The LibDems have announced at their conference that we are to have 2000 more tax inspectors to crack down on tax evasion by the rich. Surely such an announcement should be made in Parliament where MPs would have the right to ask questions, or is this yet further confirmation that Parliament no longer serves any real purpose with Ministers now making important announcements via the media.
Two Thousand Tax Inspectors to catch the rich!
What are they likely to cost? I'm out of touch with current salaries, but if they are to get what is likely to be the lowest possible salary of, say, £25,000, their salaries alone will amount to a cool £50 million. I'm told that the overheads (accommodation, pension, National Insurance, computers, photocopiers, etc.) will at least be equal to the cost of salaries.so there's another £50 million.
But these will not be ordinary Tax Inspectors, they will need to be highly qualified accountants and lawyers who are capable of understanding the (legal) tax avoidance schemes dreamed up by even more highly paid city tax lawyers and accountants. So it would seem, if they are to achieve anything, these tax inspectors will need to be of the calibre requiring salaries in excess of probably £100,000 plus bonuses, which of course would add up to some £200 million plus bonuses and overheads.
Do the LibDems seriously believe that they are going to recover this sort of money in taxation?
What the LibDems (and many others) fail to understand is that these rich "tax avoiders" work with their brains not with their hands. Whilst it is difficult to move, say, a factory abroad at short notice (although it has been done), it is quite easy for someone with money to move elsewhere within a few days and carry on with his work as normal. All that is required is a well equipped office with modern communications, it can be anywhere in the world using the latest satellite technology. We have seen dealing rooms on TV lately (because of the UBS fraud), but looking at them, they could be anywhere; just computer screens and telephones. The only reason they are in Britain is that our tax and regulation regime is more favourable, change this and they're gone!
If we add to this the LibDem proposal for a "Mansion Tax" on properties valued at over £2 million it becomes clear that their proposals are not intended to raise money, but are being introduced merely as part of the politics of jealousy which have become a LibDem speciality. Strangely Labour have been rather quiet on these matters, I wonder why?
What I don't understand is why Cameron is allowing the LibDems to behave in the way they are. He should insist that every LibDem in government supports the agreed coalition policy and if the don't they should be fired. If that means a General Election, so be it, but I very much doubt that the LibDems would force the situation with their present poll ratings.