Saturday, 10 December 2011

Scaredy Dave Knee-Jerks Europe Closer to Oblivion?

David Cameron yesterday vetoed a new treaty on EU fiscal stability, which would have allowed EU oversight of the financial dealings of member states. Or so we are told.

EU Referendum has done much to explain that there wasn't actually a veto available, which is commendable, but there is also a point that is missed.

Why exactly did Dave do what he did and in turn bring about the condemnation of Europe and even the U.S administrations?

I can only attribute it to two things: a slavish desire to please his masters and chums in the City of London and blind panic at the thought of being yet another Tory Prime Minister becoming embroiled in the political minefield that is Europe.

I can understand a desire to keep his chums in the gainful legal robbery and excessive bonuses that characterises life in the financial heart of London. After all one has to keep an eye out for future employment opportunities once one has left public office, what?

Whether he should have been so blatant is moot. Maybe he should have moved with more political cunning and skill, but to be honest politically he's a lightweight and happen as not he was probably outmanoeuvred by the more savvy political players in Europe.

The bad news is he really has fucked up big time. You know that's the case when even the Americans are looking across the pond tutting and shaking their heads.

What next? Well, if I know the political establishment in the UK, we will have to go crawling back to Europe, proffer abject apologies, roll over and play nice doggy (please let me stay) rather than stick two fingers up to them and go our own way. Huge concessions will have to be granted to the EU commission, not on City trading, that's still probably sacrosanct, but probably on fiscal oversight of governmental budgets and high street banking. I wouldn't be surprised if that old chestnut EU-wide taxation was thrown in for good measure.

Actually lets lump them all in together: a prediction would be to allow the EU's transaction tax, but to make it only liable on high street banking transactions, not on investment banking.

In other words, we get screwed for more tax. Again.

Friday, 9 December 2011

When it Comes to Tax, Make the Rules Up as You Go Along.

This report from the BBC is interesting.

Shops in New York have sprung up selling lose tobacco and tubes to place it in so you can smoke it as a cigarette. The shops also provide rolling machines to allow clients to place the tobacco into the tubes.
"The authorities" are losing tax on this, because they impose a levy on pre-made, pre-packaged cigarettes. The roll-you-own shops don't pay the levy because they don't sell pre-packaged cigarettes: they just provide a way for the customer to produce themselves something that is similar, but not the same as pre-packaged cigarettes. Thus as all good entrepreneurs, they exploit a loophole left by the authorities.

A lawyer for the authorities trying to claw back tax from these shops is quoted as saying "No one would claim that Ikea is not selling furniture just because the clients have to assemble that". But then again, if the authorities put a levy on pre-assembled furniture and left flat-pack stuff tax free, I'm damn sure there'd be lots of shops springing up to help assemble that flat-pack stuff.

The crux is that the tobacco shops are not producing the cigarettes nor are they packaging them, they are only providing the means for the customer to DIY.

But a good lawyer never lets the letter of the law get in the way: any law can be stretched by twisting its words. Especially when tax is concerned.

Witness the horrendous injustices meted out to UK smokers at the hands of our own Customs/Border Agency.

For the record, I'm not a smoker, but I can recognise injustice and blind greed when I see it.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Whatever Happened top the Treaty Lock?

The BBC proclaim that David Cameron "may" not sign a reworked treaty designed to to solve the Euro crisis.

I really hate this sort of sloppy journalism. Its the BBC at its worst and I've noticed of late that Radio4's finest are also slipping journalistically.

So lets set things straight...

First thing: Dave is such a spineless fucker, there's zero chance of him refusing to do anything the EU commission, Merkel, Sarkozy want him to do. In fact the only people the mendacious twat habitually ignores is the British voting public. Twice he's refused a referendum on EU membership. Twice. Remember that.

Second, Dave loves going back on any and all promises he makes to the UK voting public, because he loves rubbing your fucking faces in it. He's top dog, an elitist public school knobjockey that sees all you grubby voters as inconsequential. So, you all bought his promise of a referendum lock, you gullible mugs. Nothing could be further from his smug mug when his apparatchiks release stuff like this to the press.

I'll spell it out for you: he will do whatever the EU want and no matter how far from any original treaty the amendments get, no matter how much like a brand new treaty it will look, no matter how much of our money, wrested from us by force will be promised to the European sinkhole, you will not be allowed any form of democratic vote on it.

Considering what's happened in Greece and Italy, count yourself lucky you have a government that looks something like a democratically elected representative assembly.

Even though it is nothing of the sort.

Carry on kidding yourself.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Whatever Happened to Stealth Taxes?

Remember stealth taxes? You know, the taxes that Labour introduced like airport tax, pension tax, insurance tax, etc?

Yep, those taxes that the Tories were up in arms about every time a new one was introduced.

Well, have any been repealed in the 18 months that the coalition have been in power? Has the tax burden been eased in order to allow the economy to bounce back a little?


So all that indignation while the Tories were in opposition was act then was it?

Seems that way.

Because if they were so heinous at the time, why haven't the Tories repealed all of them?