Southend West Labour candidate backs Oxfam Tax Dodging Campaign

Julian Ware-Lane with Oxfam Constituency Campaigner for Southend West, Graham Main

Julian Ware-Lane with Oxfam Constituency Campaigner for Southend West, Graham Main

Julian Ware-Lane, the Labour Party’s candidate for Southend West, has met with Oxfam Co-ordinator for Southend West, Graham Main, to give his backing to Oxfam’s campaign against tax dodging.

The campaign calls upon all political parties to introduce a Tax Dodging Bill within 100 days of the election, in order to combat tax avoidance at home and abroad.

Julian said, “Fairness dictates that we all pay our taxes. Those that avoid taxes are potentially depriving us of doctors and nurses, teachers and books, policemen and firemen. If society means anything it means that we all shall be paying our taxes”.

“Many businesses make large profits in Britain, and it is not unreasonable to see some of those profits returned by means of taxation. Every overcrowded classroom or under-staffed hospital, every public service that is forced to reduce its offer to its clients is caused by the greedy refusing to pay their taxes. I think this should stop.”

He added, “Therefore I would support a bill that seeks to address tax dodging. Whether that can happen in the first hundred days of a new Labour government I cannot say – to be honest there are a number of competing priorities. I am happy to back the Tax Dodging Bill Campaign, although we must frame the rules in a way that does not damage our competitiveness as a country.”

More about the Tax Dodging Bill can be found at here.

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2 Responses to Southend West Labour candidate backs Oxfam Tax Dodging Campaign

  1. Instinctively you reach to support Oxfam’s proposals for a bill which:

    Makes it harder for big companies to dodge UK taxes and ensure they’re not getting unfair tax breaks
    Ensures UK tax rules don’t encourage big companies to avoid tax in developing countries
    Makes the UK tax regime more transparent and tougher on tax dodging

    I think you are right to caution against introducing such a bill in the first 100 days – perhaps the urgency is such that MPs should work through the summer?

    I am happy to back the Tax Dodging Bill Campaign, although we must frame the rules in a way that does not damage our competitiveness as a country.”

    And there’s the issue. What is the difference between an “unfair tax break” and a rule framed to “protect our competitiveness”?

    Oxfam’s last point is the interesting one. The current regime is so complex and opaque that the accountants and lawyers are always going to run rings around the politicians (and us!).

    Businesses believe in zero-based budgeting – where you assume nil spending and then justify all spending looking carefully at marginal benefits from marginal spending.

    Perhaps government should introduce zero-based tax reliefs.

    First, as a hypothetical exercise, abolish all reliefs and introduce a simpler definition of profit and taxable profit. Then decide what minimal reliefs/bribes are required to get business to behave in the way we want them to behave.

    Second, work out a way to transition from the current system which is a honey-pot for tax-dodgers and tax-avoiders to a simpler more transparent system.

    Then do it – probably over a five to ten-year time period – too many of our “good businesses” may be impacted by a big-bang change.

  2. Steve Dalley says:

    Well done Julian. I have also signed the petition to back the Campaign.

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