Love to see a study like this for America.
The Guardian’s analysis shows that the corporatists in Cameron’s UK government have a well designed scheme of wealth redistribution going in which every family in the UK is handing over £3,500 annually to big businesses like Amazon, Nissan, Ford, etc. through tax breaks for business, subsidies and grants, or as it is sometimes referred to “corporate welfare.”
My very conservative question is, wouldn’t it be purer capitalism to let those families spend that £3,500 annually how they see fit, and wouldn’t the best businesses receive their share of that money anyway? That is in a nutshell the laissez faire capitalist argument against taxes used against the laissez faire capitalist argument for business givebacks.
When the right talks about crony capitalism, how is this not the primest example of same? The cronies are the legislators on both sides of the ocean who take the campaign funds and then create business friendly legislation handing taxpayer money over to business. Never mind picking winners and losers, it’s picking taxpayer pockets without providing any increase in the value of the commons that the taxpayers own. It’s a vastly different thing to build a bridge that everyone can use versus handing money to (usually) an already profitable business to appease them to create the mythical “good business environment” in which business people get their bottom lines stroked with taxpayer money.
Corporate welfare is part of what David Cameron calls his government’s policy to make the UK “the most open, welcoming, business-friendly country in the world”.
But let’s take the campaign donation system of legal bribery out of it for a second and look at it from another angle. Politicians everywhere arguably act irresponsibly in order to create that “good business environment” by providing tax free zones, rebates and incentives to lure businesses to their jurisdictions. It’s the local government paying for the billionaire team owner’s sports stadium in order to get/keep the team. It’s the tax free zone created to lure businesses that will create jobs. It’s the tax rebates given to the oil industry despite record profits. It’s all defendable, it’s all respectable, it’s all so responsible and upstanding – except that it’s not.
The Guardian’s analysis shows that while the state is giving private companies an increasing amount in direct handouts, the money repaid in corporate taxation is falling almost year upon year.
In the financial year 2012-13, the government spent £58.2bn on subsidies, grants and corporate tax benefits. It took just £41.3bn in corporation tax receipts.
If the government and the taxpayers aren’t profiting by this strategy, and they’re not, then they’re just being taken for a ride. The politicians are willingly getting in the car. The taxpayers are dragged behind it.