Custard Pie

This the second on LVT and related issues by Mark Wadsworth, the first being Houses of the Holy. My own interim comment on land, to which Mark responded, among others, was called Land.

OK, let’s go back to the drawing board and try and agree a few principles for the best, or at least the least-bad, kind of tax. Such a tax would encourage – or at least not discourage – effort and enterprise and investment in income producing assets, and it would prevent both poverty and privilege from becoming entrenched. If the tax fails these tests, it can be discarded.

1. It would be a tax on ‘consumption’ rather than on ‘income’. That rules out:

a) Income tax and corporation tax, obviously;

b) National Insurance, which is a super-tax on employment income at worst and a compulsory savings scheme at best;

c) Value Added Tax, which is a tax on production, and not a tax on ‘consumption’ in any meaningful sense.

So we have to look for something which has value to people, but which is not actually ‘produced’ by any identifiable individual private enterprise.

Herve Falciani and the danger of investing in Switzerland

95073935This article follows on from Herve Falciani.

There’s an immediate issue which arises from the theft of 80 000 client account details from HSBC by Herve Falciani and whether he sold the information for money or was motivated by altruism is hardly relevant to the discussion.

What’s so wrong with placing money in foreign accounts anyway?

Don Coxe, a Canadian investment banker who works in Chicago, said the Swiss have a history of recruiting clients for offshore accounts.

“We know that the Swiss banks did do marketing to high-net-worth people, wealthy people in North America, trying to entice them to take their money away from banking with local financial institutions, to bank in Switzerland,” he said.  “And that with a wink and a nod, it was indicated, ‘Well, this way you get around your local taxes.'”

The Falciani case is one in a string of tax scandal stories in the last few years that have shaken up offshore banking industry.

Which rig is best?

Skipperjeru opens his account with musings on the rig he prefers. Readers should note that he is a professional sailor and his advice is well worth heeding, should you plan to go to sea.  Thanks for this:

Among N.O.’s several obsessions one of my favourites is ‘which Rig is best’. Having sailed several, I usually chime in with a comment in favour of ketches.

Precise and inexorable

I wouldn’t expect anyone would like this music this evening and I do try to mix it up – usually accessible but sometimes inaccessible. The following tracks, one German, one Russian, you might call militaristic but they remind me of the East German football team and the way they played – proceeding down the pitch in formation – at least as far as the music itself went.

Es färbte sich die Wiese grün [gets into gear from 2:39 onwards]:

The new reality

Various snippets, combined, make worrying reading.  Lord T mentions a possible small victory for the common man but there are ways around that:

Already the UK and the US sneakily and immorally, although borderline legally, tap into and record data on everyone’s browsing habits, Emails and contact details using the excuse of preventing terrorism.

My beloved

Reading about Calum Carr’s car and its various ailments reminded me of days gone by.

This is a photograph of a painting of a photograph of my beloved Alfa.  Sadly she died of old age in 2006.

I still miss her.

1988 – 2006  R.I.P

She was a fast and flighty floozy in her prime but I loved her madly.


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