Sunday, 15 April 2012

Tory cant: tax, charity and the definition of death

This week, you would have been forgiven for delusions that the proposals to limit tax avoidance contained in Gormless George's Budget were purely designed to stop philanthropic plutocrats from doing their bit to mend Broken Britain.  The storm of outrage, fanned by Murdoch's minions anxious to propitiate their own demons by peppering the Tories with indiscriminate ordure, and supported by charitable bigwigs whose selflessness is hardly that of latter-day mendicant Friars, is all designed to draw flak away from the incompetence and rapacity of the administration.

Giving tax breaks to charity is a worthy cause, especially for the kind of small donations most working people are able to finance - but to cap the relief at 25% of gross income is hardly likely to diminish targeted philanthropy, unless the philanthropic direction is towards the avoidance of communal obligations through paying a lower proportion of income tax than those less well-endowed with cash.  These people are "wealth-generators" and in a sick parody of the trickledown myth that has been used for boosting inequality by such radical paragons as Reagan, Thatcher, Major and Blair, their entrepreneurship is headed off by having to pay tax - an argument that lesser mortals can't even deploy when they are much closer to the breadline.

Osborne manages to give the impression of hypocrisy and rank stupidity simultaneously; the latest outburst over surprise at the extent of abuse that goes on is a classic of the deception that the Tories keep trying to pass off.  If he is unaware of the superstructure of sleights of hand, creative accounting and the abuse of seemingly-innocuous loopholes that have kept his Etonian mates and Bullingdon morons in financial happiness for so long, then his naivety is dangerous, and if he is attempting to ride popular outrage at the pillagers he has left it a little bit too late for even the "Daily Mail" to extend its usual lapdog credulity.

The other story that has made the news this week is the extent to which the NHS discharges patients at night.  What concerned me even more was the lack of consistency over which it regards a patient as being capable of discharge from its grasping paws - in some cases even death won't encourage the local management to give up on the patient's in-patient status.  This may be for financial reasons, although the average doctor may be more inclined to play God and hope that the hapless corpse spends three days in the tomb before bursting forth.

Personally, I am not particularly fussed to see politicians' tax returns, and, as was discovered at Watergate, alleged transparency is merely a further attempt to create political advantage for the spin-doctoring rottweilers.  All that would be required is for confidence that HMRC is capable of taking action where the system is being abused - something of a big ask these days given the ongoing scandals and rumours that besets our system.  Only when a politician tries to use it to their own advantage (calling on the blond pillock running for London Mayor) should this become an issue.

So hypocrisy, myths and paranoia continue to rule....  No change is all we can expect from this wonderful government.

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