Wednesday, 18 April 2018

What would you do?

Imagine that you are running a business.
Some of your suppliers charged you for goods and you paid, but they didn’t deliver them. Some of your customers ordered and took goods from you, but they didn’t pay. Some well-paid professional agents – accountants, lawyers, bankers – are being paid millions of pounds advising these suppliers and customers on the best ways of ensuring you got the money you are owed.
As a result, your business is struggling to remain solvent, your income drops way below what it should be, and you experience your own form of austerity, which hits you and your family hard.
Now, would you:
  • just forget about the money you are owed, and/or
  • reduce the number of staff in your business who are meant to be chasing outstanding payments from suppliers and customers, and/or
  • Tell your wealthiest customers - who are enjoying a wonderful life of luxury houses, cars and cruises… because they haven’t paid you what they owe – that you will send the bailiffs round, but you’ll pay all the legal, bailiffs’ and other costs involved in securing recovery of your money?
My guess is that you wouldn’t do any of those things.
Like me, you would pursue what you are owed, because your business and your family’s solvency depends on it. You would increase the resources committed to recovering your dues. And you would tell those who are having a laugh at your expense that you will also ensure that they pay the bills for recovering your money.
So, you have to ask yourself, why is this Conservative government
  • doing all those things when it faced with multi-national companies manipulating their accounting practices to ensure they don’t pay tax on their trading in the UK, but switch the profits to low-tax havens where they do no trading?, and
  • actually cutting the number of staff whose job it is to recover unpaid tax from crooks and scammers?, and
  • pursuing hugely expensive legal action against wealthy individuals, companies and professional advisers to recover tax unpaid and avoided in completely artificial economic constructs (not for any legitimate or logical business reason) simply designed to secure tax avoidance and evasion?
Is it simply because they prefer that ordinary hard-working people should face the burden of austerity rather than ensuring that the already fabulously wealthy should pay their dues?
I know what I would do, and I think I know what you would do.