...a blog by Richard Flowers

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 2999: Nick versus Barclays


Mr Clogg battles on behalf of all citizens who pay our taxes and (nowadays) own our banks.

Yesterday, the Grauniad published a secret document from Barclays Bank on how best to AVOID TAX. They then UNPUBLISHED it when Barclays obtained a GAGGING ORDER on the grounds that revealing how they AVOID TAX might be commercially prejudicial.

Mr Clogg went into a meeting with the Barclays boss, Mr John Vastley, and gave him what for!

"It didn't come to a stand-up row," Mr Clogg told the The Today Programme, "because I used my JEDI POWERS to subdue him first. Ahem."

Mr Vince "The Power" Cable, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor also weighed in.

"At a time when banks are receiving massive support from the Government, the public has a right to know if those same banks are also trying to avoid paying their tax bills," he said, pointing out that Barclays are looking for BIG BIG government guarantees at the same time as they are short-changing the Exchequer.

Personally, I think that any bank that has substantial support from the public purse, whether it is nationalised or just getting its loan book held afloat, should be subject to the same Freedom of Information laws as any other department that is spending public money. After all, WE OWN YOU NOW, Mr Bankers.

Of course, this news comes on the same day that Lord Airhead Turner, head of the banking regulator the FSA (Fully Subservient Authority), announced plans for tighter regulation.

Lord Airhead, and forgive me if this gets a bit technical, thinks that the rules should be: don't lend every last penny you've got to people who can never, ever pay it back.

But I'd like to make my own suggestion: DO NOT CHEAT THE TAXPAYING PUBLIC.

And that goes DOUBLE in the week you are asking them to pull your nuts out of the fire!


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