21/06/2012

Jimmy Carr Crash News

Poor old Jimmy Carr. He dodges a little bit of tax and somehow becomes the poster boy for the rich and immoral. Up to that point he spent most of his career making jokes about war victims, paedophiles and the disabled, and everyone thought he was a good egg.

He has now apologised and said that he made a "terrible error of judgement" over his tax dodging scheme. And I think that's true. Whatever you do in life, if you find yourself in a position where David Cameron has the moral high-ground over you, you've messed up.

He took part in the controversial K2 off-shore arrangement which allowed him to shelter £3.3million from Revenue and Customs. Apparently he paid less than 1% tax, and that led David Cameron to say he was "morally wrong". From a man who leaves his kid in the pub after a drink.

But he's right. If someone on minimum wage pays nearly 20% there's no way someone pulling in millions should pay only 1%. But it's not Jimmy's fault. It's the fault of the Government. If it is legally allowed to do something with your tax that you think is immoral, you should change the laws. That's what you're there for, Government.

It's not that tricky. Pick a number, like 20%, and make a rule that whatever scheme you are involved in, if you end up paying less than 20% that scheme is illegal. That way, the rich can still hire their expensive accountants to get them down from the 40% rate, the less well off know they're not paying a great fraction of their earnings, and everyone is happy. Oh, apart from there should be a rule that says that Jimmy Carr, and any other comedian no matter how apparently unsuccessful he is, can pay no tax. Cheers.

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