It’s the Return of the Tax Evaders!
Posted on June 22, 2012
It has to be said that this week has been one to forget for comedian Jimmy Carr, a career in severe jeopardy after being exposed for what is apparently tax avoidance rather than tax evasion. These are two different things of course; one is legal if not exactly moral whilst the other is not. It is alleged that Carr avoided paying tax on three million pounds, which using the top rate of tax at fifty per cent equals (not that you need telling this) £1.5 million. Does this annoy me? Yes it does actually, because if you are excessively wealthy you can afford to not pay tax, but if you are not wealthy, the taxman does what he wants to you, including sending spiteful letters if you are a day or two late on a monthly return. Whichever way you look at it, it is not fair that middle income earners are paying for members of tax avoidance schemes.
The next question is this. Is Jimmy Carr one of a nasty but thankfully small minority of immoral characters that carry out these dastardly acts against the HMRC? Errrr……..no, in fact he is just part of a tiny tip of an iceberg and he has become a convenient scapegoat not to mention a handy deflection for far worse culprits and nearly every FTSE 100 company that is avoiding paying taxes with schemes in the Cayman Islands, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Monaco. Our brilliant Prime Minister, David Cameron, has come out and said that what Jimmy Carr has done is morally wrong, which is all well and good until you take in to account that members of his own parliament as well as Tory party fundraisers are all using the same or similar methods of evasion……sorry, avoidance. I don’t want to seem like I am coming out in support of Jimmy Carr here, but why he is such headline news bemuses me. The simple facts are this, he LEGALLY but immorally denied the treasurer £1.5million which we all agree is not very nice, but let’s face it, Vodafone ILLEGALLY and immorally avoided paying £4.75 Billion of a £6 Billion (yes billion) tax bill and got away with it. Meanwhile I got a verbal thrashing from the tax office for paying £1800 two days late. What on earth is going on?
Jimmy Carr is a bit of a Marmite comedian, some people love him and a lot of people hate him, mainly because he has a face specifically designed by our great Lord above to be repeatedly punched. Personally, I see him as a career comedian, someone who saw there was good money to be made out of comedy, so he studied it, a bit like a doctor studying medicine. He is entirely different to someone like Billy Connolly who discovered he could be funny by chance and through life experiences, but all the same I have laughed at some of his (Carr’s) meticulously planned jokes and I read a book of his about the science behind stand up comedy which I actually found quite compelling.
Going back to the point, Jimmy Carr is hated by a lot of people, so he has got a lot worse press than Gary Barlow for instance, who has recently been awarded an MBE, presumably for writing mundane songs for our dear Queen and not for his services to avoiding tax. I can’t quite get to the bottom of why Cameron has condemned Jimmy Carr but refuses to discuss Gary Barlow. Perhaps, for his summer garden party, Take That have agreed to do an updated version of ‘Relight My Fire’ with Rebecca Brooks replacing Lulu on vocals. I’m fucked if I know, but there are unsavoury characters everywhere, some get away with it whilst others get slaughtered. However, if I was Jimmy Carr, I would be compiling a list of Cameron associates that evade tax for my next gig where I would read them out one by one, starting with Zac Goldsmith whilst making sure I didn’t forget Gary Barlow and perennial hypocritical wanker, Bono from U2.
Perhaps now that David Cameron has broken rank and started lambasting immoral tax evaders….sorry,sorry, sorry, I meant avoiders… it is now time to denounce Goldsmith (Conservative MP for Richmond Park) for being morally suspect when he stuffed his £200 million inheritance received from his nom dom father in to an account in the Cayman Islands. At the time the Tories described it as a “private matter” but after his new moral stand on the likes of Jimmy Carr, surely Cameron will now go after people like his mate Zac, Phillip Green and Lord Ashcroft? Who knows what he will do with Gary Barlow? Maybe he will release a Christmas single with him called ‘Give Tax a Chance.’
Watch this space………….