Monday, April 11, 2016

Quote of the day 11th April 2015

"At spin doctor school they will teach the How Not to Defend David Cameron’s Tax Affairs module for years to come. How could it be possible for a leader who has not broken the law, and whose family has not broken the law, to find himself in such a perilous position?"

"For a precise explanation of how the response to this tax row was screwed up we will need to wait for the publication of the memoirs of those involved "

"Whatever the explanation for this week’s shambles, it left a vacuum for the Tory party’s opponents and into that vacuum in recent days has flowed misunderstanding, envy and idiocy on an epic scale. Some Labour MPs – particularly on the Corbynite flat earth left, but a few others who should know better too – have in their attacks displayed an extraordinary and terrifying ignorance of law and economics."
"Tax avoidance, which many of us practice when we put money in an ISA rather than account subject to tax, is emphatically not the same as tax evasion, which means evading taxes you are legally obliged to pay. In addition, hundreds of thousands of Britons have ordinary investments in trusts that may involve off-shore activities. The income that flows back into the UK and any capital gain is subject to UK tax, which the Camerons paid. In their case the tax that has been avoided – not evaded – is tax in Panama. The Panamanians don’t want it. They deliberately keep their taxes right down to attract investors and trusts."

"But aren’t there some dodgy money-launderers and foreign despots using the same techniques as the Camerons used? Yes. But there are some dodgy people operating inside the UK too. Does that mean we should we all close our bank accounts here and cease trading for fear of taint by association? The implication is that the Camerons shouldn’t have a legal – entirely legal – trust because some bad people from shady countries use similar vehicles as the end point for their ill-gotten gains. It makes no sense."

"It is hard then to avoid the conclusion that the only reason the Camerons (who have handled the media response poorly) are under attack is because they are very wealthy and by most people’s definitions rich. Add in the hilarious spectacle of moralising by certain newspaper groups that have used off-shore vehicles themselves in their dealings, and you are left with a week in the UK that might have been scripted by Victorian genius Anthony Trollope. It has been sanctimonious, envious Britain at its worst."

(Extracts from the weekly letter written by Iain Martin as editor of CAPX, this week's entitled

"In defence of David Cameron and the free movement of capital" and well worth a read.)

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