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By ATWadmin On March 4th, 2008

Have to  hand it to the European Union, it may be effete in it’s dealing with militant Islam but when it comes to cracking down with an iron fist on those who seek to minimise their tax-burden, it’s getting all macho!

"The European Union will declare war today on Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and Switzerland. Weary of losing billions of tax euros, the EU’s 27-strong high command of economics and finance ministers, Ecofin, is meeting in Brussels to agree a strategy aimed at bringing the continent’s tax havens under control."

Yes, it must be so awful for the EUSSR to watch all those ££££billions move around and not get its sweaty hands on some of the loot. Make no mistake, this is all about socialism chasing the money trail, it’s the crass politics of envy and a further expansion of the collectivist mindset that characteriises the EU.

42 Responses to “THE WAR ON WEALTH”

  1. No, this is about billionaires dodging taxes, aided and abetted by "no questions asked" states like Liechtenstein and Monaco. And in the UK we don’t have to look further than the Channel Isles to see the same culture of secrecy at work.

    And these havens are being increasingly used by drug dealers to launder vast sums of money – do they deserve the veil of secrecy?

    No civilised country in the world regards that as acceptable behaviour. These tax dodgers cost the rest of us and there is no reason why we should tolerate the statelets that enable them to do it.

  2. Totally agree with you Peter, why should these people get away with paying no tax…when I have to accept a measly 4.3 interest (tax paid) on anything I save. Envy ok but justified envy!

  3. Yip I agree with the other commentators.

  4. I’ve read some Left Wing crap before and you three are up there with the best of it – actually defending those good old anti-imperialists’ declaration of ‘war’ on smaller nations, because those nations have policies that the EU doesn’t like.

    Peter –

    How the hell is the EU ‘losing’ money and how is it ‘costing us’? The EU doesn’t have any bloody money – it’s ours. If our neighbours steal less of it then the best of British to those who move there.

    I notice that the Treasury paid a thief £100K to hand over information on tax exiles he stole from banks in Lichtenstein. I look forward to Lichtenstein requesting the return of stolen goods and the extradition of the Treasury officials who paid for it, the swindling, thieving bastards.

  5. Pete Moore

    It is estimated that the tax revenue lost to the UK through millionaire tax dodger crooks, aided and abetted by these sleazy statelets, amounts to billions per annum. Meanwhile the rest of us pay our dues.

    The only stolen funds are the taxes illegally dodged by these parasites, but it is totally predictable that Rightworld leaps to their defence. Meanwhile you call for benefit cheats to be publicly flogged, not that you have dual standards or anything.

    And it was the Germans who paid the Lichtenstein guy, not the Brits. Lichtenstein is to Germany what Jersey is to Britain in terms of tax dodging, only the Germans aren’t prepared to put up with it any more.

  6. Peter –

    The Huns paid more money for more info on more people, but the Treasury is still in receipt of stolen goods.

    These tax exiles do not cost us a penny. They do not dip into our pockets. Capisce? Of course you don’t capisce, because you’re not thinking.

    This year the Treasury will steal £750billion from us. It’ll come directly from our pockets. With Gordon Brown’s off-the-books PFI deals and public-sector pensions, we’re all stuffed for the rest of our lives, but your chain is yanked by a handful of individuals with the wherewithal to keep their own money.

    You really do disappoint.

  7. Pete Moore

    These freeloaders live among us, are protected by our laws, police and armed forces, drive on our roads, etc etc, but choose not to pay for the privelege. Like that Hemsley woman in New York, they genuinely think taxes are only for poor people to pay. They stash their dosh into "tax havens" and pay little or nothing towards the country they live in.

    Go right on defending the billionaire tax dodgers, drug lords and their sleazy bolt-holes. See if I care. But the days of "tax havens" and their dodgy patrons are numbered anyway.

  8. These freeloaders live among us, are protected by our laws, police and armed forces, drive on our roads, etc etc, but choose not to pay for the privilege.


    If they’re breaking the law, then I agree that they should be prosecuted. And, I have no time for those states that facilitate law-breaking.

    However, if these wealthy individuals actually are officially resident in these small states that’s a different matter entirely, right? If someone spends less than 180 days here (Republic) they are officially non-resident for tax. Many of the Ireland’s wealthiest officially reside in Monaco or wherever in order to avail of the tax laws that prevail in such places. They fly in and out on a very regular basis.

    Pete Moore/David

    I think you underestimate the extent to which drug dealers and terrorist organizers/fund-raisers use these states’ laws against us. I’m all for cracking down on that.

    Also, even if we’re simply talking about tax dodgers, let them stay and pay what they owe and work hard to lower the tax burden on all of us. You must stay within the law.

  9. Taxes should be paid where the money is made.

  10. Okay, Henry, but if you’re in charge of a company with operations all over the place where is the money made? Michael O’Leary could live anywhere in Europe and claim to make his money and pay his taxes there (he chooses to remain resident here, which is something I think too few people here respect about him).

  11. Well said Peter anmd Maggie. I hope the EU totally screw the lot of em, dodgy billionaires, terrorists and drug dealers alike.

  12. Eagle

    You should pay your personal tax where you live and it is up to each jurisdiction to define residency just as it is for each company to declare their profits within the law.

    If someone has taken money offshore without declaring it for tax they have broken the law.

    The Independent has high popes for the supression of the tax havens

    But how much more for corporate profits dispatched to tax havens? A multiple of 10? Or a hundred? Either way, such monumental achievements as an end to global hunger, routinely dismissed as a pipedream of lefties, suddenly become a realistic prospect.

    I think any sensible person will know that no matter how much revenue is raised in tax in Europe global hunger will not be ended by it.

    Politicans will use the money the same way they use all the other money they get their hands on. To buy votes.

  13. Henry,

    "The Independent has high popes for the supression of the tax havens"

    That would be the havens for the corporate prophets. 🙂

  14. If UK, Germany, France and the rest of the big government / high tax regimes do not like the fact that other countries near the EU have lowere taxes they should lower their own rates rather than bully their small neighbours.

    That said, a small number of super rich avoiding fair taxes is offensive to the average worker and tax payer.

  15. NRG

    The tax rate in many of these statelets is zero, so your comment is nonsense.

  16. Ah, Peter, such a nice way of treating others opinions. How are things in the nationalist socialists eco nut alliance – or are you still in the brown shorts of the Gore Youth?

    1. You need to get your facts right, the "tax rates" are not zero. In some circumstances the income tax rate may be zero, but there are other taxes in force (VAT for instance).

    2. If neighbouring countries lowered tax rates then money would not pour into the micro states and they would have to revise their taxation policies.

    Sadly you seem to take the bullying appraoch to all problems.

  17. NRG

    You just don’t get it.

    These rich guys object to paying any taxes. So even if the UK lowered its basic rate from 20% to 5% that would still be 5% too much when they can get 0% in Monaco.

  18. Glad you can tell me that I "don’t get" something that I know a bit about (economics degree, own businesses near Monaco, pay taxes across French and UK systems)

    and.. er.. you did read the second bit of my post?

    "That said, a small number of super rich avoiding fair taxes is offensive to the average worker and tax payer."

    There is a difference between going after non-payers (the private equity types revolt me) and beating up on small countries whose polices you disagree with.

  19. NRG

    Those "small countries" are facilitating tax larceny amounting to hundreds of billions worldwide, never mind that they are also enabling the drug barons to launder their millions with no questions asked.

    So don’t expect me to have any sympathy for them. They deserve their growing pariah status and I hope they get properly sorted out just as soon as ever possible.

  20. "If UK, Germany, France and the rest of the big government / high tax regimes do not like the fact that other countries near the EU have lowere taxes they should lower their own rates rather than bully their small neighbours."


    That would be a fair point re Rep. of Ireland, Estonia etc with low corp tax rates. It is up to the larger countries to compete.

    However, David is talking about tax havens where the super-rich can allow their wealth to accumulate without payment of tax.

  21. It is high time that Monaco and like refuges stop being allowed to provide a refuge for the filthy rich.

  22. I wish I was filthy rich and had the option of evading taxes.

  23. Daphne: Indeed. I am just filthy and evading texas.

  24. Peter: You are using drug dealers and terrorists as a "strawman" to justify your wish to see the "filthy rich" taken down a peg.

    What class envy some of you have! Envy is such a destructive "sin" destroying the one who envies, not the subject of the envy.

    Just look at how class envy has destroyed the very socialists societies who have acted on it to enforce "equality."

    Those with bags of money will go elsewhere. They always do.

    Too bad you don’t have similar feelings of dislike towards the real "robber barons" in this scenario – the politicians pandering, promising, and then confiscating money from citizens who for the most part just want to be left alone.

  25. Patty

    I never used the phrase "filthy rich". Unlike you, I object to tax dodgers who freeload and leave the rest of us to pay the taxes. But of course Rightworld has always been the tax-dodgers’ friend. It just can’t see that tax dodgers and benefit scroungers are both thieving from the rest of us.

    I’ve no problem with rich people as such, heck I even know a few.

  26. Peter,

    I’m still trying to come to grips with your complaint. Is it that these small states have very low tax rates for their residents or is it that their secretive banking laws allow criminals to hide their money from the authorities?

    Tax dodgers are criminals and if they’re hiding their money in Liechtenstein or Monaco that’s wrong and those states should cooperate with the German, French, UK or whatever authorities.

    HOWEVER, if it’s simply that these small countries charge zero tax on the incomes of their wealthiest residents, well, so what? If people want to move to Monaco and pay no tax and if the people of Monaco want such people moving to their country what business is it of ours to tell them how to organize themselves?

  27. Eagle

    I couldn’t give a stuff what tax rates these Ruritanias set for their inmates.

    What I do object to is their refusal to join the rest of the world by disclosing to the tax authorities of the UK, Germany or wherever the income earned by the citizens resident in UK, Germany or wherever who have stuffed money into their Ruritanian banks, whatever the source of that money. The reason being that loads of these guys fail to declare this Ruritanian income as part of their tax returns in UK, Germany or wherever, which is both illegal and fraudulent in those countries.

    All civilised countries now exchange this information. Lichtenstein and a few other "tax havens" still shelter the tax dodgers, cheered on by most of Rightworld.

    Clear now?

  28. Patty,

    Im not sure I understand your point. Are you pro Tax dodgers.

    Take your own country and an area you care passionately about. I presume there is a heavy tax burden to pay for the military, amongst others. Do you really think that targeting people avoiding tax, tax which is needed to pay for military expenditure amongst other things, is wishing "to see the "filthy rich" taken down a peg." ??

    Would the revelation that one or any of the contenders for the American presidential election was a tax dodger in anyway influence your views on this person.

  29. Peter,

    That’s fine. I agree with you. If you reside in the UK or Germany or France and hide your income in the ‘tax havens’ then you’re breaking the law and those ‘tax havens’ should cooperate with the authorities in those countries.

  30. Kloot – I think I’m pro-flat tax. One low rate for everyone. Stop with the sliding scale, taxing the rich at greater rates – trying to get more from the lucky stiff who happens to earn more one year.

    This would largely eliminate legal tax dodges – which is what we’re talking about, no?

  31. Kloot: I also didn’t understand the actions of the EU to be a question of law enforcement, so much as a question of finding new revenue sources. That’s what I object to.

    No..I don’t support or defend those who break the law, or "game the system." I hate that.

    But, I also don’t defend or support politicians who treat people as if people work for them, and owe them tithe in taxation, rather than the government working for the people.

  32. The US’s biggest expenditures are Social Security and Medicare – both entitlement programs, the military is a relatively small portion of our budget.

    We have two tax problems in our country. The first is that about 38% of wage earners pay no income tax, and many of those receive "tax refunds" (redistributing my tax money) to "help" them out (read buy votes). The second problem is that many of the "filthy rich" don’t pay any income tax because they don’t have income to be taxed per se, their money is in trusts.

  33. Daphne: I think the military is a greater amount than you’ve indicated. But I agree wit hyour points on tax issues.

  34. I’ll go look Mahons – you could be right on the budget. I can’t keep all that in my head for easy reference.

  35. Daphne: If you will allow my inner Pete Moore to come out, don’t just rely on the government figures.

  36. I found 19% for Defense.

    I’m not sure how accurate this wiki link is, but here’s their easy pie chart.

  37. Who’s figures should I look at then? I mean the budget’s the budget, right?

  38. Daphne: Yes, but check out the supplementary costs. Much of Iraq and Afghanistan’s costs are not included in the budget under the militray expenditures. Who can cook the books better than Washington, DC?

  39. Nobody.

  40. And these havens are being increasingly used by drug dealers to launder vast sums of money

    peter, drug money is a major source of cheap money for the markets. the laudered gains of illegal drug trafficking are now effectively a built in part of modern economics. unless of course we want to believe that half to one trillion dollars just sloshes around doing absolutely nothing.

    as for talk of envy of these people, surely a wish to protect such excess is the greatest sign of envy. and its also a great irony that those who pay the least (the super-rich) are closer to the ears of governments than those who pay most (the working/middle classes).

  41. daphne, the military is by far the biggest expense. the pentagon apparently has a tendancy to hide other costs inside other departments budgets. plus the budget doesnt include the costs of current theater conflict.

    i recently read an article that exposes the current military expenses to be nearly twice the quoted figure. your government will alledgedly spend closer one trillion dollars on "defense" this year. and yet they sill wont give the troops much needed equipment or protection and seek to cut funding for veterans. you would almost be forgiven for thinking it was all about the money.

  42. Tripper, the latest news of Iran and Iraq’s leaders hand in hand were enough for me. We’re dying for this? I think they can manage very well without us, thank you. I try not to be naive. I will admit to wanting to believe my government, but I know damn well my fearless leaders negotiated this "axis of evil" get together. What was the point of this war? Really. Someone tell me.

    I’m sure you and Mahon’s are correct in your assessment of my government’s ability to hide expenses. Patty has made a good point about small government being a better beast, but I don’t know how you would get there from here.

    I am highly disillusioned about government and the political process at this moment.