The world is still shaking from the Panama Papers leak on Monday, with the Icelandic Prime Minister and the head of an anti-corruption group in Chile already resigning because of them, and many of us over here calling for David Cameron and his family to be investigated over his alleged involvement in offshore tax havens.
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However, within this context it’s also important to remember that the HMRC – the company that’s supposed to be enforcing tax laws in this country – is actually taking advantage of them themselves by renting their offices off a company based in Jersey. In case you didn’t know, Jersey is also a tax haven.
Here’s the full summary, courtesy of Twitter users Alex Andreou and Gian_TCatt:
HMRC offices are owned by offshore company. For tax reasons.
That is basically STRAIGHT UP TROLLING. pic.twitter.com/rQESedfnJ4
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) April 4, 2016
— Joel Benjamin (@Gian_TCatt) April 4, 2016
Well yeah, there isn’t really any other way to describe it other than STRAIGHT UP TROLLING, because it is absolutely taking the piss. I suppose that’s what we’ve come to expect from the government and its institutions these days though isn’t it?
Like the Tweet says, this has come about due to private finance initiatives (PFIs). These were set up in the early 90s by the Conservative government (surprise surprise) and have been used ever since.
PFIs are basically agreements where companies fund construction of infrastructure, buildings or IT systems and then lease them back to those in the public sector. They’ve been widely criticised for devaluing the taxpayer and lining the pockets of private companies, but obviously nobody has bothered to do anything about them or try and change them. Experts reckon they will have cost the economy £209billion by 2035. Fantastic.
Maybe if the Greens keep producing awesome campaign videos like this one they might get into power and sort it out, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.