Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Tax Dodgers

Many people have expressed concerns about the recent revelations that HSBC bank has been helping the super-rich dodge their tax, and how the government has not been acting to stop this. The  prospective parliamentary candidates of the Socialist Party have been asked to pledge to crack down on tax dodging and prevent scandals like HSBC from happening.  

Rather uniquely and certainly against the prevailing self-righteous and the hypocritical stance of the other parties our reply is that The Socialist Party is not particularly concerned that the super-rich dodge paying their taxes. We are more concerned with the actual existence of  a class of super-rich within society. 
Their income and wealth derives from the exploitation of the rest of us who, by our work, produce all the wealth of society. 

Socialism will put an end to this by making the means of wealth production common property under the democratic control of the community. There will be no rich or super-rich nor poor or super-poor, just a classless society of free and equal men and women cooperating to produce and distribute what they need in accordance with the socialist principle of "from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs".


Mike Ballard said...

You're missing the point. What if one or two SPGB candidates got elected. What would they do? Resign? Maybe making a pledge to support the interests of the working class wouldn't be too much of a compromise.

ajohnstone said...

I'm sure these one or two socialist MPs would expose the hypocrisy and would name and shame those "worthy" patriots who smuggle out their ill-gotten gains while accepting all the national "honours" and claim authority as "wealth creators" to lecture the working class on supposed social responsibility and austerity. I don't expect silence on the issue.

However, the deeper point is that this is really an intra-capitalist dispute. Other capitalists resent the tax burden being unfairly imposed upon themselves and it will be they who will eventually pressure changes to the law, albeit, with their usual tardiness.

Our primary task is to raise the legitimacy not of tax rates or their evasion but the actual existence of a class of rich individuals and corporations and where they derive their profits, interest and rents which pays their taxes ...your and my surplus value. Once we demonstrate where the real theft lies, the tax cheating becomes a secondary concern. We no longer set our sights on abolishing tax avoidance but abolishing the capitalists plus the state they are required to fund.

Not sure if you know of it but this pamphlet is a useful explanation of taxes.

Mike Ballard said...

Thanks for that link, Comrade.

ajohnstone said...

In case it is thought by some a dated argument, not so long ago the Marxist analyst Paul Mattick Jr. made the following explanation.

“Tax money appears to be paid by everyone. But despite the appearance that business is undertaxed, only business actually pays taxes. To understand this, remember that the total income produced in a year is the money available for all purposes. Some of this money must go to replace producers’ goods used up in the previous year; some must go in the form of wages to buy consumer goods so that the labour force can reproduce itself; the rest appears as profit, interest, rent – and taxes. The money workers actually get is their ‘after tax’ income; from this perspective, tax increases on employee income are just a way of lowering wages. The money deducted from paycheques, as well as from dividends, capital gains and other forms of business income, could appear as business profits – which, let us remember, is basically the money generated by workers’ activity that they do not receive as wages – if it didn’t flow through paycheques (or other income) into government coffers” (Business As Usual )