Friday, 22 June 2012
Cameron brands Jimmy Carr "immoral" over tax avoidance: who else is in the frame?
So Jimmy Carr has been exposed as a greedy hypocrite for lampooning Barclays (his own bank) for tax avoidance while taking advantage of a legal scheme that allows him to pay only one per cent tax himself. Amid the photos of his lovely £8.5m Hampstead home and his shiny Bentley (in which we all have a stake now), we might have lost sight of who it is who's looting the public purse on a grand scale. Vodafone and "Sir" Philip Green spring to mind, not forgetting David Harnett, the former head of HMRC, who allowed some flagrantly unfair deals to go through.
David Cameron certainly seems to think Carr is the worst miscreant when he labelled him "immoral", but is he the worst? Here's a graphic putting it in perspective.
Royalty sycophant Gary Barlow — who was awarded an OBE for mounting a show of staggering mediocrity for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations — may not have been one of the main players in terms of the £26m tax he avoids with Take That but he was strangely left off Cameron's Rogues Gallery of one, possibly because he is a Tory?
The Mirror reminds Cameron about some of the others who deserve a roll-call of dishonour.
While all eyes are on the showbiz star, the government sneaks in the abandonment of a promise to make their own tax affairs transparent — see what they did there? No word of closing the loopholes or clawing tax back from the richest, just a smirking pledge by Cameron to allow France's wealthy to take refuge in the UK when Hollande makes them pay a fairer rate of tax — he was elected, remember, while the Tories were not. We are recapitalising the banks, they are paying themselves bonuses out of our bail-outs, but that is not immoral. Worse, it's not illegal, either. Government's make the laws, so they could have cleared this up ages ago.
The original exposé came from the Murdoch press, so excuse me while I laugh my guts up. Carr is far from being the biggest target for our wrath. As Father Ted said holding up a tiny toy cow, "No, Dougall, this cow is small. That cow (a real one in a field) is big."