I'm a right-winger, and proud of it. I stand for small government, low taxes and a free market economy. This is not because it produces the best growth statistics or the best living conditions (although it helps), but because it offers the most freedom to succeed or fail to all individuals.
Having said that, I do not stand for a society where people are left to fend for themselves if they're not able to find employment, or they're disabled, or they're really struggling despite trying.
It is completely understandable that many people presume that the Rally Against Debt is a movement of self-interested. "Cut the services, cut our taxes, fuck the poor". Fortunately, that's not what it's about at all.
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.