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The EU Referendum - Josie Wales - Jun 10, 2016. -1

The EU Referendum - Josie Wales image

EU Referendum - Part 1

If we are to remain In the EU then we need to decide how we are going to support and sustain the impact that the free movement of EU nationals has had and will continue to have on the social system in the UK. While businesses large and small take advantage of this cheap labour market the pressure on the NHS, the education system, the GPs, the benefits system and the housing market is getting to breaking point.

An option which the current PM advocates is to re negotiate terms of entry with the EU but the likelihood of this happening is remote given that he and his predecessors has been banging this drum for as long as I can recall with only marginal success despite all the spin and chest thumping we've seen and heard.

This government and the previous coalition have continuously squeezed the budgets given to the NHS, the education authorities as well as the benefits agencies whilst waging a PR war against claimants and recipients of benefits (whether in or out of work) just like all their predecessors to manufacture this need for labour and this alongside their 'divide and rule' strategy of the lazy British who don't want to work means history is repeating itself.

Try swapping the words ' Poles, Rumanians or Bulgarians' for 'Jews, Irish, Blacks or Asians' and the cynical amongst you may be forgiven for seeing this deliberate strategy and the real reason why we want 'free movement of EU citizens’ and of course the cynical may also believe the PM and his ministers are eager for this explosion to happen so they can introduce privatisation of the NHS and project themselves as the 'Saviour's' of our very British institution.

There are other things we could do though, to ease the burden on the social services impacted by this free movement, we could for example divert some of the money we always seem to find to fund Trident, support airstrikes in Syria or the foreign aid we send to other countries but these types of suggestions have been debated and argued over and over so I'll leave that to others for the time being.

There are other options though including the 'hot potato' that is tax avoidance or tax evasion whichever road is more beneficial. Let me give an example, it is well publicised that the Costas,  Amazon, Starbucks and other large Corporations legally pay none or next to no tax to the UK despite making millions by trading and being allowed to sell their wares to UK customers. Well here's an idea why don't we change the law so that we can share in their success? It seems incredulous to me that not only do we give these businesses favourable terms to ply their trade in this country but we then say well done and you can keep all you make too!!!

Call me naïve, simple or utopian but if these corporations support our taxation system in the same way the rest of us do then our government can ease the burden on exactly the type of people who are likely to use the services and products these corporations supply and therefore it would be a win win situation for everyone.

The Corporations previously alluded to are international but what of the large EU Corporations or Companies that trade here in the UK?  Do they pay what they should in taxation? Well those who employ UK citizens follow the standard PAYE rules and regulations and pay HMRC directly but you could argue that is actually what the employee owes and pays not the Company's themselves. There is also a valid argument to say that these Companies are indirectly supporting the UK economy by trading here although I suspect that they would not be trading here if they weren't benefiting from either a skilled workforce, or some governmental incentive scheme.

Then we come to the subject of taxes on profits, each and every business from an individual self employed person to small, medium and large businesses are liable to pay tax on profits although it seems the further up the food chain you go it appears the big boys are allowed to play by their own rules. Just as wealthy individuals are allowed to legitimately avoid paying taxes through creative accounting, offshore trusts, etc it should come as no surprise that large Corporations and those from our European partners are playing by these rules.

Let me give you an example, A large European company runs a plant in the UK which produces a product that is sold back to the parent company in Europe to sell on. The parent company sets the price artificially low so that the UK company makes little or no profit whereas the European company is allowed to maximise its local profit margin to the benefit of that country.

Does that sound fair to me and you as an ordinary taxpayer?  Didn't think so. Then there is the case where to appease growing public concern about large European concerns not paying their fair share of tax, the government has a cozy chat with these large concerns and agrees with them that to stave off public unrest that they actually declare a profit albeit a small one, pay a little tax and put any unrest to bed. Not a real solution but at least the UK gets some income you may say but if said Concern makes more of a profit than it expected to and has no opportunity to transfer it back to its parent business in Europe, you would be forgiven for thinking at last the UK would benefit by receiving more tax revenue?

No such luck at all, the said Concern would decide to spend all its excess revenue on replacing assets that didn't need replacing thereby reducing the profits it needed to declare and thus depriving the UK exchequer of more taxes.

You can rest assured that if one large Business is playing this game then more will be following suit and therefore for me this aspect of the EU being a single market working for the benefit of all is at worst deceitful and at best flawed.

Hard-nosed business types would argue that that type of behaviour is just playing the game but I suspect they would have a different approach to an unemployed or low paid worker taking advantage of a little additional undeclared income. If we are in this together the rules should be applied in a consistent manner.

So what I’d like to know from both camps is what do they intend to do about this? For the ‘Remain’ camp tackling this would prove that membership of the EU is not just about lining the pockets of large corporations and hoping that a trickle down effect will benefit those at the bottom of the pile and would bring in much needed revenue and subsistence for the beleaguered social services and possibly justify the influx of cheap migrant labour. As far as the ‘Leave’ camp goes are they going to tackle this in line with all the anti EU rhetoric they have been projecting? Given that the more prominent leaders are ‘cut from the same cloth’ as the PM I am not so sure?

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Category: General Stuff | Posted by: The BabelCopter


Workers Rights if we leavePosted by Hans on 06/10/16
I agree with most of what you say but I fear that the few rights we have left as working class will reduce to nothing if we leave
Hans rates the above article at 7 out of 10
Workers rightsPosted by Dwyer on 06/10/16
Maybe we will be able to fight for our rights at home though, one things for sure those who make the rules in the EU are too far detached from us mere mortals
Dwyer rates the above article at 8 out of 10

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