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

February 19, 2013 10:00 am

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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!

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