My complaint is not against the taxman, who I am sure did not delete me from his list out of the kindness of his heart, but against the “powers that be” because I am not nor am I likely to get into, the position where I shall owe 25G in taxes.
It appears that HMRC have taken on the “name and shame” game in an effort to get people to pay their taxes:
"The publication of these names sends a clear signal that cheating on tax is wrong and reassures people who pay their taxes - the vast majority - that there are consequences for those who refuse to tell HMRC about their full liability," said Treasury Minister David Gauke.
"It also encourages defaulters to make a full and prompt disclosure and cooperate with HMRC to avoid being named."
I’ll make a deal with you Mr. Gauke; you give me an income where I can run up a large tax bill and wait to see how long it takes before I become shamed into paying by having my name on a list.
Bridlington Athletic would win the Premiership before I became too ashamed. Linfield would beat Cliftonville 2 goals and 10 points to 1 goal and 4 points in the Antrim Senior championship and I would still not be so ashamed that I would pay.
The same David Gauke, moralist, conservative politician, and rich guy who has probably never known a poor day in his life, is pontificating about the morals of some poor sod in inner city Birmingham doing your garden for a few quid and getting paid cash in hand.
He probably spends more on eating out in a week than a family of four gets to live on from the Job Seekers Allowance.
But then the press, fair play to them, reveals that:
“Gauke himself worked for a company that specializes in helping the wealthy avoid tax. According to Debretts between 1999 and 2005 – when he became an MP – Gauke was a solicitor at Macfarlanes, a top city law firm with expertise on tax efficiency. They boast on their website:
“The tax efficient structuring of employee incentive arrangements is often a key requirement for our clients to achieve their commercial objectives. We have particular expertise in the structuring of tax efficient equity based incentive plans. We are able to develop innovative solutions to the most complex tax issues when necessary.”
I have a hint for our David, the most tax efficient method of payment is “cash in hand.”
If David was to see me taking a small remuneration for services rendered, I would look at him strait in the eye and say, “What are you Gauke-ing at?”
Cash in hand seems to be working everywhere. £645 million has been recovered by people in the UK who have used a free service to find forgotten bank accounts. It turns out that 315,000 people have had money lying in banks that they did not remember about.
But the thing is this works out at an average of £2048 per account.
If I find a fiver in my pocket that I have forgotten about I am more than pleased. I can’t imagine having £2048 left under the proverbial bed and not remembering it. Maybe I could send it off to the taxman in case my name ever appeared on a list.
I rang HMRC and asked them why they were putting the pressure on the poor unfortunate honest tax dodger and a very polite chappy with an Eton accent told me that they had the man from Moody’s round doing a ratings check on the nation.
My old Etonian source told me that “It appears, old chap, that the Home Nations of our beloved Empire, that is the United Kingdom to you and I, has enough national debt to fill Wembley Stadium to the new roof with £50 notes. So Chancellor George Osborne told me to extract as much cash as I could from the natives to lower the debt quickly. It appears I did not act fast enough!”
Labour shouted and ranted about it being a disgrace to the nation. Let’s get real. The UK is no longer a big player. It is a two bit nation hanging on to old glory days. Who cares about it?
In fairness David Cameron appears to have some grasp of how far England has gone down. Last week while on a visit to Amritsar in the state of Punjab in India he almost apologised for the massacre there in 1919.
The prime minister described the massacre as "a deeply shameful event in British history". Writing in the memorial book of condolence, he added: "We must never forget what happened here."
Hundreds of people were killed in that event. Indians were forbidden to gather in large numbers and the British opened fire without warning on a huge crowd in a square in the middle of the town. They were trapped on all sides and were mowed down. It was the proverbial “Turkey shoot.”
Bit like Bloody Sunday really. Oh, David actually did apologize for that one.
Our Enda has done a bit of apologizing and by the looks of it he may have a bit more to do.
“A tearful Enda Kenny twice had to pause to compose himself as he delivered an emotional Dail apology on behalf of the State to the Magdalene Laundry survivors” wrote the Irish Independent.
And all this just a few days before the Oscars on Sunday night; is there an Oscar for the best actor politician in the world?
1. David Cameron for his performance in “Laying A Wreath,” filmed on location at Amritsar, India.
2. Enda Kenny for his performance in “Magdalene Laundries; It all comes out in the Wash.”
3. Barack Obama for his performance in “Gotcha! The Elimination of Bin Laden” watched live by millions.
4. Frauline Merkel for her performance in “Go, Enda, Go,” a story about her pet poodle.
On the subjects of actors, poor old Richard Briers has gone to the great changing room in the sky. He had a wonderful smile, a winning way and the ability to make you feel a friend even though he was only in your room on a TV.
I liked him as an actor. Famous for his roles in Marriage Lines, Ever Decreasing Circles, and Monarch of the Glen he shall be best remembered for his role as Tom Good in “The Good Life.” I hope he is enjoying the Really Good Life now.
I wonder if as his spirit floated heavenwards, did Richard Briers look back for one last glance at this old earth and if he saw the Cliffs of Moher from above?
I think Enda should go back to the Dail:
“Á Ceann Comhairle, we all know that Ireland is facing a huge unemployment problem, especially in the construction industry. And we also know that our coast line is in a terrible mess. In light of this I propose that we use some of the 86,672 unemployed plasterers and their labourer’s to tidy up the coast. The sight of the Irish coastline, particularly as you fly into Shannon Airport from America, is appalling.”
“The cracks in our nation are apparent from the moment you see the Cliffs of Moher. They are unseemly and detract from our nation’s natural beauty.”
“Á Ceann Comhairle, I believe we should plaster all the cliffs along the whole west coast of Ireland thereby providing much needed employment to the nation’s plasterers and their labourers.”
At this point Mr. Kenny could look across the Dail floor at Mick Wallace TD, he of the long hair and raggedy looks, and say, “How would we fund this enormous project?”
“Á Ceann Comhairle, we could take the sand and cement which is lying unused in the yards of certain members of the house and others. And it would help to pay their VAT bill. I believe this project could be self funding and might even turn a profit.”
“Á Ceann Comhairle, we could paint the cliffs bright blue and provide advertising space for the hotels and restaurants of Ireland. As the Yanks fly in they would be able to text ahead and make their reservations for board and lodgings. What a tourist attraction our shoreline would become!”
In true Irish tradition we could pay them cash in hand!
It seems there is a crack in some very important part of the engine. Hint Mr. Obama; if you are going to send young men and women on bombing missions over deserts in foreign lands, please make sure the blooming engines in their planes are intact.
We don’t want them breaking down over the Atlantic and crashing into our newly plastered Cliffs of Moher.
There is a second piece of apologizing that Enda might have to do. News broke on Sunday that Fine Gael is now behind Fianna Fail in the poll. A rowdy parliamentary party meeting took place and media reports suggested that harsh words were spoken:
“At the meeting, the concern about the disconnect between ministers and party members was typified by a comment from Kildare TD Bernard Durkan who said: "Ministers should not forget where they came from," a source revealed.
Clearly concerned about the drop in the polls, Mr. Kenny informed his TDs that he will appoint a political liaison director in a bid to boost communications within the party.
But the level of anger and concern within Fine Gael is palpable, after the Millward Brown poll showed its support has slipped from 34 per cent to 25 per cent.”
The Enda and Eamon show hit town a couple of years ago with all the fanfare you could imagine. Now the cracks are beginning to show as the chickens come home to roost.
In fairness you can’t blame Enda or Eamon for the mess the place was in when they came to power. The mistake they made was in claiming that they could fix it and people would not have to take the pain.
For the second time in this column I write “Let’s get real.”
The good times are over. The cracks are beginning to show even in the UK with the downgrading by Moody’s. We are living beyond our means. Ireland had a property party and now it is broke, the UK is borrowing £10 billion a month and people like Moody’s are beginning to see that this can’t go on.
We have to save money every way we can.
In Ireland up to 50% of water is lost through leakages in the journey from the reservoir to the home. Now some bright spark has come up with an idea to help put a stop to this horrible waste and to save money on water charges.
The firm has developed technology that allows households to source all domestic water requirements, including drinking water, from a single system rather than having to use the council's supplies.
I foresee a problem. Half the people of Ireland shall buy and install these new devices while the other half shall use the old leaky system.
But soon there will have to be investment in the water pipes of the country. Who shall pay? The 50% who use the system shall not be enough to pay for the upgrade so Dail Eireann and whoever is in government shall impose a “Rainwater Tax,” and make all those with a Rainsafe Water device pay for the rainwater they use.
Then we will all have lived to see the ultimate in taxation: taxing the rain in Ireland.
One last thing; I’ve had a change of heart.
Often in this column I’ve expressed admiration for the way that Silvio Berlusconi does not give a toss about the political establishment in Italy.
But as I write this on Sunday evening the Italians are at the polls voting for a new government. A comedian called Beppo Grillo is leading a new party which could hold the balance of power.
What a wonderful commentary on European politics that a comedian who no one has ever heard of can be a serious contender for leading one of the continents major countries.
What about Ken Dodd for Chancellor, Jimmy Tarbuck for Foreign Secretary, Mr. Bean for Minister for Education and Billy Connolly for Scottish Secretary.
And we could have David Cameron for PM.
Oops, we already have him!
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