I hadn’t realised that the EU puts a limit and an import tax on garlic, ostensibly to protect farmers in the Community.
But then I read this story on the BBC web site.
I suppose that smuggling garlic is not as morally offensive as smuggling drugs or tobacco!
I don’t think too, that even eating garlic to excess will kill you!
Who’d have thought Russia would be a tax haven, but this story says that it only has a personal income tax of 13%.
Putin seems to be welcoming Gerard Depardieu with open arms, but then I don’t think the French actor is a man, to whom a lot of the principles that guide most of us apply. He certainly seems very selfish and looking at his personal life, women are just toys in his life.
Incidentally, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a film.
A former minister, Paul Burstow is suggesting that winter fuel payments be means-tested. It’s here on the BBC.
I’m over 65 and get a state pension, winter fuel payments, free travel in London through my Freedom Pass and discounts in lot of places including on National Rail through my Senior Railcard.
I would like to get a statement each year, as to how much I’ve received. I could then give an equivalent amount to charities of my choice. Probably, I’d to that on my birthday to celebrate cheating the Devil for another year.
If the government didn’t pay me, they’d only blow in on some ridiculous project.
When I want details on something, say like Dalston Junction station, I will use Google to search for it. Then for any news, there used to be a simple button, which repeated the search on just the news.
That seems to have disappeared and now in most cases I have to open up Google News and start the search again. I supose, it’s an improvement setup by some idiot just out of nappies.
I also find that it always wants me to sign in to my GMail account to store my alerts there. But I prefer them on my standard e-mail, which has nothing to do with GMail.
I suppose they are annoying me, so I use my GMail account, which can then be processed to send me all sorts of spam for products I don’t want.
As they don’t pay enough tax in the UK, I think I might look for another search engine, that does pay the proper rate.
I’ve just read two articles about President Hollande’s tax ideas in the Times and The Telegraph. He wants everyone who earns over a million euros to pay a 75% tax rate. the constitutional Council has turned his idea down, so he doesn’t even know French law.
Forty or so years ago, such a policy could have been enforced and in those days in the UK, anybody earning over about £40,000, used to pay an income tax of over 70%. But all that did was create schemes to avoid paying tax and the best brains of the country became accountants and tax lawyers, rather than scientists and engineers to create wealth by creating companies and jobs.
But Hollande thinks he can turn the clock back!
He must be so stupid to not see that he’s being counter-productive, by giving the brilliant, reasons to leave France. Il est un imbecile.
I do anyway, but their tax position, seems to be in line with Starbucks, Amazon and Google according to this report.
In fact, it’s rapidly getting to the point, where using a large company reduces tax revenues. Although, it does seem that American companies are the best at finding ways of avoiding paying tax. Or should that be worst?
If you think I’m being sanctimonious here, I once paid a tax bill of £3,500,000. If you don’t believe me, I have the cheque on the wall to prove it. I could have avoided the tax bill, by going to live in Monaco or somewhere equally boring for a few years. But then this country has so many good things, that I’d miss.
This advert was on the Stansted Express.
Do people take note?
This story of how the French government has forced Gerard Depardieu to become a tax exile has been repeated through the years in many countries and it always ends up with less money being collected, the brightest and the best leaving and job losses. Usually too, you find out later that those politicians behind it, have made provisions to hide their income.
Every country needs to find ways of keeping all of their best people at home. But of course only by using totally fair and humane methods.
So how can they do this?
Obviously low personal taxes do help. And I don’t just mean income taxes, but capital gains ones as well. After all, many people who create one fortune, have a record of going on to create another, which means further employment and tax revenues from all places. But then there are people who don’t believe that if you lower taxes you raise more money! You may not, but if you frame the rules right and cut down on tax avoidance, you should get an increase.
Quality of life is also important. I live in London and I have a very good quality of life. I live fairly cheaply and get all my healthcare free. I even get all of my local public transport free. Obviously, others have other priorities, but as in France, most people can find a good lifestyle to suit their pocket.
So I think, that governments should probably concentrate on getting the basics of life right for its inhabitants. That means a good basic services, like education, police, fire and refuse collection and a health service that works for all.
Governments must also create opportunities for all levels. At the bottom, they put all sorts of administrative barriers in the way of the unemployed in getting well-paid work. If say I wanted to employ an eighteen-year-old to help me sort out this house, the barriers would be immense. So consequently, when I do, it’ll probably be a friend’s son and cash-in-hand. At the top level, governments always give out contracts to their friends. How many computer contracts have been let to companies, who’ve failed before?
Napoleon once said that Britain is a nation of shopkeepers. He was wrong in that, we’re probably a nation of entrepreneurs. We all seem to want to be our own boss. And what’s wrong with that? Nothing in the eye of most of us, but to some politicians it’s anathema.
I don’t believe the French are any different, as probably are the much-maligned Pakistanis and Somalis.
So governments should just create an environment that makes us all want to stay here and create employment, which hopefully pays enough taxes to keep the process continuing.
France has done everyone a favour, by conducting an experiment that belongs to the past. It failed then and it will fail now.
It would appear that Camden Council are tightening the rules on Concil Tax for second and empty homes according to this BBC report.
Although, I probably wouldn’t agree with the Council on many matters, I applaud this action.
Those that are greedy and in my opinion stupid to want to live in two homes, should have to pay for the privilege.
I also think that all houses registered to companies, should pay a special surcharge on their Council Tax.
I’ve been reading about the tax avoidance measures of Starbucks over the last few days and it looks like they are doing a few things to normalise the situation, according to this article on the BBC.
This could be due to the protests and boycotts mounted by the good old British public.
Now some might think, that Glasgow Rangers have also cheated the tax man, by the use of Employee Benefit Trusts. According to this article on the BBC, the HMRC thinks so and is pursuing what they think should have been paid.
But surely the issue in both cases is fairness. Does their tax situation give Starbucks an advantage over their rivals? Many argue that it does.
And if it is true in Starbucks case, it must be true in that of Glasgow Rangers, as they can pay their players more money.
I would like to see one set of rules applied equally to all companies and individuals.