used to say on Saturday Night Live.

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17 comments to A low-tax think tank is worrying the left

  • Quentin

    And let’s not forget the effective subsidy it receives from all that public sector advertising.

  • Hats off to DK because Polly is almost unfiskably stupid. She is thicker than a hippo sandwich. I can’t be arsed fisking the dim bitch so respect to DK.

  • arch

    >>within a highly tax efficient trust, meaning that its tax bills are low.

    they received a 800k tax rebate last year on a group profit of 300million, that’s more than just efficient.

  • Kim du Toit

    What The Guardian needs is to be nationalized — its editorial policy would hardly change — so that they can see first-hand the effects of the policies which they so loudly call for in other industries.

    Wonder how Our Polly would react to her salary being reduced by 90%, on the basis that no journalist “needs” to earn that much?

  • Given how journalists consider themselves the precondition for the rule of law (irony, anyone), she’d just argue about how journalists are more important than bankers.

  • pete

    Why does the Guardian Media Group offer private health insurance to staff?

    Isn’t the NHS good enough for the likes of them Polly?

    http://www.gnmcareers.co.uk/fe/tpl_GuardianNews01.asp?s=zLoXrZLbGnYSdMsZ&newlang=1&key=19364890&c=549823217158&pagestamp=sejawfejrhoikrendt

  • Relugus

    I do have a problem with tax havens as they are a means for the rich to shift the tax burden to the poor.

    As Britain’s incompetent, mentally retarded bankers have proved, we are a nation whose economy has been led by criminals, gamblers, crooks, and clowns.

    Sell all the British banks to foreign banks, I say.

    And where is that turd Greenspan? I see he has gone into hiding along with many of his fellow crooks.

    Appointing bankers to regulate bankers is the kind of stupidity which should see mass sackings. What was Brown thinking, putting idiots like Crosby into positions of influence.

  • MarkB

    The Gordon Brown who as Chancellor of the Exchequer not only sold half of the U.K.’s gold reserves, but announced he was going to do so before he did?

    That’s the depth of the man’s capacity for critical thought.

    Kudos to DK.

    ‘Berg

    P.S. Hope you had a grand time Over There, KdT!

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Relugus, your wrath against Greenspan is thoroughly deserved, and some of the bankers deserve the brickbats they are now getting. But in truth, the current frenzy of anger against the private banks does ignore the fact that as interest rates had been so low, and for so long, that the function of price signals in a normally functioning market broke down. With so much cheap money flying around, it would have been commercially very hard for a private bank to not increase lending, lest they lose out market share to a competitor.

    The roots of this crisis rest with the existence of government monopoly currencies and a banking system that is distorted by unwise regulations and the moral hazard of the “too big to fail” doctrine.

  • One of my first acts as (semi-)benevolent dictator of the UK will be to make it a stringently punishable criminal offence to advertise government jobs in the Guardian or Independent (not that there’ll be any to advertise, since the ranks of the Civil Service will be promptly thinned by 90%). I’d love to see how Alan Rusbridger would balance the books then. Polly would be on pretty thin gruel if you took that sort of a chunk out of the revenue stream.

  • watcher in the dark

    Polly call the kettle black,
    Polly call the kettle black.
    Polly call the kettle black,
    earn a smaller fee

  • Regulus,

    “I do have a problem with tax havens as they are a means for the rich to shift the tax burden to the poor.”

    Have you been listening to Polly and Richard Murphy? Lordy…

    If the government doesn’t get so much money, it should cut its spending. They are spending £620 billion of our money this year. £620 billion. And local councils are spending another £24 billion.

    Can you imagine what hell might occur if every single country in the world had precisely the same tax regime?

    Tax havens represent competition in government. As soon as I am rich, I fully intend to move my money to one. Apart from anything else, I have private health and unemployment insurance and a private pension; I pay car tax (whether I live in a tax haven or not) and I pay council tax to have my bins (occasionally) emptied.

    I shall then give money to decent charities in order to help the least fortunate in our society, and everyone else can get knotted, frankly.

    DK

  • Relugus

    A good start would be pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan and scrapping Trident, a big fat white elephant if ever I saw one. The Swiss have the right idea on foreign policy.

    I believe that all future wars should be entirely funded by those who support them. Those who oppose them should not have to pay anything towards them.

    Also, those incompetent public transport companies who “run” (lol) our trains and buses should get no help from the taxpayer.

    The government SHOULD set-up an alternative for those of us who don’t want to have anything to do with British banks.

    Failing that, we should sell off the useless British banks to foreign companies who can better run them than the useless British morons.

  • Regulus,

    “The government SHOULD set-up an alternative for those of us who don’t want to have anything to do with British banks.”

    I think that there should be less bank regulation. If it were easier to set up banks, then we could all put our money in new banks and let the old ones go bust.

    You know: just like we do with every other business…

    DK

  • Paul Marks

    What is a “tax haven” Regulus?

    It can not be the Channel Islands because they still have the vast 20% income tax that was put in as emergency measure at the start of World War II.

    Plus they have social secrity taxes as well now.

    Oh I understand what you mean by “tax haven” – you mean any place with taxation lower than here.

    By the way stop talking about “the poor”.

    First of all lower taxes in other lands does not mean higher taxes here (if anything it means lower taxes here), and secondly I am poor.

    And you do not speak for me.

  • Paul Marks

    What do you mean by “tax haven” Regulus?

    You can not mean the Channel Islans – because they still have the vast 20% income tax that was put into place (as an emergency measure) at the start of World War II – and Social Security taxes have been put on top of this.

    Oh I see what you mean – you mean any land where taxes are lower than they are here.

    By the way stop talking about “the poor”.

    First of all because it is not true that lower taxes in other countries mean higher taxes here – if anything the reverse is true (and this includes sales taxes – governments would be happy to increase them and increase them without the danger of tax competition, have a look at what the government does to the sales taxes in “compassionate” Chicago, Cook County).

    And also because you imply that you speak for the poor.

    I am poor – and you do not speak for me.

  • Paul Marks

    What do you mean by “tax haven” Regulus?

    You can not mean the Channel Islans – because they still have the vast 20% income tax that was put into place (as an emergency measure) at the start of World War II – and Social Security taxes have been put on top of this.

    Oh I see what you mean – you mean any land where taxes are lower than they are here.

    By the way stop talking about “the poor”.

    First of all because it is not true that lower taxes in other countries mean higher taxes here – if anything the reverse is true (and this includes sales taxes – governments would be happy to increase them and increase them without the danger of tax competition, have a look at what the government does to the sales taxes in “compassionate” Chicago, Cook County).

    And also because you imply that you speak for the poor.

    I am poor – and you do not speak for me.