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dean-webster
5th March 2012

So much for ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’

Taxation is a wonderful thing; it works to fairly raise revenue for the services that we all need. Tax revenue goes to enabling university access for students from all backgrounds and funding the NHS – the best health service in the world, taking care of every citizen in the country regardless of wealth or social […]
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Taxation is a wonderful thing; it works to fairly raise revenue for the services that we all need.
Tax revenue goes to enabling university access for students from all backgrounds and funding the NHS – the best health service in the world, taking care of every citizen in the country regardless of wealth or social status. It funds the police service and the armed forces, who work tirelessly to allow us to fearlessly and confidently walk the streets of Manchester. Our council taxes finance bin collections (without which Britain would be nothing), libraries, sports centres and schools: the fabric of our communities.

Our public sector is something of which we can be extremely proud. Everyone in this country relies on the services that are funded by taxation, so why is it fair that some people who use those services do not financially contribute to it? Vodafone, Fortnum & Mason and their ilk are all companies that benefit from our communities; they rely on our business and make billions upon billions of pounds from this country’s financial system. By not paying their fair share of tax, they are making a mockery of the infrastructure, services and individuals who are the lifeblood of their businesses.

Ed Lester, head of the Student Loans Company, makes a little shy of £200,000 a year; his attempts to slyly undercut Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are attempts to undercut you, me and every citizen of the UK. It is especially galling behaviour coming from a public servant and shows a phenomenal level of disregard and disrespect for the very system that is paying his wages.

Thousands of businesses and millions of individuals respect the laws of the land and pay their fair share – what gives these companies and individuals the right not to? Taxation levels are dictated by our ability to pay them. As students we currently do not pay council tax or income tax – not because we cunningly hide our vast wealth in offshore bank accounts, but because we are currently unable to. Once we graduate and (some of us) find gainful employment, we will contribute financially to the system that allowed us to get those qualifications and jobs.

Tax avoidance by companies making millions and by individuals who make tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds out of swindling the country are greedy and disgraceful. Companies like to preach about their ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ initiatives; it is long past time that these included paying their taxes like everybody else.

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