I have been greatly disappointed, though less surprised, by recent shrill criticism of the immorality of high earners arranging their affairs to minimise tax liabilities. Cameron too is guilty of supporting this mob morality - and he and his sidekick Osborne make the rules. One fears that the next step will inevitably be more poorly judged legislation to target the specific areas where too little tax is deemed paid and perhaps a further step taken to legitimising retroactive tax legislation. That is the last thing this country needs, what we need is grown up legislation that actually addresses the massive faults and inconsistencies in the current tax system.

More legislation just addressing the symptoms will exacerbate the already ridiculous complexity of the UK tax regime. That will result in yet more expensive advisors spending more time to minimise the adverse effect on their clients. To earn their fees they will naturally try to mimimise the amount of tax payable and one might imagine their clients would encourage this. The more complex the system becomes, the more the wealthy are likely to gain advantage over those who cannot afford expensive advisors. The overall effect will be to make a number of would-be entrepreneurs calculate they are better off as large company salarymen or civil servants with a gold plated pension. It is the nation as a whole will lose out, and, though our would be entrepreneur will live a calmer, more comfortable life, he/she is likely to retire demoralised and frustrated.

Rod Liddle wrote an excellent article in the Sun recently, pointing out what should have been obvious to our leaders; it may be that Gary Barlow and Jimmy Carr pay too little tax but the fault is the government’s not theirs - nobody had suggested they had broken the rules. It is a shame Jimmy feels the need to publicly state he is guilty of a misjudgement; surely we can expect him to abide by the law but not voluntarily give money to the government. Like other successful people he might donate to a charity of his own choosing should he feel the need to give away more, rather than to pay the government who he might consider will not use the money wisely or even efficiently.

Government should surely be expected to deliver a tax code that is fair, and, ideally,…

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