”Oh dear. First, trouble over the government’s pension “reforms” and bank regulation, now over its short-lived triumph over Google’s tax bill. It’s been a bad few days for cocky George Osborne, further indication that his hopes of succeeding David Cameron as prime minister are just that.”
”What’s more, his likely fate will echo that of Cecil Parkinson, who died on Monday and who also aspired to the top job as Margaret Thatcher’s protege, but was let down by character flaws. And we haven’t even mentioned Sir Nick MacPherson’s far-sighted tax planning yet.”
”The Treasury has just announced that it’s appointing Andrew Bailey to succeed Martin Wheatley, whom Osborne removed last summer as head of the independent Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for being a bit too independent. Wheatley’s removal and the FCA’s subsequent retreat from its review of banking culture (Treasury fingerprints all over the decision) got Osborne a bad press across the board. Let’s see how Bailey fares. He looks like an inside job.”
27 January 2016
Prudential Regulation Authority governor Andrew Bailey says preventing another financial crisis is a work “in progress”
”Which other new year headache will damage the Osborne share price most? Pension reforms, which upset a LOT of people who vote Tory? Or the chancellor’s rash claim that Google’s £130m 10-year tax settlement was a “major success” for the tax men and women at HMRC?”
”No 10 distanced David Cameron from it all by calling it “a step forward”. Perhaps that’s why crafty Dave is PM, not his pal George. HMRC also chose to publicise the settlement, but cited tax confidentiality in refusing to explain it. A junior minister, David Gauke, was put up to answer John McDonnell’s attack in parliament, where John Crace was underwhelmed.”
”Tory MPs joined in the catcalls. The Treasury select committee, chaired by the formidable Tory MP Andrew
”Tyrie (picked by MPs not the whips under 2009 reforms), is going to take a look at it all. Tyrie usually draws blood. The Sun, whose owner knows a bit about tax avoidance, denounced the deal. Boris Johnson, rival for the Tory crown, spotted a bit of opportunism and joined in.”
Tyrie tells regulators to resist bank lobbying
”Meanwhile, this week’s papers are full of articles and graphics to show how Google shunts the bulk of its UK revenues, mostly from advertising (£4.5bn a year) via Ireland and the Netherlands to a company called Google Ireland Holdings (hence the “double Irish” and “Dutch sandwich” slang), which is registered in Bermuda.”
GR Comment: ”Normally, I give Osborne’s budgets a miss as they are “self gratifying porn”
Not so on 16th March 2016. I believe it to be the day that he will get his comeuppance.
Only two months ago he presented his Autumn statement which included growth for each of the next four years at 2.4%. A few of us that follow economics knew that this was ridiculous against a background of a slowdown in growth throughout the world and recession looming everywhere. Not only were his forecast’s appalling, but the reality is that there a massive revenue shortfall and debt increasing not decreasing.
It is difficult to see how he can talk his way out of this problem and blaming China, the OBR and anyone else just two months on won’t work.
The major success comment relating to Google’s £130m settlement will hit him hard.”
GR Comment: ”Not the first time the Gimpmeister has spouted absolute bollocks and been caught out .” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11438287/George-Osborne-wrong-to-claim-he-halved-1.7billion-EU-Bill-say-MPs.html
GR Comment: ”Character flaw is putting it mildly. The guy doesn’t appear to know or care what a smarmy, cocky barsteward he is.
What I can’t swallow is the willingness by this government and it’s agencies, to allow big business to avoid or underpay tax (whether its by legal means, smoke and mirrors or whatever else you want to call it) for decades, yet swoop on the little guy the minute he owes a few quid.
My best friend is self employed and his tales of the phone calls to the HMRC over his corporation tax fill me with anger. This is an organisation that will happily pursue a working man to the ends of the earth, for £8000, yet turn a blind eye to the likes of Google when it comes to an outstanding tax bill of £2bn.
Ok, maybe Osborne isn’t in direct control of the HMRC, but his willingness to trumpet the £130 million settlement as a success, just goes to show how he and his kind are forever in the thrall of corporations and, when it comes to it, are willing to afford them concessions that are unavailable to anyone trying to make their way in life.
He’s a congenital liar …”
23 January 2016
Labour calls for investigation into Google tax deal
GW: Goodness me! Well GW off to the J McDonnell Lecture at LSE on 16 February 2016 to see how the opposition is shaping up.