Chancellor tries to shift tax blame

Have your say

From: Trevor Anson, Little Heck.

THE Chancellor’s desperate attempts to engage public opinion against low tax returns of private companies appear to reflect his blaming everyone just walking past of immorality and cheating against the national economic crisis. His holier-than- thou attitude is feeble and his halo is fading (Yorkshire Post, December 3).

Without doubt, successive governments have themselves shown private companies how to manipulate tax problems by back door stealth taxes on us all after we have alreay paid income tax.

For example, travel, mandatory car insurance, road tax, petrol taxes, toll roads, gas and electricity taxes and 100 others if one dares to step outdoors.

From: Barry Geldard, Glen View, Hebden Bridge.

I VISITED Starbucks the other day – 700 branches, £400m turnover, £60m profit, tax paid nil.

Something just doesn’t add up. All that brass going offshore. Someone’s making a fast buck.

Has the Inland Revenue been somewhat lax?

From: JW Buckley, Aketon, Pontefract.

REGARDING the present witch hunt of companies who do not pay their “fair share” of tax, the best view so far is from Bill Carmichael (Yorkshire Post, November 16) who clearly articulates the sheer hypocrisy of this.

Head of this witch hunt is Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee. A chair is an inanimate object, incapable of thought, which sums up this MP. It is the job of every MP and particularly the job of the Public Accounts Committee, to ensure that Government spends our money wisely.

I would pay tax with more grace, if I could see it being spent wisely.

As to the morality; the proverbs about pots and kettles, or people living in glass houses, comes to mind. I have despaired of MPs for years, but now they disgust me.

Put people before profit

From: N Bywater, Airedale Terrace, Morley, Leeds.

SINCE all our political parties now put money making over the interests of the people, I was pleased that the Australian government is putting its people first.

It has past a law forcing cigarette manufacturers to pack their cigarettes in a plain pack. No more advertising or brand loyalty, because there is nothing to promote. If only our coalition Government could put people before profit.

We could follow Australia, and reduce smoking even further. We could turn back the clock, and have zero promotion in bookmakers’ shop windows. Now they offer free £50 bets, to tempt in the young and vulnerable. At least all of the bookmakers used to pay full corporation tax. Now some, particularly online firms, are based overseas, so this no longer applies.

Recognition for air mission

From: Michael Swaby, Hainton Avenue, Grimsby

I WAS interested to read Martin Slack’s article (Yorkshire Post, November 30) about Ivor Barker, who was shot down and captured during a World War Two attack on Japanese-held oil installations.

“Operation Meridian” comprised two raids, in January 1945, on strongly defended targets in Sumatra, by British carrier-based aircraft. A subsequent retaliatory raid on Task Force 63 by Japanese land-based aircraft was repulsed.

The challenge faced by Ivor Barker and his colleagues is illustrated by the breakdown of our aircraft losses: 11 by ditching, 14 deck crashes, and 16 by enemy action.

However, 68 enemy aircraft were destroyed in the air and on the ground and, more importantly, oil production in the area never recovered.

This was a successful big British effort, which arguably contributed to shortening the war in the Pacific. Had it been a US operation, by now it would probably have merited two movies.

Highly detailed accounts of the attacks can be found on An on-the-spot report by a Royal Marine Major RC Hay will be of interest to Mrs Smith. It cites “the determination of the Avenger pilots who bombed so accurately in the face of maximum discouragement”.

The well-merited recognition of her uncle comes “better late than never”.

A warning 
from history

From: John Gordon, Whitcliffe Lane, Ripon.

I FIND David Quarrie’s letter (Yorkshire Post, November 30) rather puzzling. He paints present-day Germany as an earthly paradise (“a superb standard of living”) and he 
is careful to show that the present Chancellor has not the charisma nor the territorial ambition of a previous incumbent, but he seems to have an extraordinary insight, not given to many of us, into Germany’s future intentions as regards Europe.

He says that Chancellor Merkel is a Protestant (a point in her favour!) and is reluctant to have her nation as the leader of Europe. I would remind him that Neville Chamberlain thought the same about Hitler and we know where that landed us.