29 Dec 2015

'Taxation is the fee that we pay for living in a civilised society'

A local Green Activist recently wrote a letter to the Wilts and Glos Standard about the proposed 2300 house development in Cirencester on Lord Bathurst's land - here is the text:

Dear Sir,

Thanks to Private Eye magazine (http://www.private-eye.co.uk/registry), we are able to see the considerable extent of 'our' countryside that is owned by Lord Bathurst's off-shore trust in the Bahamas, a means by which the noble lord will avoid paying tax on profits accrued from sales of the 2300-odd houses in his Chesterton development. His response to the revelation of his tax-dodging was that it is a small amount when spread across the whole country. If it's such a small amount, why doesn't he pay it?  And, in case you’re thinking that we’d be depriving him of the results of his sweated labour, this is capital gains tax on land that’s valuable solely because it’s close to Ciren. All he has had to do is wait!

While being reluctant to pay tax, like the rest of us have to, the Bathursts are not so reluctant to collect the Single Farm Payments under the Common Agricultural Policy - check the payments made to Cirencester Park Farms at http://www.cap-payments.defra.gov.uk/download.aspx - and presumably they are quite happy to receive Housing Benefit payments from the UK government for any of their tenants who have the misfortune to be unemployed... Similarly, the Bathursts are dependent on state schools and universities to educate the people they employ, dependent on the publicly-financed Fire Brigade if there are fires in their properties and on the public road system for conveying their goods and purchases to and from their markets....

Can Lord Bathurst please be reminded that taxation is the fee that we pay for living in a civilised society and that the more you own, the more support you require from that society? That just because you happen to have been born in the right place at the right time, you are not absolved from paying these fees?  And just because tax-dodging is legal, it doesn't mean it's moral.
                Yours sincerely,               
                R W Irving.
                Green Party

The Standard actually took this on board and interviewed Bob.  See the article.

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