Saturday, 16 May 2009

Too Little, Too Late

A Guest spot from a fellow fish-head down in the South West. Bill's a great bloke and this post from his blog chimes with my thoughts exactly.

I haven't blogged much this week, as I've been watching the expenses story continue to unfold. This week has givem us a rush of party leaders and dodgy MPs queuing up to say "sorry" on primetime TV. Let's be straight here -


There is a changing public mood (I have never seen an edition of BBC's Question Time like last night's - although Margaret Beckett would seem to have a new career as a panto villain sewn up when the voters of Derby South tell her to take her hanging baskets and sling her hook). Jury Team candidates are in a fantastic position to offer the electorate a real, positive choice.

As well as the rush to apologise, there also appears to be a sudden clamouring within the political elite to bring new standards of transparency and decency in public life.


Is it a mere coincidence that they seem to have discovered basic morality only after the Daily Telegraph started exposing their excesses? This is fundamentally why Jury Team candidates are different; By entering the text vote primary, all Jury Team candidates explicitly accepted the principle that "Politicians should fully comply with the Nolan Principles of Public Life and have externally decided and transparent remuneration". The Jury Team text primary ran from 16th March to 24th April. The Daily Telegraph ran with the scoop on 8th May.

The evidence is clear - Jury Team Independent candidates base their position on principle and conviction - career politicians of all parties simply say what they think the public wants to hear, and even then, only when they are effectively backed into a corner.

I am particularly disgusted by the process of "flipping" properties, not only to maximise the allowances that can be claimed, but also to cynically avoid Capital Gains Tax. I don't particularly like stumping up my hard earned cash to the Revenue any more than the next man, however I accept that paying tax is an obligation and public duty - I want to live in a society which educates the young, looks after the sick and disabled, supports those in need, and gives the elderly dignity in their retirement. Schools, hospitals, pensions, social-security, defence - they all cost money, and that money has to be raised through taxes. In my book, manipulating the system to avoid paying tax that's due is morally repugnant. The sight of Hazel Blears and Greg Barker waving cheques around to apparently pay HMRC the money they supposedly "don't owe" (?) in unpaid Capital Gains Tax is truly bizarre. If they don't owe the tax, why are they paying it (especially as HMRC has a statutory duty to only take payment where it is due) - on the other hand if they do owe the tax, where is the interest and penalty charges? I'll be writing to the Revenue to ask them.....

1 comment:

  1. Alan, I was tagged for a meme by The All Seing Eye and for the first time have done one. You are tagged in turn. for the original.

    Go for it!


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