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Osborne fingered in promoting tax avoidance scheme?

You can’t do that on television: a BBC2 video revealed that Chancellor George Osborne might have engaged in promoting tax avoidance in a 2003 interview.

So here’s one that will surely ruffle a few feathers: our very own Chancellor of the Exchecquer, that tireless Tory that says he’s going to stamp out tax avoidance and restore some kind of semblance of sanity to the tax lives of sole traders, contractors, and other small business owners, has been caught with his trousers right around his ankles. The video, which involves the then-backbench Tory MP answering questions from viewers, has him commenting on the existence of “some pretty clever financial products” that would enable taxpayers to effectively pass on the value of a home – or the home itself – to a son or daughter and then get the Government to pay for personal care – ending with a suddenly concerned Osborne stating that he most likely shouldn’t be advocating such schemes on television.

The video would be incredibly funny if it wasn’t so embarrassing. It’s made even worse that the current Government is already facing withering fire for appointing Stephen Green, ex-HSBC chief, as trade minister in 2011. Conservatives have been trying desperately to spin the entire situation by attempting to throw the Labour Party under the bus in an effort to throw attention off of the Tories and their apparently abysmal tax histories. Meanwhile, Labour has shot back by highlighting how HSBC clients weren’t investigated by the Coalition Government in a truly massive mess of epic proportions.

The whole thing is laughable if you ask me, and it just demonstrates with absolute clarity that the only good politician is likely to be one that’s been voted out of office – and preferably run out of town on a rail, covered with tar and feathers. Not that this is going to happen this next General Election, as Brits have a long and storied history of voting against their best interests consistently. Whatever party gains the upper hand after this coming election is likely to just engage in more business as usual, and the tax problems that are facing the country are unlikely to be resolved in any way, shape or form any time soon.

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