Friday, 23 December 2011

Letter 49: Look sweetheart, tax is for poor people

This week, a letter about the stink surrounding some big business tax affairs, allegations of the deals done with HMRC and cuts to some of most vulnerable children in society. Hats off to UK Uncut and Private Eye, who doggedly pursued the HMRC to produce the truth. I shall be nominating them for a Big Society Award, but more of that another time...  

" Dear Dave,
Christmas or not, the pressure just doesn't stop does it? You must have seen the news on Tuesday? Full of the Public Accounts Committee report and suggestions of sweetheart deals between HMRC and big businesses. I was shocked to read that HMRC is currently seeking to resolve more than 2,700 issues with the biggest companies. And could you explain to me in these times of austerity (when we are all in this together) that Goldman Sachs should be let off £20 million in tax? I already knew about Vodafone settling their tax bill dispute by paying £1.25 billion when they allegedly should have paid £6 billion(!).
Actually I took part in protests, but I am genuinely surprised at how much money seems to have gone uncollected. Thank goodness for whistleblowers, UK Uncut, Private Eye and transparency, eh? It will be interesting to see what happens following UK Uncut issuing legal proceedings against HMRC today,
requesting disclosure of all internal documents relating to the Goldman Sachs deal. Now for that, I'd personally nominate UK Uncut for one of your Big Society Awards!
Do you agree that if ordinary people have to pay tax, so should big corporations and their owners? I know that your official spokesman has reported you are confident that all taxpayers are treated evenhandedly, but not everyone agrees especially when sweetheart deals with big businesses are denied to hardworking families, shopkeepers and small families. It's starting to look like the poor are being bullied into work (Workfare), while the rich are let off tax and bribed into staying in the UK through lowering Corporation Tax. Am I the only one thinking about what a difference uncollected taxes could make to austerity cuts and reforms you say are unavoidable? Take Universal Credit - once introduced, about 100,000 disabled children will be roughly £1,400 a year (£20,000 in a childhood) through 'reforms' to their allowances. Quite callous, that all but the most profoundly disabled children will get 1/2 the support they do now. IF only there was some money that could be found...
                                                     Yours, etc"

Many thanks to Rich at for the heart template.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Letter 48: Rioters and Lobbyists: where does Dave's moral compass point?

There is no need to say anything today other than watch last night's Newsnight and read The Independent : 

"Dear Dave,
There has been such a lot to think about since watching Newsnight yesterday. Did you see it? The Guardian and LSE made a film, having researched the riots that took hold this summer. A really excellent piece of work, but very troubling. I do hope you have a copy - it would be so useful to inform so many of your policies.
It made me think about money and power. As did the article in The Independent, titled:

"Caught on camera: top lobbyists boasting how they influence the PM."

Did you see it? That had a short film too, equally interesting. Gosh, it looked quite bad, Dave. And it made me think of that funny little phrase: "MONEY TALKS".
Both stories are about money and power, but from different ends of the social and political spectrum, or the "haves" and "have nots" as some call them.
And it made me wonder... Are you not concerned that your own moral compass runs the risk of appearing compromised by allowing lobbyists (and those that fund them) unregulated access to you, thereby undermining our democratic process?
                                   Yours, etc"