From the TUC

Scratched record on tax keeps playing

28 Aug 2008, by Guest in Economics

Here we go again.  Struggling investment fund Hendersons Group is moving its HQ to Ireland to escape the barbaric way we tax businesses in the UK.  That just adds to the vast flow of firms that the City and the CBI repeatedly tell us will quit.  Er, in fact, just three this year.  Maybe they’ll all be on the boat with that fearful crowd of non-dom refugees who seem to be taking a mighty long time to book their tickets to Switzerland.

Amazingly, the Today programme had a ‘discussion’ about this between John Cridland of the CBI and Mike Warburton of tax accountants Grant Thornton this morning.  That was a right old ding-dong I don’t think.  They agreed on everything particularly the fact that the Government has caused the problem by creating so much uncertainty over the taxation of foreign profits.  That is, of course, rubbish.  It’s the CBI that has caused the uncertainty by overplaying its hand.  Richard Murphy’s excellent account of where the real blame lies is worth a read.

And just to clarify: when a company moves its HQ overseas, it still pays tax on any profits made in the UK.  So press stories claiming such moves will knock a hole in the public finances are wrong.