Miliband calls for Tax transparency on Scandinavian trip – Media and blog round up: February 19th 2013

February 19, 2013 10:00 am

Subscribers to our morning email get the best of LabourList – including the Media and blog round up – every weekday morning. If you were on our email list you’d have received this almost an hour ago – you can sign up here.

Miliband calls for Tax transparency on Scandinavian trip

“A Labour government would force companies operating in the U.K. to set out clearly how much tax they’re paying on what income, said the opposition party’s leader, Ed Miliband. Miliband, currently touring Scandinavian capitals to strengthen links with European social democratic parties, said he wants to learn from the Danish and Swedish experience of increasing corporate tax transparency. He cited transfer pricing, under which company units in different countries can set the prices of products and services they buy from each other so as to minimize tax liability, as a particular area of abuse.” – Bloomberg
“After his meeting with Ms Thorning-Schmidt, over Danish pastries in Copenhagen, Mr Miliband said Europe should be reformed “now”, rather than waiting for “years” under David Cameron’s timetable for a referendum in 2017. “What is the negotiating strategy of David Cameron over the next four years?” Miliband told reporters after talks with Ms Thorning-Schmidt. “My view is let’s make changes in Europe now.” – Telegraph

Peer attacks Labour over Leveson proposals

“Labour-inspired proposals on media law would curb the free Press in a way ‘never seen in any democratic country’, a senior peer warned last night.
Eminent QC Lord Lester said controversial amendments to the Defamation Bill pushed through with Labour support this month would damage free speech and break European human rights laws if they were allowed to stand. He accused Labour of ‘hijacking’ the legislation in an attempt to force the Government to implement Lord Justice Leveson’s plans for regulation of the Press in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.” – Daily Mail

Other highlights

  • JoeDM

    I think there should be some transparencey on Margaret Hodge’s tax arrangements.

    See Guido Fawkes blog: http://order-order.com/2013/02/19/hodge-the-dodge-named-and-shamed/

  • Alexwilliamz

    Personally I’m in favour of public income tax returns (with personal details aside from name removed) that would be real transparency and would fix a lot of tax evasion issues.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      That sounds expensive Alex, and also in my opinion, wrong.

      As a principle, if “someone” has to open their tax return for publication, so should “everyone”. If the “bean-counter” declares that it is cheaper for “some” to not have to declare, but others must, well this is dangerous personal freedom territory. If the limit is £50,000 of income, and you are a pound below, and me a pound above, is that right that my finances and privacy are so compromised and your’s not for the sake of £2?

      I think there’s all sorts of potential second order effects. Ex-husbands seeing details of ex-wife’s new partner’s income, and feeling aggrieved that he still pays her a lot of money, feuding business partners, employees discovering someone in the same role is being paid more, and certainly mistaken identity with common names. I think also third order legal effects: it seems to set an unlevel playing field if someone has a genuine case for a financial defence, and yet the opposing lawyers can prepare a clever rebuttal based on privileged financial information.

      Also, in practice, getting very complex.

      • Alexwilliamz

        Yep I meant for everyone, including PAYE etc. It is only the culture we have created in this country that means everyone is so defensive about their pay, I think it might have something to do with class. However full transparency would sort a lot of issues out, and also deal with sneaky discrimination and again tax evasion, alternatively it might also inform other people’s choices (ie reward those companies who’s executives pay their ‘fair’ share of tax, as against those who avoid as much as possible). All part of a free market surely (informed choices etc). Second order effects I’d say get over it! Ex husbands are probably aggrieved that their ex wife has a new partner full stop (I’ll ignore the inferred sexism in that example). employees discovering someone in the same role being paid more is part of the point, they could and should be able to make a case for being paid the same. Mistaken identity? possibly but that could happen with almost anything. Not sure what you mean about third order legal effects? Sorry could not follow your point there sorry, I am probably not as well informed as you in that area.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          Inferred sexism? It was merely an example, but if you wish to explain your inference, and not my implication (of which if it existed at all, you could only guess), I will certainly listen.

          Why stop at pay? Why should anyone be allowed locks on their doors, if the aim is openness and transparency between citizens?

          And as for the pay, everyone should negotiate their own rate. Life is what you make of it, not what you are told to do. Some people put more into a job than others, and so should be rewarded for extra productivity. Others put less in, relying on their colleagues to do “the heavy lifting”. Why should they receive the same as those doing the lifting? It was the best thing I did to voluntarily remove myself from the collective bargaining arrangements. I feel like a free man, and not a serf.

          • Alexwilliamz

            Calm down I was only teasing.
            Surely transparency would aid the negotiating of your own rate of pay. An open market after all needs to be transparent to be efficient? As to your serf analogy in your profession you are in the position of a labourer immediately after the black death, shortage of labour abolished serfdom , all fine. However that did not last and what did agricultural workers end up having to do to avoid exploitation? Try to form unions of course and ended up transported for their efforts. As with many of your stances Jaime it always feels like an ‘I’m alright jack’, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. I’m pretty confident you are a compassionate guy and can see why with a bit of empathy, things you don’t need others might!

          • Alexwilliamz

            Calm down I was only teasing.
            Surely transparency would aid the negotiating of your own rate of pay. An open market after all needs to be transparent to be efficient? As to your serf analogy in your profession you are in the position of a labourer immediately after the black death, shortage of labour abolished serfdom , all fine. However that did not last and what did agricultural workers end up having to do to avoid exploitation? Try to form unions of course and ended up transported for their efforts. As with many of your stances Jaime it always feels like an ‘I’m alright jack’, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. I’m pretty confident you are a compassionate guy and can see why with a bit of empathy, things you don’t need others might!

Latest

  • Comment Europe McFadden’s appointment comes at a time of big opportunity for Labour on Europe

    McFadden’s appointment comes at a time of big opportunity for Labour on Europe

    Pat McFadden is taking over the Europe brief just at the time when the issue can work in Labour’s favour. Provided we hold to Ed Miliband’s decision not to cave in to the calls to offer an in-out referendum. Europe is again becoming toxic for the Tories. How Cameron must be looking back wistfully to that time when he told his party to stop banging on about Europe. That’s exactly what it is now doing. And it’s largely his own […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The Next Portillo Moment

    The Next Portillo Moment

    Undoubtedly the highlight of election night ‘97 was seeing Labour record the unlikeliest of victories where I live in Enfield Southgate. We did it through hard work, at the time all three Enfield seats were blue and though the Labour swing meant that Edmonton and Enfield North were going red regardless it took a special campaign lead by an extraordinarily good candidate in Stephen Twigg to record what was an iconic victory in the Party’s history. We held the seat […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The business backlash against Tory EU exit plans 

    The business backlash against Tory EU exit plans 

    It’s not just José Manuel Barroso who has warned David Cameron that his party is taking the wrong approach when it comes to talk of an EU exit. There is a clear sense of concern and anger from the UK and international business community in respect of the Tory plans for an in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU in 2017. This has led to a serious business backlash against the Tories. Standard & Poor’s, the international rating […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Miliband sets out 5 point immigration reform plan (but won’t join “Operation Pander”)

    Miliband sets out 5 point immigration reform plan (but won’t join “Operation Pander”)

    Ed Miliband is in Rochester today, where he’s campaigning for the party’s by-election candidate Naushabah Khan against what he called the “two Tory opponents” of UKIP and the Tories in the Rochester and Strood by-election. But the main purpose of Miliband’s speech was to set out what Labour’s approach to immigration will be – specifically an Immigration Reform Bill in the first Queen’s Speech of the new Parliament. Miliband announced it’d be based around five key principles (most of which […]

    Read more →
  • News Sadiq Khan asks Mansion Tax critics – how would you fund the NHS?

    Sadiq Khan asks Mansion Tax critics – how would you fund the NHS?

    Since Labour conference, the majority of Labour’s potential London mayoral candidates have been critical of the party’s Mansion Tax proposals. However one presumptive candidate has been consistently positive about the plans – Sadiq Khan. That’s understandable and expected, as he’s a Shadow Cabinet member and a Miliband loyalist. But Khan has now launched a public defence of the tax (calling it “absolutely fair”) and a broadside against critics, asking them “why they are opposed to hiring thousands more nurses and doctors […]

    Read more →