The UK General Politics Thread Page 61

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  • Chopsen 3 Dec 2012 12:04:36 15,831 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Close the loopholes and they'll be forced to pay more tax.

    Problem is, close the loopholes and they may move elsewhere and we'll get no tax at all.
    I'm actually quite ambivalent to this problem. In starbuck's case I'm not that bothered because they are providing jobs, and they *are* paying taxes, just not corporation tax. Think of all the NI contributions they're doing.

    In terms of rich *individuals* who are attracted to this country. Fuck them in to the sun.
  • nickthegun 3 Dec 2012 12:06:31 59,317 posts
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    Its a difficult situation. On the one hand, who gives a fuck about starbucks? If they pull out of the UK, costa will eat up their market share. There will be no net loss.

    Now try applying that to something like a nissan who make a billion cars up in sunderland and perspectives change a bit.

    So, in conclusion: I wouldnt know what to do for the best but fuck starbucks.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    He totally called it

  • kalel 3 Dec 2012 12:07:52 86,744 posts
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    Chopsen wrote:
    kalel wrote:
    No, I'm not saying the entire law should be subjective. Just things that are currently "off map" aren't by default "legal".
    You didn't explicitly say that, but that would be the consequence of what you're talking about.

    Either that, or you'd be in the position of having to make everything by default illegal unless it is explicitly allowed by law (the "off map" bit). This then has implications for innocent till proven guilty.
    I think you're doing a bit of a "reductio ad absurdum" on me here.

    It's specifically "law avoidance" that I'm talking about, as opposed to things that aren't covered in any way by a law as they've not yet been conceived of on any level. I think the line between these is reasonably clear, and I don't think the very fundamentals of our legal system come crashing down if you create legislation that states that cynical avoidance of a law is comparable to breaking it.
  • LeoliansBro 3 Dec 2012 12:10:12 43,633 posts
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    Chopsen wrote:
    In terms of rich *individuals* who are attracted to this country. Fuck them in to the sun.
    (Playing Devil's Advocate) How about rich holiday makers?

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Psychotext 3 Dec 2012 12:12:52 53,915 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Problem is, close the loopholes and they may move elsewhere and we'll get no tax at all.
    Or Costa / Nero etc who do pay reasonable amounts of tax in the UK will just open up more stores. I somehow doubt we'd see a sudden lack of coffee shops were someone like Starbucks to leave.

    I see the argument on the whole, but I've never agreed with it. Whilst it would be bad in the short term, over the long term other businesses would take their place (and ideally, smaller businesses).
  • mcmonkeyplc 3 Dec 2012 12:14:33 39,406 posts
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    Problem is the message it gives out to other companies. Set up in the UK improve the market and then when you get to a certain size we will fuck you in the face.

    Come and get it cumslingers!

  • Psychotext 3 Dec 2012 12:16:05 53,915 posts
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    Can't argue with that.
  • disusedgenius 3 Dec 2012 12:16:51 5,271 posts
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    Psychotext wrote:
    Or Costa / Nero etc who do pay reasonable amounts of tax in the UK will just open up more stores. I somehow doubt we'd see a sudden lack of coffee shops were someone like Starbucks to leave.
    It somewhat depends on what companies are exploiting these loopholes. Starbucks we can live without, but there's definitely a fair few companies/industries in a far weaker state.
  • oceanmotion 3 Dec 2012 12:17:37 15,765 posts
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    Yeah, applying across the board maybe doesn't quite work though Psychotext makes a good point, smaller, local businesses could fill the gap in so many sectors.
  • senso-ji 3 Dec 2012 12:18:15 5,837 posts
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    nickthegun wrote:
    Its a difficult situation. On the one hand, who gives a fuck about starbucks? If they pull out of the UK, costa will eat up their market share. There will be no net loss.

    Now try applying that to something like a nissan who make a billion cars up in sunderland and perspectives change a bit.

    So, in conclusion: I wouldnt know what to do for the best but fuck starbucks.
    It's a tough one but British taxpayers shouldn't provide a safety net to multinational corporations. Nissan arranged a tax avoidance system (and declared it to HMRC) in 2009 when the economic downturn threatened closures of their manufacturing plants. In 2011, they were back in profit so that tax loophole needs to be closed. Temporary measures can be justified to protect jobs but the books need to balanced eventually.
  • kalel 3 Dec 2012 12:18:16 86,744 posts
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    The UK should be an attractive place for businesses for the right reasons, not the wrong ones, and tax goes towards paying for those right reasons.

    It's exactly the same as the argument for the super-rich. Tax them highly and they'll all fuck off. Possibly, but they might also not mind paying more tax to live in a really awesome place.
  • Chopsen 3 Dec 2012 12:18:47 15,831 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    It's specifically "law avoidance" that I'm talking about, as opposed to things that aren't covered in any way by a law as they've not yet been conceived of on any level. I think the line between these is reasonably clear, and I don't think the very fundamentals of our legal system come crashing down if you create legislation that states that cynical avoidance of a law is comparable to breaking it.
    But they're not avoiding the law, they are paying very close attention to the law, to their own advantage.
  • RedSparrows 3 Dec 2012 12:21:12 22,214 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    The UK should be an attractive place for businesses for the right reasons, not the wrong ones, and tax goes towards paying for those right reasons.

    It's exactly the same as the argument for the super-rich. Tax them highly and they'll all fuck off. Possibly, but they might also not mind paying more tax to live in a really awesome place.
    I get the impression that, for many 'super-rich', an 'awesome' place is something that lets them do whatever the hell they want.
  • Chopsen 3 Dec 2012 12:22:11 15,831 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Chopsen wrote:
    In terms of rich *individuals* who are attracted to this country. Fuck them in to the sun.
    (Playing Devil's Advocate) How about rich holiday makers?
    That's a bit of a different situation. Tourists aren't likely to factor in taxes in their decision to visit, they will visit for other reasons. Some people on a shopping holiday might be put off if VAT started hitting them or something. But if you're in the market for jet-setting around the world to get cheap stuff, there are better places to go than here.

    I was more thinking about individuals who settle here, and contribute nothing and sit on a pile of wealth. I don't buy in to the "trickle down" idea that the economy as a whole benefits. Unless we start taxing wealth. Which is practically difficult.
  • LeoliansBro 3 Dec 2012 12:25:23 43,633 posts
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    My point is: say you have 50 people who all visit London every year for a week or so, stay in the Savoy, eat at the Ivy, buy things from Harrods, pay no tax.

    How is that different from one super rich person living in the Savoy, doing all those things and paying no tax?

    Edited by LeoliansBro at 12:25:47 03-12-2012

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • kalel 3 Dec 2012 12:27:10 86,744 posts
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    Chopsen wrote:
    kalel wrote:
    It's specifically "law avoidance" that I'm talking about, as opposed to things that aren't covered in any way by a law as they've not yet been conceived of on any level. I think the line between these is reasonably clear, and I don't think the very fundamentals of our legal system come crashing down if you create legislation that states that cynical avoidance of a law is comparable to breaking it.
    But they're not avoiding the law, they are paying very close attention to the law, to their own advantage.
    I know what they're doing, and yes, they are avoiding the law. Just because they're finding another law which means that they can technically get away with it doesn't mean they're not avoiding the law.

    And this is precisely my point. I don't think the reward for having a clever enough lawyer to be able to find cracks in the existing laws to fall into, and use laws that were designed with a completely different purpose in mind to your advantage should be not paying tax. And I think those fairly specific circumstances can be legislated for.
  • TheSaint 3 Dec 2012 12:27:50 14,260 posts
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    Can't tourists claim back VAT anyway? I'm not to clear on this but the desk always seems to be busy at the airport.

    Edited by TheSaint at 12:27:59 03-12-2012
  • senso-ji 3 Dec 2012 12:29:06 5,837 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    My point is: say you have 50 people who all visit London every year for a week or so, stay in the Savoy, eat at the Ivy, buy things from Harrods, pay no tax.

    How is that different from one super rich person living in the Savoy, doing all those things and paying no tax?
    Because the rich resident is getting much more benefits; use of roads, policing, armed forcing protecting his lavish lifestyle, councils collecting the bins around the Savoy to stop it stinking, etc.
  • LeoliansBro 3 Dec 2012 12:33:54 43,633 posts
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    senso-ji wrote:
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    My point is: say you have 50 people who all visit London every year for a week or so, stay in the Savoy, eat at the Ivy, buy things from Harrods, pay no tax.

    How is that different from one super rich person living in the Savoy, doing all those things and paying no tax?
    Because the rich resident is getting much more benefits; use of roads, policing, armed forcing protecting his lavish lifestyle, councils collecting the bins around the Savoy to stop it stinking, etc.
    Think it through: no he isn't. Tourists are using the roads, and police will respond irrespective of your nationality. Bins will be collecting rubbish whether it's one person for a year or fifty people for a week each, and there will be the same amount of rubbish.

    If he wants armed protection them brilliant! Local tax paying employees, good for the UK.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • senso-ji 3 Dec 2012 12:36:55 5,837 posts
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    Some things tourists don't benefit from; NHS care, for example, isn't free to tourists. And those services I mentioned still need paying for. If the rich resident doesn't pay for them, they will suffer as a result. Money generated from tourism is completely different.
  • disusedgenius 3 Dec 2012 12:36:58 5,271 posts
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    The answer's in the question though: one's a very short term issue which is offset by other benefits (eg. the tourist industry) which become less appealing the longer they stay.

    Edited by disusedgenius at 12:37:18 03-12-2012
  • Chopsen 3 Dec 2012 12:38:55 15,831 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    I don't think the reward for having a clever enough lawyer to be able to find cracks in the existing laws to fall into, and use laws that were designed with a completely different purpose in mind to your advantage should be not paying tax. And I think those fairly specific circumstances can be legislated for.
    Which is exactly what happens at the moment. An apparent loophole is found, it's legislated against, that loop-hole is no longer possible. The tax system gets that just one little bit more complicated, further loopholes are introduced, and the cost of administering it increases. 20 Goto 10.

    You can't prevent exploiting loopholes that nobody intended to be used without fairly fundamentally changing the legal system, by allowing retrospective tax liabilities or something crazy like that. I'd be a worse situation than now.
  • LeoliansBro 3 Dec 2012 12:41:38 43,633 posts
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    No: 50 tourists collectively using a hotel room in turn throughout the year forms exactly the same input and output as one rich person sitting on his money and living there all year. They will have medical insurance bought in their own country, which doesn't benefit the UK (and I don't think the super rich are going to be dependant on the NHS anyway).

    Why not call the rich guy a 'year round tourist'? Why is that different to normal tourism? Why is a person who stays here for five days intrisically different to a person who stays here for five years?

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • bitch_tits_zero_nine 3 Dec 2012 12:41:48 6,654 posts
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    Heh, the UK pr representative from Google was interviewed on the news the other day and was showcasing initiatives they are promoting instead of paying tax.

    They'd set up a free wifi hotspot for potential business people to gather and share ideas etc. Really creative new age shit.

    Lol, bullshit; pay your fookin tax.

    Is it me being dense, but why isn't tax tied to the UK transaction? I guess with offshore e commerce it's more difficult, but with regards to starbucks, why can't all the tax be tied to each coffee.
  • kalel 3 Dec 2012 12:42:23 86,744 posts
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    Chopsen wrote:
    You can't prevent exploiting loopholes that nobody intended to be used without fairly fundamentally changing the legal system, by allowing retrospective tax liabilities or something crazy like that. I'd be a worse situation than now.
    Well, if you say so. I don't have the legal expertise to argue with the validity of that. I'll assume you do.
  • Chopsen 3 Dec 2012 12:42:55 15,831 posts
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    Of course not, this is the internet. There are no experts here.
  • kalel 3 Dec 2012 12:46:33 86,744 posts
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    Fair enough. The opposite of what you last said then. Stalemate?
  • Chopsen 3 Dec 2012 12:46:41 15,831 posts
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    1 Supep-rich guy is going to act very differently to 50 tourists. The 50 tourists are going to haemorrhage money while they're here, because they're on holiday. Woo! Yolo! etc.

    1 super-rich guy is just going to stand in a large drawing room in front a portrait of himself on the wall. Rain rattles against the windows as he surveys all that is his. Thunder stikes, illuminating his crumpled, aged frame as he cackles to himself.

    Now how is that going to help the economy?
  • disusedgenius 3 Dec 2012 12:46:55 5,271 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Why not call the rich guy a 'year round tourist'? Why is that different to normal tourism? Why is a person who stays here for five days intrisically different to a person who stays here for five years?
    Because they leave sooner. People enjoying themselves for a week isn't as obnoxious as someone doing it for 5 years.
  • Chopsen 3 Dec 2012 12:47:23 15,831 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    Fair enough. The opposite of what you last said then. Stalemate?
    Possibly. Only the legal expertise of mowgli can get us out of this rut.
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