Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Someone else has to pay


Just a quick post as I'm under the cosh at the moment, yet in one of those incredulous "just when you thought you'd heard it all phases" following the roll-out of Labour's proposals on paternity leave/pay, and on hearing the sordid attempts by Mark Littlewood of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) to rubbish the idea.

Littlewood: Don't let him know
that a new baby's on the way
Littlewood appeared on yesterday's Today programme on Radio 4 - and far too many other radio/tv stations. It's all well and good says he bemoaned, but "someone else has to pay". Ignoring the facts/data (very typical of Littlewood/IEA) that the vast majority of men don't actually take paternity leave, and that Labour's paternity-lite proposals do little to bring us close to European-style averages of leave/pay.

Of course that's not Littlewood's point. His brief is to suggest that the country can't afford it, and that the co-worker, tax payer and employer are left to fork out in some way to make up for the fecklessness of the people that dared to have a baby.

Interesting then (although not in any way surprising) that the IEA website carried not a word about yesterday's news sensation regarding HSBC and alleged tax evasion scams at its Swiss arm a decade ago.

When challenged later in the day about tax evasion and the hammering of the working poor who fall foul of benefit cheat allegations under the leaner/meaner DWP regime, Littlewood claimed that it was simply easier to spot a benefit cheat than a tax dodger as "the rules are different" - of course they are, that's the scandal in all of this.

Balls: missing from Parliament yesterday,
along with Osborne
Sadly no-one in the media world put it to him that we are all left to pay when corporates and the wealthy connive with the financial services sector to evade tax liabilities.

Poor old Mr. Balls is having a rough period still (see my last post) as it was John Redwood no less (a geezer who floats in the swamp as Littlewood) in Parliament yesterday who pointed out that it was Balls, as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who was in office during the period of the HSBC scam - and that he was one of the New Labour architects of the 'light tough' (de)regulation of the financial services sector which not only gave free reign to HSBC to act with impunity, but was the critical catalyst for the UK end of the global financial crash of 2008.
The phrase "you couldn't make it up" was one I was thinking of for the title of the post, but then, when it comes to tax dodgers, Balls and Littlewood, oh yes you could.

In Solidarity


No comments: