The appearance of executives from Amazon, Apple and Starbucks in front of a meaningless Westminister committee of overpaid and under-brained MPs was embarassing. Not so much for the way in which these hyper-paid lackeys dodged and weaved to avoid saying anything useful, but for the ineptitude of the questioners.
I don’t understand economics, but I do understand when I’m being ripped off. So why is it that government can’t make a simple emendment to tax law, to say that a foreign company trading in the UK can’t repatriate profits before they’ve paid the same level of tax as UK companies operating in the UK? This, for example, would remove the right for Apple Ireland to send whopping great invoices to Apple UK that Apple UK use to reduce their tax bill here. You generate profit here, you pay tax on it here. And you can send out whatever remains to wherever you like.
And if the likes of Starbucks says that this would make trading over here uneconomical and threatens to pull out, let’s say ‘Great! Fuck off because there are dozens of local entrepreneurs who will step in to take your place!’
But it won’t happen because our arcane tax laws suit our lords and masturbators in Westminister. Giving tax breaks to multinationals leads to perks and directorships and centre court seats for Wimbledon finals. They’re not going to jeopardise that. The tame Treasury officials who cosy up to the big firms and make sure that they get away with legal daylight robbery won’t want change either.
Oh well, one of these days will come the revolution, and…