Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 February 2008

Rich avoid paying 25 billion tax bill

A NEW report, sponsored by the TUC, accuses companies and rich individuals of using accounting tricks, loopholes and plain tax avoidance to get out of paying a cool 25 billion of tax each year. That is equivalent to 1,000 a year for every worker in Britain.

Roger Shrives

Britain's top 50 companies paid an effective corporation tax rate of 22.5% instead of the 30% it was at the time of the TUC survey. The Labour government has now brought the official figure down to 28% and big business will undoubtedly have reduced the true figure even further since.

In all, the report concludes that wealthy individuals avoided 13 billion tax and big corporations avoided 12 billion. The TUC, quite rightly, calls for an end to the government's threats to HM Revenue and Customs staff jobs ie tax inspectors. But it has no real solution to the problem of how to gain more equality.

As 'Old Labour' MP Austin Mitchell and accounting expert Prem Sikka point out in a recent article, the wealth of the super-rich has trebled in the past decade. Meanwhile, half of the adult population now owns less than 1% of the wealth, if you exclude the value of dwellings. 23% of adults have wealth of less than 5,000.

But the poorest 20% of households have the highest tax burden, paying 36.4% of their total income in tax, 9.5% of it direct tax, 26.9% indirect tax. The average (median) wage is 23,764 so most workers are living on very little except personal debt.

In 2006, 54 billionaires had a combined fortune of 126 billion but only paid 14.7 million in income tax - that is 0.01% of their total wealth! With a new recession approaching, such inequalities will become even more intolerable.

Socialists would certainly support Mitchell and Sikka's proposals for lower or even no taxation for the low-paid and their call for a more aggressive response to organised tax avoidance by the super-rich.

We would link it with a call for a campaign to take these powerful, irresponsible firms into public ownership. That is the best way to ensure the fat cats and their accountants do not fiddle their way out of paying for such services as health and education. Now if the TUC could start campaigning on that basis...!

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 6 February 2008:

MPs' insult to low-paid workers

Their hands in our till

Protests as multinational grabs health centre

Rich avoid paying 25 billion tax bill

Why they call them 'fat cats'

War and terrorism

Bush and Brown's Afghan strategy lies in tatters

Socialist Party women

Fight attacks on abortion rights

Socialist Party news and analysis

Victory! Bristol campaign saves library

Victory! Hull youth workers save jobs

Inspiring victory for Polish workers

Fighting the BNP in Barnsley

Shell output is down, but profits hit new record

Young workers and Students

Young workers get organised

Protest against university fees

Refreshing student work in Bangor

International Socialist Resistance website

Socialist Students website

Environment and socialism

Incinerators: Our health at risk!

Stop the Anglesey nuclear time-bomb

Socialist Party debate

How can an alternative to the main political parties be developed?

International socialist news and analysis

Kenya: Workers' movement must provide an alternative

France: LCR votes to launch a new party

Workplace news

Birmingham: Thousands on strike against pay cuts

Workplace news in brief


Home   |   The Socialist 6 February 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleNews in brief

triangleThem & Us

triangle30 years since the huge anti-poll tax demo... And how mass non-payment of the tax was built

triangleNewham campaign set up against council cuts and tax hikes

triangleLiverpool & District Socialist Party: 30 years ago - How the poll tax was defeated


triangle1,600 less benefits if your job goes - while super-rich splash cash

triangleRich get handouts - workers get pay cuts

triangleBail out the real wealth creators, not the rich

triangleNationalise to save jobs threatened by Covid-19 and downturn


triangleLobbying for a lead from the TUC

triangleNSSN rally: Workers must not pay the price of Covid

triangleDemand a fightback from the TUC and unions

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


The Socialist

The Socialist: More than a newspaper



Coventry: Socialist Students is back



Liverpool Council must save care homes



Sussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools


Fighting Fund

Fighting fund: One week to raise 3,444



Workplace news in brief



Dispatches from the front - chaotic schools are not safe!


The Socialist

Selling the Socialist


Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed


Young people

Covid generation says 'fund our future'



Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges


National Shop Stewards Network

Lobbying for a lead from the TUC



Angry health workers demand 15% now!



Reinstate Richie Venton



Reinstate Tony Smith

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020