The pressure on public services means that taxes will probably keep rising, particularly for people not able or inclined to afford smart advice on how to avoid them. What we need to do is get more from those global companies avoiding what less mobile businesses must pay and stop fretting about individual tax returns.
Britain's refusal to shut its tax havens also makes possible tax avoidance by global corporations and global leaders. This is a stitch up. Meaningful reform of the tax system in the interest of the public is being prevented due to the interests of the world's rich and powerful, who are making a killing. Those literally being killed from this cosy deal are the world's poor. An estimated 1,000 children die each day across the developing world because illicit and untaxed income is spirited away from developed countries into tax havens.
Every small business owner that pays his and her fair share of tax, now knows that the Conservative government is not here to foster and promote growth and competition. They are here to protect established and vested interests. George Osborne hailed this deal as a "major success". It was. For Google.
If ministers are really concerned about low pay, they should start by announcing that all government departments are to become living wage employers, and encourage other employers to follow suit. They must also fund local councils properly so that the introduction of the living wage does not bankrupt the social care sector. The government should also back UNISON's Ethical Care Charter and help address the endemic levels of non-compliance in the care sector by ensuring that all care workers are paid for their travel time.
Tax is too important to be left to very narrow interests, and yet that is what has happened in the UK and worldwide over the last few years. It is high time that this was changed: our tax system is far from progressive, and serves the few rather than the many. The left must fight to make it fairer, and these measures are a good place to start.
Anyone who has either experienced a period or knows anything about them knows that there is nothing luxurious about the feeling of menstrual cramps, or discovering your purse is empty when you've run out of tampons. Without affordable sanitary products, those women who menstruate are prevented from leading a normal life, both in public and in private.
The public seem less convinced by the failed politics and failed economics of the past than ever. What people do want to see is a credible alternative to austerity that holds out hope for the future and removes fear and insecurity from people's lives.... As opinion polls show clearly, the British people don't believe in George Osborne's 'long-term economic plan'. And nor, it seems, does he.