I'd like to speak to you about your message, your method and your aims. So, I'm going to take your mission statement (or, what I perceive to be a summary of it -- you don't have a mission statement) from your website and put it here:
We are told that the only way to reduce the deficit is to cut public services. This is certainly not the case. There are alternatives, but the government chooses to ignore them, highlighting the fact that the cuts are based on ideology, not necessity.
- One alternative is to clamp down on tax dodging by corporations and the rich, estimated to cost the state £95bn a year
- Another is to make the banks pay for a crisis they created: last year they paid out over £7bn in bonuses and just four banks made £24bn in profit
The tax avoided and evaded in a single year could pay for the £81bn, four-year cuts programme.
Let's ignore the banks for now, and concentrate on UKUncut's mission against corporate tax avoidance, because certainly if we can just increase tax yield by £95 billion a year, it's well worth looking at.
First of all, we need to distinguish tax evasion, which is the illegal non-payment of tax via false accounting or other methods, from tax avoidance, which is finding legal loopholes in order to pay less tax than is required.
It is a fact that some businesses do use tax loopholes to avoid taxation which they should pay. It is also true that some businesses which UKUncut have targetted are in fact only guilty of not paying tax twice on the same profits.
We are being deceived. I do not say this lightly, because it's a harsh accusation to throw at the government which ran this country for the last thirteen years, but I am also not known for pulling my punches where politicians are concerned. Over those thirteen years of Labour government, we lived on an unsustainable platform which I'm going to show you in detail.
First, we should look at Labour's economic legacy, then we'll go onto failing public services, and finally we'll look at the cuts being imposed by the coalition and why they're having to be made.