Saturday, 26 May 2012


26th May 2012.


Christine Lagarde, Head of the IMF, tells the Greeks to pay their taxes – or else. Italian activist, Beppe Grillo, though studiously ignored by the Italian media, calls for Italy’s governing “kleptomaniacs… …to put back what it has stolen”.

The thunderous silence in the UK and USA about repatriating $18 billion of tax-haven and off-shore funds to meet national deficits testifies to the fact that, for example, 2,500 UK senior civil-servants have fiddled their taxes for decades; Treasury officials, The Prime Minister and The Chancellor of the Exchequer and other Ministers are from families embedded in tax havens; the head of tax collecting does “confidential” deals to write off billions of corporate taxes; the head of Barclays is paid his wages via tax-haven companies; Courts strangely favour the most obvious and visible tax-evading crooks; TV and media top presenters always, without fail, hastily assure their public about massive tax-evasion cases “…They are of course acting perfectly legally” when it is obviously not so; and despite oft repeated enquiries MPs and Peers refuse to allow or answer the question “…which of you is involved in off-shore arrangements?” And then they quickly sack half the investigating tax-officers under the guise of austerity.

My current guess, from measuring the thunderous silence of our Demi-Gods on Mount Olympus, is that 75% of high-pay officials, executives, corporations and business owners (and dentists) shovel funds off-shore, gouged out of hardworking communities. Who knows, even at the very top of government, such as our most patriotic retired Prime Ministers, just might have taken enormous, many millions, of “speaking fees” from US Republican clubs and buried them in tax-free treasure chests. But …no, surely, that is a delusional nightmare too far.

But, if you are off-shore, in London, Delaware, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Isle of Man, Switzerland, The Caribbean, Panama and the hundred other tax-havens, do not be fooled into assuming your secret funds will stay secret. The growing anger against sociopaths, who rape their home economies leaving them with “mountains of debt” and consigning their youngsters to lifelong unemployment, is being echoed by authorities responsible for European, USA, Pacific Rim and global fiscal and financial stability, after 30 years of official tolerance. It is na├»ve to imagine that your bank accounts have not been tracked. The security services watch continually for criminal and terrorist funds flowing round the globe; and in the process they incidentally pick up lists of tax-evaders.

When the political will changes, all the tax-collectors need to show to tax-assess the past 30 years of transfers, valuations and transfer-pricing and to open a back-duty case, is that the transfers were not “wholly and exclusively necessary for the business”. Madam Lagarde and Angela Merkel and others may even now be gathering the knitting patterns they will take to the foot of the public guillotine – to watch the heads roll.

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