Pandora papers prove rich people live by different rules | Letters
The Guardian’s Pandora Papers Exposure is just the latest in a string of scandals over dubious offshore tax practices. , October 3). Unfortunately, this will likely add to the already simmering resentment among voters over the ability of the rich and powerful to live by a different set of rules than the rest of us.
In fact, much has been done in recent years to suppress these activities. However, it is high time for politicians to take decisive action to close these tax loopholes.
Boris Johnson could use his majority in Parliament today to lift the veil on opaque corporate structures. Legislation that would publicly name those who owned property in the UK through offshore companies has been gathering dust since 2016.
The Prime Minister could order his officials to attack lawyers, accountants and others who allow these schemes. He could properly fund HM Revenue and Customs to hunt tax evaders. It is in his power to act.
Executive Director, Tax Justice UK
There is, after all, a magic tree for money, but only for the super-rich who can avoid paying their fair share of tax by ensuring their assets are registered abroad beyond democratic control.
This is also true when a private equity firm purchases a profitable business, as shareholders can claim tax relief on their loans to purchase the business. Once these loans are paid off, the business can be broken up by selling the most profitable parts to the highest bidder.
This government’s mantra of “taking back control” does not embody the will of the people it has impoverished and burdened with increased taxes, but clearly means capital free from democratic control.
Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan
Even if it were no secret, the dependence of political parties on wealthy donors would still be a problem for democracy (Tories facing calls to return money to donors named in newspapers Pandora, October 4).
Popular and hugely beneficial policies, such as closing tax loopholes and closing tax havens, do not happen because parties literally cannot afford to lose the support of very rich people.
The solution is the public funding of political parties, democratically distributed in proportion to the votes obtained in the last legislative elections.
A Tory MP’s admission that London is ‘the money laundering capital of the world’ reminded me of the old-fashioned ‘bluing’ practice, whereby a tiny trace of blue iron salt, indigo or ultramarine was added to the wort to give dull white fabrics a whiter and brighter appearance.
Swynnerton Stone, Staffordshire
The Blairs only have a passing role in the Pandora Newspapers and, as you point out, avoiding Â£ 300,000 in tax is not illegal (Tony and Cherie Blair bought property through an offshore company and saved $ 300 Â£ 000 in taxes, October 3). However, given the recent tribute Keir Starmer paid to the positives of the New Labor years, those who will struggle to keep a roof over their heads this fall after the universal credit cut may wonder if Labor in 2021 really represents the many rather than the few.