(This was also published in the Huffington Post)
What’s all this bullshit over comedian Jimmy Carr paying 1% tax on his millions by exploiting a perfectly legal tax loophole?
If the government has passed laws which have loopholes which the Prime Minister considers “morally repugnant”, then the government should close the loopholes, not try to appear to be morally superior by criticising people who are acting perfectly legally.
British-based American comedian Lewis Schaffer said to me when this Jimmy Carr story first blew up: “What’s the big deal? In America, it’s not an option – it’s seen as a patriotic duty to pay as little tax as possible.”
If Jimmy Carr is given the option by Parliamentary law to pay either 1% tax or 40% tax, why is it morally repugnant of him to pay 1%?
It is not morally repugnant; it is common sense to do it.
It would be financially and intellectually stupid of him to pay anything more than 1%.
If the politicians do not like it, then they should change the law.
The Labour-leaning Daily Mirror newspaper today says that “against a backdrop of cuts that threaten jobs and livelihoods, struggling Britons will agree with David Cameron that Jimmy Carr’s tax avoidance was morally wrong.”
I suspect this is utter bollocks. Where are these Britons who want to give money to the Inland Revenue and who think anyone should pay 39% more tax than they actually have to?
The Mirror is on stronger ground when it says: “Hard-up families being stripped of their child benefit will be furious that Mr Cameron’s rich pals are allowed to get away with paying just one per cent tax,” especially as “his stockbroker dad Ian used tax havens in Panama City and Geneva to build up the family fortune,” and that “the PM appointed billionaire Sir Philip Green as a Government adviser despite complicated tax arrangements which mean his High Street retail empire is owned by his Monaco-based wife.”
I am sure the Labour Party front bench is equally hypocritical and I would be interested to see how much tax the owners of Mirror Group Newspapers are paying.
Are they sending letters to the Inland Revenue saying: “I notice that I legally only have to pay 5% tax, but I would like to donate another 35% to the nation in these hard times”?
Perhaps, to be morally responsible, while Britain is in a recession caused by highly-paid bankers with good accountants, Westminster politicians – who are paid above the average wage – should donate to the Inland Revenue the difference between their salaries and the average salary of the average Briton.
I somehow suspect they would see this as unfair and unnecessary.
But they should put up or shut up.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
Now THAT is important news.
I know whom I would like to see as the primary target for the eggs.
And it ain’t the perfectly law-abiding Jimmy Carr.