Morally right to avoid paying tax?

Mark Wallace pointed out that people being advised to buy goods before the VAT rise may actively be making decisions in order to avoid paying more tax on Twitter today. Dizzy Thinks then asked whether UK Uncut would be protesting at those people paying into pension funds thereby avoiding paying tax.

Unable to resist, then I got in on the argument asking about whether UK Uncut would be annoyed by the millions of people who will take advantage of their new ISA allocation later on in 2011, in order to avoid paying tax on the interest on their savings.

Now one tweeter pointed out that the money ISAs has already been taxed. Probably true in the majority if cases if it was taxed as income. Firstly isn’t that the point. I have no qualms about avoiding tax on income already taxed, but that would be like saying my income is taxed and then I pay more tax through VAT. But of course money in an ISA may not have been taxed. I could have been given it as a one off tax free gift. Does UK Uncut think it wrong and immoral for me to avoid tax on any interest by then sticking in an ISA.

Frankly any organisation that doesn’t attempt to limit their tax liability in line with the law as it currently stands would be rather silly.

So my question is simple… Is it morally wrong to try to limit or avoid paying tax, or is it the morally right thing to do? You know how best to spend your own money, not the state?


Should the state provide free nicotine replacement?

At first light you would probably say, what a good idea. Smoking costs the NHS lots of money so why not a bit of encouragement? Well why? If you can afford to smoke you can certainly afford the various replacement schemes on offer.

If the state will pay for that will they actively fund the diet I will start next week. It will cost over £40 a week. But hang on. I used to buy food and now I will but this. Success isn’t down to whether the state pays for it but whether the will power is there. That applies to dieting just as it does to give up smoking. And let’s not forget that obesity related diseases will cost the NHS more than solely smoking related diseases, so if it’s a cost benefit issue I claim my money now please.

But I jest, for if I want to make a change that will be good for me, and will not lead to a greater expense (the same as giving up smoking) I do not need the state giving me a hand out to do it.

Letting the people decide

So it appears as though ordinary citizens such as you or I will be getting the chance to table epetitions which if they get 100,000 signatures will be debated in parliament.

Crikey, yet even more erosion of the power of an MP. We can already find more out with an FOI request than is often unearthed by a parliamentary question. Now we can table a petition which if it attracts enough signatures will get debated, something which the pointless system of Early Day Motions which cost the taxpayer £1 million a year, and are only open to MPs cannot guarantee.

However the most radical change has been highlighted by Guido Fawkes, when he writes about the issue of capital punishment. A petition to get the issue debated would easily attract 100,000 signatures. What if the Government commit to offering a referendum if 1 million signatures are collected? For you see, that figure would also be easily reached, and i for one would welcome a referendum on such an issue before holding one on AV.

Do the politicians realise that by letting the people decide, they may get told some answers they may not like? Welcome to an age of people power on issue based campaigning.

And a Merry Christmas to you all

31 years ago the whole year at infant school, went silent and forgot the final line of the nativity play that everyone was meant to say. All except for me who walked forward and said , “And a Merry Christmas to you all”.

31 years later I’d like to express the same sentiments to listeners readers and even those who leave rather annoying comments here on Tory Radio. I hope you had a great year, and a Merry Christmas to you all!

Anti Murdoch rhetoric is rather boring

I really find the anti Murdoch rhetoric rather tedious. Frankly I think Cable opening his mouth will mean News Corp will definitely take over BSKYB, so well done Vince, you’ve probably achieved just what you didn’t want.

But why all this anti Murdoch sentiment. If you own a television you don’t have to watch Sky or either the BBC. Yet you do of course have to fund the BBC. Don’t like Sky? Don’t watch it. Don’t like Murdoch and his papers? Don’t by them.

Frankly I rather like Sky. I think their news coverage is good, and I now have the chance to see far more football matches live than was ever the case with our state broadcaster. Oh but you can’t see live sports without Sky? What? Yes you can.. go and watch an actual football match at the ground like you used to. The benefit now is that you aren’t just left with that choice.

I am not anti the BBC in anyway. Frankly having lived in the states I still think much of its output knocks spots of the guff that comes from some of the US networks, and I also like not having commercial breaks every 5 minutes. One wonders if the same arguments that are being thrown towards Murdoch and Sky could easily be thrown at the BBC.

IPSA doing its best to anger MPs even more?

On this weeks Seven Days Show Iain Dale and I discussed IPSA and whether things were getting any better.

Whilst the public may not have much sympathy for MPs and their expenses problems, it seems as though IPSA are doing as much as possible to annoy MPs and their staff. Reading the letter from IPSA it appears as though they have taken the strange decision to scale back the hours that their helpline is open. Readers will be all too well aware that both MPs and their staff have seemingly found it impossible to speak to IPSA regarding the issue of sorting out the backlog of claims, so surely this move is only going to get worse.

According to one staffer,

“We’re absolutely outraged over here – read the attached letter, page two is what you’re looking for.  So IPSA are now only going to answer the phones for 4 hours a day?!! I need to call IPSA at least once every time I do a claim – the whole system is so ridiculous – so now they’re basically saying that I can only do my IPSA claims between 1 and 5pm.”

It certainly seems as if IPSA are more interested in running a system that suits them, than a system that might just actually work.

Cable should dance off into the sunset

Having watched Clegg and Cameron suggest Cable is right to be embarrassed (hardly a ringing endorsement) we are now told Cable has said he has declared war on the Murdoch empire. If I were Cameron I would be thinking of the phrase poor old George Bush never got to grips with. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. If Cable was not open and honest about everything he said to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister I have no sympathy.

Can a Cabinet member who is responsible for looking into the takeover of BSkyB by News International survive having said he has declared war on the Murdoch empire?

I think Vince may have a little more time to spend with his family and to do a bit of ballroom dancing in the days ahead!

We are struggling to afford our Air Force…. yet the Swedes

can afford to use theirs to do this!

Cable needs to suck it up

I am no fan of Vince Cable. I’ve never been one of those disciples who thinks he is some sort of economic guru. So we learn that he doesn’t like some of the policies the coalition may be pushing. Well guess what, neither do I, but my party has a few more MPs and votes than your party got at the last election. Yet you have the arrogance to suggest that if you are pushed to far you will bring he Government down.

Sorry, I just have to laugh. It sounds like a line out of the incredible hulk who used similar words to an “investigative reporter” though I suspect they didn’t work for The Telegraph.

Don’t make me angry, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

Just as I am not Cable fan, I’m no fan of undercover reporting with secret tape recoding, but just shut up Vince! If he can’t suck it up and shut up, then he should do the honourable thing, and play this song to the coalition…..

To tweet in court?

So it appears as though twitter is now allowable to report proceedings from court. If that is the case isn’t the natural progression to allow live television coverage, or would that be a step too far?

Personally I’m all for a few Judge Judy types sitting on our benches!