A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cameron, Carr, Taxes and Expenses

"Wisteria? What's that?"
David Cameron has been questioned about the tax affairs of Jimmy Carr, the comedian. Apparently Carr, on the prompting of his accountant, put his earnings through some tax avoiding scheme called K2. Now it's more like K9 as the media have got hold of the story and put two and two together to make five. Carr may have "made a terrible error of judgement" over using this tax avoidance scheme, but he was probably no more culpable of error than the rest of us. It's the use of the word moral that I find difficult to accept, especially from David Cameron. After all, it was he who thought it perfectly fine to shove down the rather large bill for clearing wisteria from the front of his house as a legitimate expense for doing his parliamentary duties. Only when he was found out did he offer to repay it. So what's the difference between his wisteria and Jimmy Carr's alleged one per cent tax bill? Answers on a postcard! The late great George Carman QC, defending Ken Dodd on tax avoidance, said - "Accountants may be comedians, but comedians are never accountants". Most of the problems about tax avoidance can be laid at the feet of accountants. It is they who dream up schemes, tempt their clients by saying such lines as "Do you want to pay less tax? It's totally legal". To which people like Jimmy Carr say "Yes". The government needs to get a grip of the tax dodging types if it is to climb up onto the moral high ground. Otherwise keep off that territory and stick in the muddy wetlands of wishful thinking and dilatory daydreaming.


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