And with perfect timing, we get this story, which illustrates this concern all too well. In 2009 Barclays Bank made £11,600,000,000 in profits and yet paid only £113,000,000 in corporate tax - less than 1% rather than the legislated rate of 26%. Under such circumstances, the commonly expressed fear that closing loopholes and chasing tax dodging companies might make them up and leave, taxing their tax revenue with them, starts to look like a very small fig leaf. It was always a poor argument, akin to avoiding legal confrontation with the Mafia because they keep the local economy flowing.
"Pay to all what is due to them — taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honour to whom honour is due."
- Romans 13.7 (NRSV).And in other news, the documentary Inside Job was released in the UK yesterday, investigating the role major banks played in fuelling the global financial crisis. It is currently at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.