Andy Hamilton, Atos, avoid, BBC, Customs, Department, DWP, G4S, George Osborne, haven, high net worth, hmrc, Huffington Post, London Olympics, Mike Sivier, mikesivier, News Quiz, Pensions, public sector, Radio 4, Revenue, Serco, tax, Vox Political, work
What bad luck for George Osborne to get two sums wrong in the same week!
The first sum was a simple times-table question; a school pupil asked him to multiply seven by eight and he couldn’t do it.
The second sum was more serious because it was a sum of money. Rather a lot of money. £1.9 billion, in fact.
The Boy had claimed that around £3 billion in extra tax had been recovered from “high net worth individuals” – tax avoiders – after investigations by HM Revenue and Customs.
Unfortunately, errors in the way HMRC’s performance targets were set meant that these improvements were… well, “overstated” is how the Huffington Post described them.
This meant that, when HMRC said it exceeded its target for tax compliance in 2010-11 by £1.9 billion, in fact it had only just hit its target. The following year, its claim to have exceeded targets by £2 billion was out by the same amount; in fact it had made gains of just £100 million.
There is around £21 trillion in unclaimed, avoided tax sitting in ‘haven’ bank accounts around the world – many of them British territories – and Osborne has managed to collect just £100 million.
Meanwhile unemployed and low-paid working citizens – who have no income apart from state benefits, due to the systematic destruction of the UK’s industrial base by neoliberal politicians who were intent on increasing insecurity among the lower classes – are being starved to death.
Osborne has only himself to blame. When the Coalition government came into office, the Tories insisted that they didn’t need anything like as many public-sector workers as were then on the books – and started laying people off wholesale.
Now the DWP has a claimant assessment backlog of 700,000 for ESA alone (compared with less than 30,000 in May 2010) and the government’s flagship Universal Credit project is hopelessly bogged down, to quote just two examples of the remaining public servants being unable to do their jobs.
Meanwhile, outsourcing of government jobs to private companies has created a disaster: The National Health Service in England is slowly falling over the cliff, with privateers taking so much in profit that the service will go £2 billion into debt next year while waiting times at Accident and Emergency departments continue to increase out-of-control (no matter what lies David Cameron dribbles in Prime Minister’s Questions); a £116 million IT programme arranged with French firm Steria to run staffing, procurement and payroll services for civil servants was scrapped at a cost of £56 million – and then Steria was re-hired to outsource British jobs to India, Poland and Morocco, again at UK taxpayers’ expense.
Does anyone remember the fiasco when G4S was hired to run security at the London Olympics, failed to meet requirements, and the Army had to be called in at the last minute?
Atos and the DWP, anybody?
Andy Hamilton commented on this phenomenon during this week’s News Quiz on BBC Radio 4: “For decades, we have watched governments hand over the utilities and services to companies like G4S and Serco and we have watched as they basically ruined them.
“And then once they’ve ruined them, they get given some more to ruin until they’re running all sorts of services; they’re now huge!
“I still hanker after the good old days when G4S was just Group 4, and its core business was letting prisoners escape from vans.”
Some of us still hanker after the good old days when George Osborne was just a department store employee, and his core business was folding towels.
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
Vox Political needs your help!
This independent blog’s only funding comes from readers’ contributions.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:
Alternatively, you can buy Vox Political books!
The second – Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first, Strong Words and Hard Times
is still available in either print or eBook format here:
Reblogged this on sdbast.
Methinks that Mr Osborne’s main talented occupation is dishing out flannel instead of managing public finance.
Boldeefett Loxx said:
Of course he’s an MP one of the main talents required to sit on the front benches.
Mike Sivier said:
It was a play on words – “towel folder” – “flannel”.
Pingback: Osborne's tax avoidance failure reveals the fac...
Not only is he embarrassed but he’s an embarrassment to the UK, which has been shown so many times we’ve lost count.
Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
Mike here shows the ex-department store towel-folder’s misstatement about the total amount of tax they had managed to claw back from evaders, along with the way his neoliberal policies are wrecking the NHS and public services. To paraphrase the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, here is one unhoopy frood who really doesn’t know where his towel is.
Georgey Porgey only had to be born to be worth £ miliions……thanks to Daddy Osborne’s TAX AVOIDANCE HABITS!
he never has much to say to governor of the bank of england as he cant engage on an intellect level so is found wonting
Osborne married The Hon Frances Victoria Howell (b. 18 February 1969), author and elder daughter of the Conservative politician and Government Minister Lord Howell of Guildford, on 4 April 1998. The couple have two children, Luke Benedict, born at Westminster on 15 June 2001, and Liberty Kate, born at Westminster, London, on 27 June 2003. He has an estimated personal fortune of around £4 million, as the beneficiary of a trust fund that owns a 15 per cent stake in Osborne & Little, the wallpaper-and-fabrics company co-founded by his father, Sir Peter Osborne, Bt.
Osborne was educated at independent schools: Norland Place School, Colet Court and St Paul’s School.
He was given a demyship to Magdalen College, University of Oxford, where he received a 2:1 bachelor’s degree in Modern History
my daughter is far more advanced then he at least she got a first class in international politics
Unfortunately, he lost his job folding towels because he lacks adequate qualifications.
Smiling Carcass said:
Reblogged this on SMILING CARCASS'S TWO-PENNETH.
He achieved a 2:1 in modern history !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and put in charge of the government finances, it’s an absolute joke but not so funny for those receiving the thin end of the wedge. It is like putting Frank Bruno in charge of he NHS.
God pour me a whiskey, the more I read about this shower the more depressed I become. I have taken to having long walks with the jack russell to try and clear my head.
Something which really annoys me to the core, how can this shower have the audacity to stand up in Westminster and address each other ” The right honourable gentleman” when they are ripping the country apart and lining their own pockets??
The adjective of “Honourable” meaning worshipful, I would not wish to breath the same air as them, hence why I live in the mountains in North Wales, the further away the better.