For the past six years the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has delivered budgets in the name of austerity. His emphasis on the “long term economic plan” has been echoed from every corner of the UK by Conservative MPs.
This year, once again, the Chancellor has put business at the forefront of his budget by reducing Corporation Tax to 17% by 2020. According to Osborne, this will enable Britain to be more competitive in a globalising world. As the world economy becomes more competitive, it is business that has begun to emerge as having the real levers of power across the globe. This has been apparent through a wide variety of corporations picking and choosing where they pay their taxes. Recently, Google has come under extreme pressure around its tax affairs, particularly in France and Britain. Google was recently asked to pay £130 million to the Treasury here, while the French authorities are seeking 1.6 billion Euros (£1.3bn) in unpaid tax.
The global economy is rife with tax havens, as businesses move their capital around so that they can pay little or no tax at all. This Chancellor has once again failed the nation - failed to get to grips with big business and make sure they pay taxes on profits they generate within Britain. Osborne talks about making tough decisions, yet when he is faced with the might of big business he simply rolls over and accepts ridiculous tax offers from Google, who paid only £130 million to the Treasury after having over 20 meetings with tax officials at HMRC. At best, this is a complete scandal. At worst, it is white collar crime. The tax regime should be plain and simple - whatever profit is generated within Britain should be paid for in taxes within Britain. No ifs, no buts, no dodgy backstreet deals.
Yet, Osborne is more than happy to say to someone who does not have the ability to work and relies on the state for support that their money is being cut to the tune of up to £150 a week. This Chancellor is a complete and utter failure, he has failed to balance the books, failed to increase productivity, failed to get tax avoidance and tax evasion under control, failed to reduce public debt and failed the most vulnerable in our society. This budget, just like every budget this Chancellor has issued, is a slap in the face for normal British people and favours big business.
The discourse has become clear. The Conservative Party see those at the bottom as an inconvenience, whereas those at the top should be championed for creating poverty wages for workers.