Government debt as a percentage of GDP – compared

 

GDP


 

 

 

This chart seems to show that the UK was not doing too badly until the financial crisis and even then it is only from 2010 that our debt starts to rise above the debt for Germany and Canada.

Government debt as a percentage of GDPoecd-debt-to-gdp-may-2011-png-gif

Chart of the Day (below):

Check out the UK line. The UK was recovering from the 2007/8 banking crisis on a fine trajectory right up until early 2010, at which point UK growth hit a brick wall.

What happened in 2010? That’s when the conservatives came to power with an agenda of austerity and “reigning in the debt”.  Doing so was a growth disaster.   Logic and history tell us that a recession is not a good time to “reign in the debt”.

History and logic tell us that prudent spending on infrastructure and investment for the future, i.e much needed housing, is a win win policy.  Getting our finances in order and cutting waste and unnecessary spending makes sense. BUT using the crisis to implement politically motivated and deeply unfair cuts as part of a separate  ideological agenda is a path to disaster.

Unless our government changes tack, that red line is likely to just carry on bumping along horizontally. 

chart-of-the-day-real-gdp-rebased-to-100-in-2003-april-2012

 Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-us-vs-uk-growth-2012-4#ixzz2X33gsvqd

Further reading: Finally! Exposed! The Deficit Myth! So, David Cameron When Are You Going to Apologise?

 

(410) Targeted Cuts-01 (1)To read more click here: http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-az/a-fair-society1.html

A touch of reality

boom and bustoverspendJohn Glen 22/23 June 2013

 

But back in Sept 2007 (while in opposition):   Conservatives will match Labour on spending for the next three years: “I can confirm for the first time that a Conservative Government will adopt [the Government’s] spending totals. Total government spending will rise by 2 per cent a year in real terms, from £615 billion next year to £674 billion in the year 2010-11. Like Labour, we will review the final year’s total in a spending review in 2009. The result of adopting these spending totals is that under a Conservative Government there will be real increases in spending on public services, year after year.”   George Osborne Sept 2007
Source: http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2007/09/tories-will-mat.html

So George didn’t spot the financial crisis just weeks before it started or see anything wrong with Labour’s ‘overspend’. In fact he promised “real increases in spending on public services, year after year.”

 

Some  Quotes on bank regulation:

“I fear that much of this regulation has been burdensome, complex and makes cross-border market penetration more difficult.

“This is exactly the wrong direction in which Europe should be heading and it threatens the global competitiveness of the City of London.”

– George Osborne, 2006

 

“In an age of greater choice, he offers more overbearing control; in an age of greater freedom, he gives us more interference…

“In short, in an age that demands a light touch, he [Gordon Brown] offers that clunking fist.”

– George Osborne, 2006

 

“I want to give you [The City] lower taxes and less regulation.”

– David Cameron, 2006

 

“Light-touch… regulation is in the interests of the sector globally and the government need to send that message more strongly.”

– Mark Hoban, 2006

 

And finally, more recently, George Osborne (millionaire from birth) answers questions on current government debt plus bonus questions on child allowance and housing:

 

So Mr Glen, Labour were less “prudent” than they should have been considering the “boom” was clearly unsustainable. But they did invest much of that money for our future, in the NHS, schools etc.  They made some mistakes as do all governments and I fear some of that money was not spent as wisely as it should have been.  But it is now time to move on.

It remains an indisputable  fact that the cause of the crisis we are in was the near collapse and bail out of our financial system.  Every bank and financial institution in the western world owes its current existence to tax payers, many of whom are now suffering real hardship as a consequence. What those people want is for our politicians to stop the ya-boo politics and get on with sorting out the longest slump in UK history. That requires reason, rational debate, cooperation, wisdom, facts and evidence, not blind adherence to a discredited ideology.

The more the real incomes, working and living conditions and confidence of ordinary working people deteriorates, the less demand there will be and hence the longer the recession.

The longer we leave it before we reform our financial system for real, rather than the pretend reforms we have had so far, the worse it will be when the next financial crisis hits us because by then there will be no money left to bail out the banks.

My son’s rent for one room in a shared terraced house in London has just gone up to £1000 per month. He has always done the ‘right’ thing, has never been unemployed but his income will not cover this rent – what is he supposed to do????

So come on John – you are all we’ve got! Please forget the spin and concentrate on reality.  (How about actually building some real houses – it would be a win win policy? No need to borrow, just get Amazon, Google etc to pay their fair share of UK taxes like the rest of us.)

UPDATE  (25th June) Ex Bank of England Governor, Mervyn King ‘backs me up’: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10140948/George-Osborne-accused-of-lobbying-on-behalf-of-banks-for-weaker-regulation.html

Debt and Reality

Here is my response to this recent Twitter exchange with my MP John Glen

debtandinterestrates
Unfortunately I did not make myself clear – I am not interested in point scoring between MPs  or defending the Blair – Brown government’s complicity in allowing big finance to wreck our economy.  But I am concerned that after everything that has happened, my MP is still allowing spin to obscure reality.  So here are a few facts to keep us on track.

Despite New Labour’s love affair with big money they were not responsible for the financial crisis, nor were immigrants, “welfare scroungers”, the disabled, unmarried mothers, Polish lesbian plumbers or any of the other groups that the Tories and right wing press  would like us to blame.

The graphs below show that, in the period up 2007/8, the National Debt and the annual deficit were not out of the ordinary.  The deficit and debt went ballistic when the financial crash meant that we had to bail out the banks with billions of pounds of tax payer’s money and the ensuing recession meant that welfare payments went up as tax receipts fell. Yes New Labour were complicit in that they enthusiastically followed the “light touch” regulation of financial services started under Thatcher but the Tories are on record as aggressively arguing for even further deregulation.

national-debt-percent-1900-12

 

Note how big the post war debt was in the late 1940s and yet that was when the NHS was introduced, a massive house and school building programme was started, further and higher education were free and there was full employment.  Oh and interest rates  were less than 3%.  Not a fair comparison to today perhaps, but food for thought.

 

This is an expanded version of the chart showing clearly that the debt takes off at the moment (2007/8) the banks start to collapse and the tax payer has to bail them out.public-sector-debt-perc-gdp-hmTuk-debt

The graph below also shows how the annual deficit was not excessive until the financial crash and the need to bail out the banks.  (Unfortunately, the figures are not corrected for inflation and so this chart exaggerates the size of recent deficits compared with earlier deficits.)

Deficits by chancellor

So John, lets cut the spin.  The recession and the level of debt are due to the crisis in our banks and a combination of greed and incompetence in our financial services in general. If you want to look for a root cause then I suggest the neo libertarian / Thatcher / Reagan governments would be a good starting point.

Let’s now turn to John Glen’s original Tweet warning about increased borrowing (although he does not explain why the increase in borrowing we have seen under  George Osborne is any different to an increase under Ed Balls)

To the rational layman it would seem that the obvious answer to a recession is to kick start the economy with a modest increase in spending.  For example,  immediately starting a house building programme,  a general infrastructure improvement programme and energy efficiency improvement programme etc – all desperately needed anyway and quick and easy ways to inject money into the economy as well as benefiting ordinary people. The kick started economy will generate tax income, reduce welfare expenditure and hence bring down borrowing.  Lets remember that entrepreneurs and business mangers are useless without the real job creators – ordinary people with the money and confidence to go out and buy stuff. We really are all in this together. (Of course this should go hand in hand with a rigorous look at government spending –  tax payers want to know that every penny is well spent particularly when they are striving to make ends meet themselves.  But they do not want the government to exploit this opportunity by forcing through ideologically driven cuts that have no democratic mandate and will change our country irrevocably in ways that have not been open to any debate.

How will the extra spending be paid for. Well before I answer, remember that austerity means recession/stagnation  which means extra borrowing with no useful outcome.  Borrowing to fund infrastructure investment on the other hand has a useful outcome – kick started economy and increased employment with resulting decrease in borrowing. But if just a portion of the over £40 billion of unpaid taxes were collected (just concentrate on the big corporations that currently pay no tax) we would not need to borrow anything extra.

The government’s irrational, evidence free and intellectually discredited alternative[1] is to start an austerity programme in which the people who were not responsible for the crisis bear the brunt of government cuts.  These include cuts in support to hard working families, striving to make ends meet. This results in borrowing more money to pay for increased welfare benefits due to the resulting recession and reduced income from taxation. For some reason the increased borrowing is also used  to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest and to flood the banks with money that they refuse to lend but do manage to pass on to their top people as bonuses (while shedding their work forces).  Ordinary people, hit by reducing real income,  greater insecurity and prospects of poverty in old age, understandably enough stop spending and the recession / stagnation becomes permanent 10, 20 years, a generation wasted.  This is particularly crazy if  other countries are following the same policy.

What ordinary people  want is evidence based, rational, reasoned policy not ideology and spin, whatever the government in power.

The price of this financial crisis is being borne by people who absolutely did not cause it” “Now is the period when the cost is being paid, I’m surprised that the degree of public anger has not been greater than it has.— Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England

NB Please let me know if I have made errors or am guilty of spin or ideology – I am happy to correct or debate as appropriate. CL

[1] Austerity after Reinhart and Rogoff. By Robert Pollin and Michael Ash A main policy plank is riddled with faults, write Robert Pollin and Michael Ash

From Reinhart & Rogoff’s own data: UK GDP increased fastest when debt-to-GDP ratio was highest – and the debt ratio came down!  By Jeremy Smith, 20th April 2013

A letter to the FT: A modest test for debt/GDP in the UK postwar experience. By Ann Pettifor and Jeremy Smith, 21st April 2013

Shock research finding: high debt-to-GDP ratio leads to faster increase in GDP! By Jeremy Smith, 16th April 2013 

 

KPMG, McKinsey, Deloitte and PwC have a controlling influence on NHS Monitor and are also major beneficiaries

Who is looking after the interests of the ordinary citizen and tax payer as the privatisation of the NHS gathers pace?

Take a look (see below) at the Executive team of Monitor, the NHS’s economic regulator. You will see KPMG, McKinsey, Deloitte and PwC have pretty much got the board sown up. I don’t see anyone there who will look after the interests of the taxpayer/patient/citizen.  What I do see is yet another example of the legalised corruption called the ‘revolving door’ where advisers and decision makers can move from private companies into government and then back again with resulting huge conflicts of interest.  All of these companies stand to gain financially from the huge and unprecedented sums of money that are being diverted from the NHS into the private sector and have already been caught lobbying for the interests of private health care companies[1]

According to the Yorkshire Post [2] “NHS regulator Monitor spent 40 per cent of its budget on millions of pounds of advice from five big firms of private consultants in the last year”.

The contracts totalling £7.8m include an “interim fee” of £1m for work by turnaround experts from Ernst & Young at the scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS trust.

Figures for 2012-13 show Monitor also paid PwC £3m, McKinsey £1.9m, KPMG £1.1m and Deloitte £800,000 from its £19.5m budget.

Looks like Monitor is a conduit for transferring tax payers cash from the NHS to the big accountancy and management consultancy firms.

 

Monitor – Executive team:

Dr David Bennett (Chief Executive) David has worked for some years in and around the public sector. Before joining Monitor he was the non-political Chief Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Head of the Policy Directorate and the Strategy Unit in 10 Downing Street. He has also worked as an independent advisor to various NHS bodies. Before this, David was a senior partner at McKinsey & Co.

Stephen Hay (Managing Director of Provider Regulation) Stephen worked at Monitor on an interim basis, on secondment from KPMG, from December 2003 and was appointed on a permanent basis in October 2004.  A qualified Chartered Accountant, previously Stephen worked with KPMG, latterly as a Director within the Transaction Services Department. He has advised the boards of corporate and private equity houses and his portfolio of financial experience is wide-ranging and includes mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, IPOs, and risk assessment.

Adrian Masters (Managing Director of Sector Development) Adrian was previously Director of the Health Team in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. Prior to that, Adrian’s career included spells with McKinsey, IBM and Price Waterhouse. He qualified as an accountant, and has an MBA from Stanford University.

Miranda Carter (Executive Director of Assessment) A qualified chartered accountant, Miranda started her career at Deloitte as an auditor in 1991, working in the UK and Hong Kong. In 1997 Miranda joined Price Waterhouse Coopers, and spent four years in the Transaction Services Department in London, focusing on due diligence assignments. She has advised the boards of corporate and private equity houses and her portfolio of financial experience is wide-ranging and includes mergers and acquisitions, due diligence and initial public offerings (IPOs).

Catherine Davies (Executive Director of Co-operation and Competition) Catherine is a competition law specialist with experience in all aspects of EU and UK competition law, having advised on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, distribution arrangements and market investigations across a wide range of sectors, including consumer goods, energy, media and healthcare. Catherine also has experience of public procurement law and judicial review. Before joining the CCP in February 2009 as Legal Director, she worked at the Competition Commission and a large City law firm.

Kate Moore (Executive Director of Legal Services) Kate has extensive experience of regulatory, litigation and public law gained through her previous roles at city law firms, as Director of Legal at the Investors Compensation Scheme and as a principal consultant withKPMG.

Sue Meeson (Executive Director of Strategic Communications) Sue was previously Director of Communications for the Legal Services Commission, which runs the legal aid system, and held a variety of corporate communication roles with Unilever. Her experience covers all aspects of internal and external communications, including media relations, change communications, public affairs and stakeholder engagement.

Source: http://www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk/about-monitor/who-we-are/executive-team (Accessed 14th Jan 2013)

You can also check out the non executive board – you will find the pretty much the same companies with a majority stake: http://www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk/about-monitor/who-we-are/the-board

 

[1] Monitor lobbying for private health care companies:
NHS is being outsourced to private health care companies that will be exempt from Freedom of Information requests. Due to commercial confidentiality, these companies will enjoy secret contracts with none of the  transparency expected in the NHS and the Public Sector. If this was not worrying enough, it also appears that Monitor, the NHS’s economic regulator, has been caught arguing that the private health care companies providing NHS services should be exempt from paying corporation tax.  It is clearly ridiculous for companies to lobby to provide NHS services for profit and then to claim it is unfair to pay tax on their profits but that is exactly what they are after. In fact, when exposed,  Monitor back tracked on this lobbying and went rather quiet but don’t expect them to give up.

[2] Exclusive: NHS regulator spends 40% of budget on consultants Yorkshire Post 3rd May 2013

Private NHS providers in line for corporation tax exemption: Labour calls on government not to ‘let the tax avoiders into the NHS’ after revelations in review by Monitor (Randeep Ramesh, social affairs editor The Guardian, Sunday 13 January 2013)

Private health care firms performing NHS services may not have to pay corporation tax on their profits under draft proposals being considered as part of a government-commissioned review into NHS competition. (Daily Telegraph 13th Jan 2013)

PRIVATE HEALTHCARE COMPANIES AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (Reason & Reality)

Head of Monitor Has Ties with Private Healthcare Lobby Group Who See Tax, Pensions and NHS Brand as Barrier in ‘Fair Playing Field’ Review. (Social Investigations, 16th Jan 2013)

More Health / NHS

The Shadow Government – Through a network of unbalanced, almost-invisible committees, the government gets what it wants. (By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 13th March 2012)

 

UPDATE (Jan 2014): Monitor Spend Close to Half Million on 23 New Recruits Using Two Companies Financially Linked to Lords (Monitor was recently exposed as having spent 40% of their overall budget on private consultants, which included £1.9million to David Bennett’s former firm Mckinsey.)

Angela Knight corporate lobbyist without shame now acting for ‘Big Six’ Energy firms accused of profiteering and price fixing.

BBC News Night fans will remember ex Tory Cabinet Minister, Angela Knight, she was the CEO of the British Bankers Association (BBA), brought out regularly to defend the banks after each scandal broke. Whether it was obscene bankers bonuses or LIBOR fixing or any one of numerous scandals, she was there to defend the indefensible.

Angela Knight was ‘honoured’ with a CBE for ‘services to the financial services industry’ in 2007.

The setting of the LIBOR rate was supervised and validated by the BBA and while Angela Knight was CEO of the BBA, the LIBOR rate was being “manipulated” by the participating banks.

When will she do the honourable thing and give up the CBE??

She was cunning enough to get out before the LIBOR scandal fully broke and has now reappeared as CEO of EnergyUK the corporate lobby group for the six Energy companies currently ripping us all off with 6% price increases to fund their excessive profits and bonuses – recognise the story?   Not only is she lobbying on behalf of these companies, defending them against accusations of LIBOR like fixing of prices, but she also does her best to promote disinformation by blaming high prices on green subsidies – deceitfully trying to imply that wind farms are the cause of increases in prices when it is mainly energy company profits that are to blame.

She is also a non-executive director on the boards of Brewin Dolphin plc, Tullett Prebon plc, Transport for London and the PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Board.  All part of the ‘revolving door’ that is the British establishment.

 

Angela Knight, then CEO of the British Bankers Association, said in a Dec 08 statement that Libor could be trusted as “a reliable benchmark” Bloomberg (2013-01-28) Libor-lies-revealed-in-rigging-of-300-trillion-benchmark

Gas prices: FSA examines whistleblower’s claims of ‘Libor-like’ manipulation Guardian Nov 2012

Aaaargh! Angela Knight is back, still defending the indefensible The woman who stood up for bankers’ bonuses is now arguing the case for the energy companies The Week Nov 2012

Barclays scandal: interview with BBA’s Angela Knight  Channel 4 News June 2012

UPDATE: Big six energy firms accused of cold blooded profiteering as margins double  Guardian 12th April 2013

Centrica bosses share £16.4m as bills soar (Daily Telegraph):  http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/utilities/article3724447.ece

Marcus Agius, Chairman of Barclays Bank, is also Honorary Chairman of BBA which is responsible for the London interbank lending rate:  http://www.reasonandreality.org/?p=1227

The Lies of Right Wing Tories, Blairites, Free Marketeers and Neolibertarians

Recently Robert Reich posted 15 Economic Lies as separate Twitter messages. I hope he will not mind if I combine them here in one easy to access list and adapted for the UK.

As an American, Richard was obviously writing for the US situation but as far as I can see most items in his list also apply to the UK so I have taken the liberty of amending the list for a UK audience, this means that any errors are mine alone:

The lies:

  • We must continue to cut the deficit. Truth: Trying to cut the deficit (and failing) has robbed the economy of the demand it needs, causing slowdown and recession.
  • The rich are the job creators. Truth:  Ordinary people are the job creators through their purchases of products and services. If ordinary people do not have the cash or confidence to go out and spend there will be no demand and hence continuing recession or stagnation for the foreseeable future.
  • Corporations need tax cuts. Truth: Corporations are sitting on cash mountains. 
  • Low-income citizens pay little or no taxes. Truth: They pay higher share of incomes due to VAT and national insurance.
  • “Markets” work best without government interference or regulation. Truth: without government regulation the largest and most ruthless organisations fight for monopoly positions or create cartels and then ruthlessly exploit their unrestricted power.
  • Inflation is just around the corner. Truth: A triple/quadruple dip recession and continuing, decreasing real wages are around the corner.
  • Super-wealthy over-taxed. Truth: When you take into account all taxes i.e. include national insurance and VAT along with income tax, the rich pay roughly the same percentage (about 33%) of their income as everyone else.  The super rich pay less because their income is usually not subject to income tax and so they pay a lower rate, they can also afford t0 employ tax avoidance advisers to cut their tax still further (or they just go ‘non dom’ and pay no tax at all (like the owner of the Daily Mail).
  • Wages are rising. Truth: The Median wage continues to drop, adjusted for inflation. While the income of the wealthiest goes through the roof.
  • Raising min wage kills jobs. Truth: It fuels demand. Countries and States with higher min wage have no higher unemployment. Ordinary people on low wages have no choice but to spend any extra income they get thus fueling the demand needed by the economy.
  • NHS must be cut / privatised. Truth:  NHS more efficient / cost effective than private health insurance.
  • Raising taxes on rich slows economy. Truth: No such correlation. Economy grew faster between ’46 & ’81 when taxes were higher.
  • We’re creating nation of “takers.” Truth: Reason for rise in welfare costs is due to the recession.
  • All government spending the same. Truth: Public investments in infrastructure, education, & basic R&D spur economic growth.

To make arguments about the fairness, or otherwise, of the UK tax system purely on the basis of the burden of income tax is absurd. (Independent, Oct 2012)

Don’t fall for the mindless assertion that “markets” know best.  (Robert Reich, Feb 2013)

 

Private Health Care companies want to be exempt from Corporation Tax. Alt title: NHS has been handed over to McKinsey, KPMG, Price Waterhouse.

Update 14:42 15th Jan 2013, Monitor have just announced the following (only a few hours after I published the post below):  “Monitor will not be recommending that private sector providers should be exempt from paying corporation tax”  This is good news, although the Health Care Companies and their friends in government will probably continue to lobby for tax breaks.  We still also need to be concerned about: the conflicts of interest, the exemption from Freedom of Information requests, the lack of transparency in the contracts and the influence that companies like KPMG, Price Waterhouse, McKinsey etc. have over the privatisation of the NHS.

My previous post highlighted the fact that the NHS is being outsourced to private health care companies that will be exempt from Freedom of Information requests. Due to commercial confidentiality, these companies will enjoy secret contracts with none of the  transparency expected in the NHS and the Public Sector. If this was not worrying enough, it also appears that Monitor, the NHS’s economic regulator, is arguing that the private health care companies providing NHS services should be exempt from paying corporation tax.  It is clearly ridiculous for companies to lobby to provide NHS services for profit and then to claim it is unfair to pay tax on their profits but that is exactly what they are after.

So who is looking after the interests of the ordinary citizen and tax payer. Well take a look at the Executive team of Monitor.  You will see KPMG, McKinsey and Price Waterhouse have pretty much got the board sown up. I don’t see anyone there who will look after the interests of the taxpayer/patient/citizen.  What I do see is yet another example of the legalised corruption called the ‘revolving door’ where advisors and decision makers can move from private companies into government and then back again with resulting huge conflicts of interest. (All of these companies stand to gain financially from the huge and unprecedented sums of money that will be diverted from the NHS into the private sector)

Monitor – Executive team:

Dr David Bennett (Chief Executive) David has worked for some years in and around the public sector. Before joining Monitor he was the non-political Chief Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Head of the Policy Directorate and the Strategy Unit in 10 Downing Street. He has also worked as an independent advisor to various NHS bodies. Before this, David was a senior partner at McKinsey & Co.

Stephen Hay (Managing Director of Provider Regulation) Stephen worked at Monitor on an interim basis, on secondment from KPMG, from December 2003 and was appointed on a permanent basis in October 2004.  A qualified Chartered Accountant, previously Stephen worked with KPMG, latterly as a Director within the Transaction Services Department. He has advised the boards of corporate and private equity houses and his portfolio of financial experience is wide-ranging and includes mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, IPOs, and risk assessment.

Adrian Masters (Managing Director of Sector Development) Adrian was previously Director of the Health Team in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. Prior to that, Adrian’s career included spells with McKinsey, IBM and Price Waterhouse. He qualified as an accountant, and has an MBA from Stanford University.

Miranda Carter (Executive Director of Assessment) A qualified chartered accountant, Miranda started her career at Deloitte as an auditor in 1991, working in the UK and Hong Kong. In 1997 Miranda joined Price Waterhouse Coopers, and spent four years in the Transaction Services Department in London, focusing on due diligence assignments. She has advised the boards of corporate and private equity houses and her portfolio of financial experience is wide-ranging and includes mergers and acquisitions, due diligence and initial public offerings (IPOs).

Catherine Davies (Executive Director of Co-operation and Competition) Catherine is a competition law specialist with experience in all aspects of EU and UK competition law, having advised on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, distribution arrangements and market investigations across a wide range of sectors, including consumer goods, energy, media and healthcare. Catherine also has experience of public procurement law and judicial review. Before joining the CCP in February 2009 as Legal Director, she worked at the Competition Commission and a large City law firm.

Kate Moore (Executive Director of Legal Services) Kate has extensive experience of regulatory, litigation and public law gained through her previous roles at city law firms, as Director of Legal at the Investors Compensation Scheme and as a principal consultant with KPMG.

Sue Meeson (Executive Director of Strategic Communications) Sue was previously Director of Communications for the Legal Services Commission, which runs the legal aid system, and held a variety of corporate communication roles with Unilever. Her experience covers all aspects of internal and external communications, including media relations, change communications, public affairs and stakeholder engagement.

Source: http://www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk/about-monitor/who-we-are/executive-team (Accessed 14th Jan 2013)

You can also check out the non executive board – you will find the pretty much the same companies with a majority stake: http://www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk/about-monitor/who-we-are/the-board

 

Private NHS providers in line for corporation tax exemption: Labour calls on government not to ‘let the tax avoiders into the NHS’ after revelations in review by Monitor (Randeep Ramesh, social affairs editor The Guardian, Sunday 13 January 2013)

Private health care firms performing NHS services may not have to pay corporation tax on their profits under draft proposals being considered as part of a government-commissioned review into NHS competition. (Daily Telegraph 13th Jan 2013)

PRIVATE HEALTHCARE COMPANIES AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (Reason & Reality)

Head of Monitor Has Ties with Private Healthcare Lobby Group Who See Tax, Pensions and NHS Brand as Barrier in ‘Fair Playing Field’ Review. (Social Investigations, 16th Jan 2013)

More Health / NHS

The Shadow Government – Through a network of unbalanced, almost-invisible committees, the government gets what it wants. (By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 13th March 2012)

HMRC boss Dave Hartnett receives a life time achievement award for “Services to Corporate Tax Avoidance”

HMRC boss Dave Hartnett is the man responsible for doing dodgy deals with Vodafone, Goldman Sachs and other large corporations that have cost the taxpayer billions in lost revenue. He has just retired on a generous pension having suffered no consequences whatsoever for given away billions of pounds of our money. Ordinary hard working families are bearing the brunt of the government austerity measures because people like this believe that “only the little people pay taxes” or in a more modern idiom “only the plebs pay taxes”.

This video shows Hartnett receiving his  life time achievement award for “Services to Corporate Tax Avoidance” during a speech at a Key Haven Publications tax planning (avoidance??) conference at New College Oxford on Thursday.

Some quotes from those present:

“we’ll set the dogs on you!”

“Trespassing scum”

(Turns out these quotes were the response of Robert Venables QC, to a peaceful demonstration.)

Clearly the establishment does not like being exposed.

NB I do not know anything more about the “Black tie activists” than what is shown on the video but they are clearly doing a useful job here in exposing the dishonesty and hypocrisy rampant in certain parts of our society.  Anyone know any more??

The former head of the UK’s tax collection agency should not just be attending a conference to promote that fine euphemism, “tax planning” (James Meadway,  NEF 27th Sept 2012)

Only the little people pay taxes

UPDATE: here is a link to an article by Stephen Reid who is an economic justice campaigner and is one of the authors of the little ruse above – make sure you click the link and read the whole story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/24/tax-avoidance-party-hmrc-dave-hartnett?CMP=twt_gu

Were UK Uncut right to bounce Dave Hartnett? (Tax Research UK)

Final comment: if tax abuse was tackled we wouldn’t need cuts

Late Extra:The “Intruders” The same team have been at it again. This time intruding on the The Investment Banking Awards  to give an award for one of 2012’s most profitable scams, i.e. the bankers’ ‘innovative’ approach to a key interest rate called LIBOR.  Watch the video.  “If you are not outraged you are not paying attention”

In support of ‘outing’ of tax haven users (or “only the little people pay taxes”)

Further to my recent post (here) where I asked our MP, John Glen, to support the Private Members Bill: General Anti-Tax Avoidance Principle Bill (HC Bill 25), I can report back that Mr Glen has replied to my message and has also written on this topic in the Salisbury Journal: In support of ‘outing’ of tax haven users (John Glen MP, Salisbury Journal, 13th September 2012).

Unfortunately, in the Journal article, although seeming to be sympathetic to the Christian Aid proposal that governments cooperate in outing organisations that use tax havens, Mr Glen concentrates on the situation abroad. This neatly avoids the fact that London is a centre for tax evasion, with UK banks and financial companies being world leaders in encouraging and organising tax avoidance.

The UK also has direct or indirect influence over the majority of the worlds Tax Havens most of which are Crown Dependencies or UK overseas territories.  This means that the UK has the opportunity to lead the world in reform of these tax havens and the tax avoidance industry and to expose and attack other big Tax Havens like Singapore and Switzerland. Unfortunately the reality is that  successive governments, and particularly the current one,  simply cave in to industry lobbying and either water down any proposals or avoid action altogether.  The impression this gives is not helped when the financial interests of so many MPs and Lords are linked to Tax avoidance. It certainly seems that we will be wasting our time if we wait for George Osborn to act in any more than a token fashion.

Peter Curbishley has written an excellent response to John Glen’s article here: ‘Outing’ users of tax havens (PETER CURBISHLEY, Wednesday 19th September 2012 in Salisbury Journal Letters page)

Here is an article demonstrating that conservatives just ‘don’t get it’: 
Tory treasurer wants UK to become [even] more like a tax haven
(Guardian, 20th Sept 2012)

These two sites provide some balance to what we read in the media about tax issues – well worth a look:

Morally repugnant tax avoiders can rest easy under David Cameron – With insane hubris, a few treaties and a lot of money moving from tax haven to tax haven is called a success (Guardian 21 Sept 2012)

“Only the little people pay tax”

The Governments “General Anti-Abuse Rule” “GAAR” is designed to aid, abet and reward tax dodging.