This week’s Letters to The Buteman

Send your letters to The Buteman to news@buteman.com. Deadline is on Monday at 5pm.
Send your letters to The Buteman to news@buteman.com. Deadline is on Monday at 5pm.

This week’s letters to The Buteman include thanks from the local Macmillan Cancer Support team to all who supported their ‘Cake & Cuppa’ event, one reader’s gratitude for all who donated to her London Marathon appeal, and thoughts on ‘tax havens’.

Sir, – The Bute branch of Macmillan Cancer Support is extremely grateful to everyone who supported the Cake & Cuppa event at Bute Shinty Club on Sunday, April 24.

The wonderful sum of £1156.29 was raised.

Although wishing to thank everyone whose generous support made this event possible, the list of names would almost be endless.

We hope it is sufficient to say you know who you are and you have our gratitude.

The money raised over this weekend will go to the refurbishment of the Palliative Care Unit at the Victoria Hospital. – Yours, etc.,

Elena Anderson (Secretary)

Craigmore Road, Rothesay

Generous help for worthy cause

Sir, – Thank you to the people and businesses of Rothesay for your generous donations to my London Marathon fundraising!

Solace Women’s Aid is a cause close to my heart and I really appreciate your support. – Yours, etc.

Maggie Bridge

(via email)

Looking down from the balcony

Sir, – Tax havens benefit those who use them, and disadvantage everyone else, reducing funds for public services, with more burden falling on those who do pay taxes.

“Tax haven” arrangements are mostly governmentally legitimised. Public scrutiny is mostly embarrassing not because it is necessary illegal, but because this tax avoidance is morally indefensible.

Individuals benefiting from these tax haven arrangements live and operate amongst us. They move about on the roads the rest of us paid for. They employ workers the rest of us paid to educate. They are safe because of emergency services the rest of us provide.

Massive tax avoidance by the super-rich involves two separate economies. The first, the ‘Normal’ economy, in which individuals are subject to state “Pay As You Earn” type taxation, and where it is made relatively difficult to pass on or accumulate substantial wealth.

The second the ‘Balcony’ economy, where extremely wealthy individuals operate, where declaring income is no more than a lifestyle choice.

This ‘Balcony’ economy floats above, but is separate, from what we see every day as the ‘Normal’ economy.

In the ‘Balcony’ economy the super-rich arrange for other “nominees” to manage their financial assets and lower them down into the ‘Normal’ economy, to attract income and capital appreciation. All these profits are then hoisted up again, out of the normal economy, completely free from taxation, hidden legally through the anonymity of these expatriate nominees and offshore companies.

Migration of wealth to these “tax free living” individuals is a one-way street. There is less and less “money” in the ‘Normal’ economy due to this steady hidden transfer.

No one should grudge the rightful rewards for legitimate success.

But when the continued increase in personal ostentatious wealth is no longer about entrepreneurship, but merely more imaginative, secretive methods of “stealing” from your fellow citizens, this by avoiding legitimate taxation, society could collapse.

The question is what will the rest of us choose to do about it? – Yours, etc.,

G S

(Name and address supplied)