In his book The Great Tax Robbery, Richard Brooks notes that "the institutions that shape the tax system have been captured by the tax industry and corporate interests. Policy is determined through committees and consultation processes in which the tax avoidance industry’s representatives dominate, before being nodded through by parliament without proper debate. This cosy cartel urgently needs dismantling," he declares. Wendy Bradley argues that replacing recently resigned David Heaton with someone on the General Anti Abuse advisory panel (GAAR) who represents ordinary people rather than the tax wizards would be a good place to start.
The grim facts of environmental degradation are causing worldwide economic loss and that means greater poverty and health problems, says Fr Shay Cullen, focusing on the ecological and financial cost of coal, and upon the impact on East Asia. Time and again short term benefits are mostly for the rich while the environmental damage hurts the poor, he says, citing a report commissioned by the G8 and the United Nation's Environmental Programme.
All three main UK political parties now base their economic arguments on a premise which has come to be accepted as truth, but which may be false. The premise is that ‘there is no money left’ and this is used to justify austerity. We don’t want to cut, the argument goes, but there is no money left, so we have to make difficult decisions.
The political economist Ann Pettifor, former head of Jubilee 2000 and now an associate of the New Economics Foundation and policy advisor for Prime Economics, was on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, talking about how to address the Cyprus crisis.