In the run-up to Wednesday's budget the clamour of the fat cats for even more fat has now turned into real hysteria.
Britain already has one of the lowest corporation taxes in Europe, thanks to Brown's servility to big business. But that is not enough. Through their Tory mouthpiece, the bosses are now demanding that corporation tax should be cut from 28% to 25%. As to the CBI, it has come up with a long-winded report signed by a dozen illustrious (and certainly very well paid) academics, who conclude that corporation tax should be cut to 18% within the coming 8 years. Whatever next!
Have these people got such a short memory that they have already forgotten that, under Thatcher, companies used to pay 33% of their profits to the tax man? Or are they saying now that Thatcher was something of a closet socialist?
This is not serious. No only do companies get roads and airports for free from the state, not only are they able to rely on having a fit workforce thanks to a health service paid for by the state, not to mention all the various state subsidies they get under all kinds of spurious pretexts, but they want to pay nothing for it? They must be joking!
Just as it is not serious to claim that cutting the tax privileges of the wealthy who reside abroad, for example, would "damage the economy", as the CBI keeps doing.
Why should multinational companies be allowed to pay the salaries of their directors based in London through a Gibraltar subsidiary, so that these directors pay taxes in Gibraltar, but not in London - meaning that they pay 50% less tax and not one penny of it goes to the Treasury? This is what the specialists call "non-dom status". Very few countries allow that, but Britain does, because Brown does not dare to end such privileges.
The fact that Britain is considered as a sort of tax haven in other countries does encourage foreign companies, mainly in finance, to set up shop in London. But what would be the big deal if they did not? It would only mean that the City would lose a few thousand overpaid executives at most. And so what? They create nothing, neither value, nor jobs for real working people, but they push housing prices upwards. Only the luxury industry would lose out, not the real economy. And what does that matter to the rest of us?
Companies and the wealthy must pay their share for the common needs of all. It would be only right for them to pay a lot more proportionally than us - not less - because they earn a lot more and because, being profiteers, they have already made us pay in advance!