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Ed – The principle that everyone pays taxes, according to their ability, to build a fair and civilised society is a just and good one. One worth fighting for. It is not about sticking it to the rich, it is about fairness. Allowing the talented to enjoy the fruits of their labour at the same time protecting the vulnerable and the weak. The Tax Justice Network is going from strength to strength, I can see why…
In our June 2017 Taxcast we ask – has the UK just had its first tax justice general election? Why was economic debate around the election so ill-informed? Are we seeing a popular shift towards tax justice in the UK and in the USA? Is this the beginning of the end of our long austerity winter? How much do people REALLY care about taxes, who pays them and who doesn’t?
Yesterday, we looked at how Amazon is powering ahead. Despite being a bit functional and boring, it’s a remarkable firm. In fact, Sam Volkering believes it’s part of a new tech MAFIAA that’s dominating global stockmarkets.
Should we be worried by Amazon?
Frankly, there’s huge societal risk, in the power that Amazon’s amassing. In fact, it’s possibly the most dangerous firm on the planet. Imagine being chained to a lion cub, and steadily feeding it. That lion may be cute and playful now – but, eventually, it will become a very big problem for you.
People’s News Headline: Feeding the casino economy
The president of the EU Central Bank, Mario Draghi, recently let the cat out of the bag when he revealed to a committee of the Dutch Parliament that, while the EU preaches the gospel of austerity for ordinary folk, the ECB pumps some €60 billion per month in debt securities into banks and corporations.
It does this by buying bonds from companies such as Shell and Heineken. These profit-making (and polluting) corporations certainly donڈt need the money, nor do they invest it in the productive economy, preferring to play around with it in the casino economy. The Dutch legislators challenged Draghi to explain why the ECB is keeping interest rates low. The effect of this policy is a massive redistribution of income between labour and capital.
Were the UK and EU unable to agree to a high-quality bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), it would be bizarre – and could only be attributable to bloody-mindedness by the EU. No two economies that have entered into an FTA negotiation have been more deeply integrated than are the UK and EU today. Already, trade between them is free, their respective services are largely open, and the UK has adopted the EU’s acquis for regulations for the past 44 years.
European and world leaders have been enduring a week of intensive diplomacy, with the G7 meeting continuing in Sicily today following the NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday. While the anticsandescapades of Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron have delivered the most entertainment from the meetings, Brexit did inevitably make an appearance, albeit only as a secondary point of discussion.
Theresa May used her first bilateral meeting with Emmanuel Macron to reiterate the British Government’s stance that trade talks should take place in parallel with any divorce talks, although both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to sorting the issue of citizens’ rights as a priority.
Meanwhile, the other Donald T. at the summit repeated the EU’s line that the ‘Brexit bill’ was not about the money, not even when it came to the UK being told to pay for English teachers’ salaries in elite Brussels schools after Brexit. “Please believe me, it’s not because of money but because of rules,” said Tusk. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Back in the UK, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced a grilling from Andrew Neil last night over inconsistencies in his foreign policy, while refusing to commit to reducing immigration after Brexit.
One person who has been left particularly unimpressed by Labour’s vision for Brexit is Michelle Dewberry, businesswoman and winner of the second series of The Apprentice, who is running as an independent pro-Brexit candidate in her home seat of Hull West and Hessle, as she feels that Labour no longer represents working class people on Brexit.
Simple demographics mean we need to find a way to pay for our growing elderly populations care, but how? Conservative “dementia tax” is not the answer. Young and old move forward into the future together as one, therefore we should look after eachother as individuals and collectively as society renews itself from generation to generation.
So what do we do? We should not be putting our pensioners, or long term ill, out on the ice to be eaten by polar bears Eskimo style when they are no longer contributing and need long term care. They participated in and gave to society during their lives and deserve both respect and help from the rest when mother nature takes its toll.
Over the period of the financial crisis a new centre of European power has developed: the “government” of the euro area. The expression may seem badly chosen, as it remains hard to identify the democratically accountable institution that today implements EU economic policies.
Characterised by its informality and opacity, the central institution of that government, the Euro Group of finance ministers of the euro area, operates outside the framework of the EU treaties and is not accountable to the EU Parliament or more importantly to national parliaments.
The last thing I ever wanted to do was write about France’s likely next president, Emmanuel Macron, but here we are. This post was inspired by a very telling Financial Times article sent to me by a reader, but we’ll get to that in a bit……