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The problem is not that business is paying too little tax but that government is spending too much

hodge-podgeI believe I share the same opinion most people have of Margaret Hodge.  She won the Big Brother Award as “Worst public servant” in 2004, partly for her backing of the Universal Child Database.  She was detested by business during her ministerial career, perceived as an opportunist who attacked business just to gain headlines.  “Some may call it the nanny state, but I call it a force for good,” she declared to the IPPR to justify her backing greater state regulation of individual’s choices.  This makes the position clear, though Guido Fawkes has just added a road safety story to her somewhat troubled reputation.  She has been a disaster chairing the Public Accounts Committee, using it once again as a platform to attack business in order to gain personal publicity and to further what she thinks is her future career. And what the rest of us hope never happens.

Now she returns to the attack on business, summoning its leaders to be harangued and insulted in front of her committee.  The basic problem is her ideology, in that she does not want the profits of business activity to be distributed to the shareholders who invested in it, but to government instead so that it can be spent to satisfy the priorities of politicians like herself.  The campaign against legal tax avoidance (as opposed to illegal evasion) amounts to saying that businesses must do what politicians want, rather than what the law says.  It undermines the rule of law and tries to substitute the rule of politicians in its place.  If people like Margaret Hodge have their way, investors will be reluctant to back business activity, and no wealth will be created and no jobs.  I actually doubt that would bother her provided she could get to spend what was left.

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One Response

  1. To say nothing of her hypocrisy with her involvement with Stemcor

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