The corporate-political nexus allows Barclays to avoid paying democratically agreed taxes

Prem Sikka, Professor of Accountancy (University of Essex) writes about this loss to the public purse:

“The banks have got it made. They have ripped off people with exorbitant charges and measly returns on savings. They have picked people’s pockets with the mis-selling of payment protection insurance, endowment mortgages, personal pensions, precipice bonds and split capital investment trusts – to name just a few. 

“Banks have driven up the price of food and commodities through speculation, a major cause of commodity inflation. The state has guaranteed their profits through the Private Finance Initiative and the channelling of pensions and benefit payments through bank accounts. The taxpayer has bailed out banks through loans, subsidies and guarantees that add up to more than £1 trillion. Yet, in return, the banks cannot be relied on to pay democratically agreed taxes . . . 

“In 2009, Barclays paid £113 million in corporation tax to the United Kingdom – about 2.4 per cent of its £4.6 billion global annual profit. Now the British Government has announced that Barclays tried to avoid £500 million of tax through two novel schemes . . . 

“The £500 million that Barclays sought to avoid is equivalent to the cost of 100 new primary schools, or employing 16,000 nurses . Yet Barclays and its tax advisors were not bothered about the social consequences. The bank’s defence was that other corporations are also doing the same and it has not broken any laws . . .

Read the Tribune article here.

CORRECTION

Title amended and final sentence withdrawn – editor’s error, she regularly confuses Lloyds with Barclays:

“Barclays, bailed out by the taxpayer, avoids paying democratically agreed taxes”

Andy rightly comments: “Barclays were bailed out by the Qataris – not the UK tax payer in the style of RBS and HBOS.

 

 

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Posted on March 16, 2012, in Banking and finance, Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Vested interests and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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