Give me strength…

Give me strength…

I was reading up on the House of commons Finance Committee’s debate on the BN66 case – that’s the one about retrospectively taxing people who thought they had joined a valid scheme and suddenly found they hadn’t – and came across a seriously disturbing comment from one Colin Breed, who is, it turns out, a Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for the Treasury.

I quote: “I say at the outset that we accept entirely the need for the Government to legislate against tax avoidance”.

Now forgive me for being an optimist, but I thought avoidance was not only an entirely legal activity, but was actively condoned by Parliament, most famously by the then Chancellor when separate taxation for man and wife was introduced. He said, in the House, that every taxpayer is at liberty to arrange their taxation affairs in the most efficient manner.

In other words not paying taxes you don’t owe is entirely legal but not paying taxes you do owe isn’t. How hard is that to understand?

So just what is Mr Breed on about, I ask? Has he been brainwashed by Brown’s continual re-interpretation of reality? Is he genuinely unaware of the difference between avoidance and evasion? How many other supposedly senior MPs demonstrate such woeful ignorance?

Or is he saying that anyone who doesn’t pay the maximum taxes they possibly can is doing something wrong? In which case when will they outlaw ISAs, or pension funds? Or even the basic tax allowance…

More to the point, how can we hope to get some kind of validity in the tax system if the people making the laws – or in Breed’s case, rubber-stamping the laws – do not understand the subject they are nominally in charge of protecting?

This upcoming election looks increasingly like a fiasco in the making. Not only is the majority of the public largely indifferent to who they’re voting for and why, the people we’re electing also look like refugees from Fred Karno’s army. It really doesn’t bode well….

Put it this way. If I get faced with another five years of Gordon telling me it’s all about fairness, I’m leaving.

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Image: Mad emoticon by wstera2

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