Osborne targets small man to collect debts, ignores fat cat tax avoiders

Osborne unveils the classic Tory way to collect unpaid taxes and fines.   Ignore HMRC and DWP which are there precisely for this purpose, but suffer from a fatal disadvantage – they’re in the public sector.   So strike a deal instead with a private US-owned company – creating a joint venture with TDX Group, a so-called ‘recovery management’ company whose parent company, Equifax, is based in the US.   TDX will have a 75% stake in the new entity, Integrated Debt Services Ltd, with the government holding the other 25%.   TDX will get a percentage of any unpaid debts collected beyond the level collected in the last year, though the Cabinet Office won’t reveal what the percentage commission is on grounds of commercial confidentiality, as though this wasn’t a service for the public sector!

So who is being targeted by this new expensive debt collection agency?   It is aimed primarily at unpaid taxes, student loans and overpaid benefits and grants, which is where most of the small money is.   Significantly nothing is said about going after the hyper-rich individuals who have deposited hundreds of millions of pounds in the 10 UK-controlled tax havens, which is where the serious money is.   Nor is any serious attempt being made to block the billions of taxes avoided annually by the multinational companies who continue, uninterrupted, to make a nonsense of tax collection by pretending that their profits were made in the tax havens where they’re laughably registered and where next to no tax is levied.

The class bias in this whole exercise is blatant.   The small-time offenders are pounced upon (and of course if they are liable and able to pay, they should pay) though the yield will be comparatively tiny, whilst the big fish where the serious avoidance and evasion takes place and where the yield would be huge are left completely off the hook.   The same class-based prejudice has been displayed by this government in many other areas too.   Benefit fraud and wilfully misleading canards about ‘shirkers’ and ‘scroungers’ is repeatedly peddled, yet tax fraud which is a hundred times more loss-making for the Exchequer is quietly ignored.   The bedroom tax is applied to some of the poorest households on the grounds that they have more rooms than they need, yet the mansion tax applied to the rich for similar reasons is vilified as unfair.   The deficit, caused by the Tory-supporting financial elite, is being tackled by this government by punishing exclusively the poorest two-thirds of the population who were in sense responsible whilst the richest 1% who were responsible escape with impunity with no specific taxes directed at the rich at all.

18 thoughts on “Osborne targets small man to collect debts, ignores fat cat tax avoiders

  1. I think you missed out the word no in the final sentence: The deficit, caused by the Tory-supporting financial elite, is being tackled by this government by punishing exclusively the poorest two-thirds of the population who were in **no** sense responsible whilst the richest 1% who were responsible escape with impunity with no specific taxes directed at the rich at all.

    Very good article, though.

  2. Just what is it with the Tories, to be so very much against the “small man”!? (Let alone sick, disabled, unemployed and poorer people in general).

    Is it how they were brought up by their parents? How they were educated? Is it because they never come into contact with ordinary/poor people? Or because they consider themselves far superior as they have more money than their victims? Not everyone with money is like these Tories, so why are they the way they are?

    Are they just bullies who pick on people weaker than them (and of course, their policies ensure that people remain weak and unable to protect themselves).

    If it’s their education then what’s taught in places like Eton could and should be changed, otherwise perhaps prospective MPs should be psychoanalyzed before being accepted as candidates!?

    “….. small-time offenders are pounced upon (and of course if they are liable and able to pay, they should pay)…” :-

    But if they are not able to pay they’ll still be made to pay, one way or another even if it means jail (in our already overcrowded prisons). If HMRC makes a mistake and under charges, they’ll still expect people to pay up, even years later, and even when their circumstances may have changed for the worse (as they probably will have done, thanks to the financial crash).

    The “small man” stands little chance of defending himself against the system, which is designed and operated by people who are very much biased against him.

    What makes the situation even more unjust, is when people who blatantly and purposefully misuse the system for gain, even when they are already filthy rich, are allowed to get away with it.

  3. This is nothing whatsoever to do with class, (a bit rich anyway coming from a far right political party whose own front bench is populated or is certainly overrepresented by; the all too frequently morally, professionally and emotionally reprehensible products of our flawed and insular public school system, with names like, “Tristam,” and people with close relatives in merchant banking,) it’s just yet more tax farming; which is historically, the absolute worst, most inefficient and generally abusive way for any government to collect tax revenues and yet another huge step toward the continuing effective abolition of the UK and of elected accountable government, to be cemented into place and institutionalized under TTIP.

  4. What would labour have done I suspect nothing, all my life and at 63 it’s coming slowly to end now I have been told by labour 44 years a member until 2010 and I had enough, I was told that labour would clamp down on people who avoided tax , I can go back to the 1970’s and labour telling me it would clamp down if it go in of course it did sod all.

    The DWP does what it’s told and I think to be honest even under New labour the DWP days was limited , we had labour offering trade Union the chance of earning extra money by paying out benefits and I mean Blair thought Churches would be a good way of doing this because they did it in the past with alms for the poor.

    This does not surprise me it’s the Tories carry on with a view from New labour.

    fact is tax avoidance is legal not illegal I mean how many MP’s used it to make a bit of money on the old flipping of homes , it was avoidance and as Purnell that saviour of the working class stated it’s legal.

    I use to be self employed so I used tax avoidance legally.

    I just do not understand this clamp down on somethi8ng which has been going on since the labour and the Tories made tax avoidance legal all those loop holes to keep the very rich here.

  5. theres two laws ruling us norman law it hasn’t changed one little bit just more hostile now to the plebs that put into the tax pot you bet the rich don’t offshore accounts whilst we get thinner the 99percent who aint rich when are they going to wake up to the fact that paying taxes isn’t for the rich but the poor to burden yet again they show how they cover their masters arses ouch jeff3

  6. Small, but important error should be corrected in the last sentence . . . “who were in sense responsible whilst the richest 1% who were responsible escape with impunity with no specific taxes directed at the rich at all.? The word ‘no’ is missing . . .

  7. Watch this and it will likely explain why the Tories are doing what they are doing and getting away with it.

    http://vimeo.com/26718047

    Circulate it. its a good educator of history, The real history, not the propagated one we are all taught through the right wing media and educational systems.

  8. If anybody knows of anyone struggling to pay student loans or who is behind and debt collectors are chasing them, then make them go to wwe.getoutofdebtfree.org and you can get help. Thousands of people have got free help. Advice is given by fellow people and it is free. All unsecured loans are covered. Fight back againstdebt collectors who pay as little as 10p in the pound when purchasing debt off banks etc. It is all a game and once you know the rules it is easy.

  9. If one looks at tax legislation, it says a person has to pay tax. Look in the definitions, a person is a legal fiction a corporate entity. Nowhere does it say a man and woman must pay tax. I have asked Ed Balls to show me this in legislation and copied Michael into it and he has not replied to it for over two years. So if he cannot tell you where it says a man or woman must pay, then it says it all. Theres videos of HMRC staff who cannot answer.

  10. All taxes paid go to invading foreign countries and killing innocent people whilst their coubtry is occupied.

  11. JP –
    There are people earning in excess of £80k per WEEK: not to be confused with politicians earning less than £100k per YEAR.

  12. WL –

    And your point is?

    These are all exactly the same utterly despicable people who, (after awarding themselves a huge tax payer funded pay rise + perks,) still carry on about; the undeserving poor, benefit scroungers and, “people who expect something for nothing,” (laughable as it was, that one was from Ed “Sticky Fingers,” Balls,) and who have introduced, forced labor schemes and exploitation and supported/introduced benefit cuts or even complete benefit suspensions for up 6 months to 3 years, (you can only get 3 parcels from these dreadful food banks.)

    Meanwhile UK unemployment is probably running at between 3 to 6 million and being increased by immigration by about an additional million ever 4 years and so on…..

    Meanwhile they’re all quite happy to give up £14 billion away, through various bent rackets, (charities and NGOS,) in foreign aid and so on.

    genuinely I think you’re looking at all this through the wrong end of telescope as it were.

    It not so much people, I hesitate to use the term, “earning,” in this context as little as 100K a year that worry me it unemployed, disabled and sick people who are getting their befits stopped for between 6 months to 3 years, (regardless of circumstances,) on any pretext or non by people earning less than 3100 a year and so on.

    but if they want to build a useless, unwanted and unneeded railway from London to Birmingham for example or engage in an aggressive and unwarranted foreign military intervention, suddenly as with their massive pay rise, money is no object.

    Only a mere£100 k year.

    My heart bleeds for them all.

  13. “It’s not so much people, I hesitate to use the term, “earning,” in this context as little as 100K a year that worry me it all the unemployed, disabled and sick people who are getting their befits stopped for between 6 months to 3 years, (regardless of circumstances,) on any pretext or non by people earning less than £100 a year and so on.”

  14. Incidentally and now that I think of it, David Nicholson who seems in too many ways to have been entirely typical of the trough/gravy train culture at Westminster was on about a quarter of million pa, (plus expenses and pension contributions,) and this seems to be the going rate for too many individuals involved the public and charitable sectors.

    One major, (and government funded,) charity has even paid for the children of it CEO to attend private school, in addition to his pay of around £200 + and other sweeteners, so, “only,” £100 is probably a pretty conservative estimate here anyway.

  15. I am really worried about Ed Balls. In the Guardian he is still adhering to the “deficit requires cuts” myth. As in your article above , why isn’t he focussing on tax cheats? What about the Richard Werner syle quantitative easing, spent into the economy create jobs and rejuvenate the public sector. Why does Balls capitulate to the finance industry and Tory fantasy that government is like a household?
    The Guardian article states: ” The shadow chancellor said he could not promise to undo local council spending cuts or give public sector workers a pay rise beyond the 1% . This lead to many negative comments and the odd one or two resolving not to vote Labour. I am wondering if this pessimistic and negative neoliberal outlook may put some people off, and cause a hung parliament in May rather than a Labour Government.

    In a speech in Birmingham, Ed Miliband stated: “I can also announce that each and every authority which can bring forward plans of this sort in the first year of the next Parliament, will receive powers and access to resources from Whitehall the like of which we have not seen in living memory.” How does this fit with Ed Balls inability to promise to at least partly reverse local authority cuts?

    If you can do an article on this, I sure Labour members and the public would find it useful.

  16. I think the real and dire problem here is that UK no longer has, (in any real, functional or meaningful sense,) anything remotely resembling a socialist party to represent the majority of voters who work in normal jobs, (when we’re working at all,) and who are on normal wages or the millions who are, (through no fault of their own,) unemployed or our sick or disabled and so on.

    In fact the way in which all reference to socialism, (as both a tradition and as coherent political doctrine,) is being quietly, “nudged,” (airbrushed/spun,) out of this entire non debate tells it’s own sad and sordid story about how, “socialist,” the British Labor party, (post Blair,) really is now, even without the almost complete absence, (to the best of my memory,) of any reference whatsoever to socialism in Mr Meacher’s recent book for example and the proud and prestigious traditions of European Socialism, (in Greece and in France and Italy,) even being caricatured as merely an, “anti austerity,” movement.

    At a time, (we’re probably in a prolonged financial depression with all problems that go with that including massive unemployment,) when this country has seldom needed real genuine socialism more, the now defunct Labor party has been co-opted to the narrow personal and financial interests of the same bunch of spivs and racketeers that exemplify the Tories at there most unacceptable and repellent.

    What most of us want to know looking at Miliband, at the loathsome Ed Blls, Cooper, Burnham, (he of Mid staffs,) et al; and listening to their neocon rhetoric, ambiguation and outright lies is what has happened to British socialism?

    If their was a genuine Labor candidate standing anywhere at next election a lot of people would vote for him/her like a shot, unfortunately no one in their right mind would seriously describe any of sad and shabby bunch above, (completely indistinguishable in practice from any of the other Tories,) as such.

    So where is the British Labor party when we need it?

    This comment again from Spectator sums the situation up quite nicely:

    “I suspect that these days active membership of the Labour Party is much more likely to bring you into contact with university lecturers, journalists, television presenters or solicitors. Hardly horny handed sons of toil…”

  17. Not withstanding the sincere and genuine hope that the sudden silence here is not due to ill health or to any other equally distressing circumstance of a personal nature.

    It’s all gone very quiet.

    Was it something we said?

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