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Real losers from tax avoidance are the workers who pay their share of income

Sir David Murray must be delighted that he has been exonerated from any illegal wrongdoing surrounding the use of EBTs as a way of remunerating his former staff ("Murray: Rangers collapse should not have happened", The Herald, November 22).

However, I would like to ask: is it morally correct that a football player can draw down a loan of circa £2 million (which will never be repaid) when it is obvious to all (except high court judges) that these monies are in fact "earned income" and should be taxed accordingly?

The above example of tax avoidance pales in comparison to the recent revelations regarding Starbucks (the subject of an excellent report in your sister paper the Sunday Herald), a company which, by way of creative accounting with its associated companies in Europe, manages to pay little or no tax in the UK despite a turnover of millions of pounds.

Mr Murray claims there are no winners in his case and he is correct in this aspect. The real losers are the majority of workers in this country who are paid on a PAYE basis and contribute to society through the efforts of their labour and their payment of taxes in full.

Is it too much to ask that our large businesses and the people who manage them do the same?

Drew Mackin,

6 Earlswood View, Irvine.

The PAYE method of taxation allows the Government to take as much of my earnings as it feels like (without asking, by the way) and leaves me scrabbling to try to recover some of it.

Those of us saddled with being taxed via the PAYE system can only stand open-mouthed in amazement at the complete and utter shambles that seems to typify how taxes are levied on the self-employed and in the commercial sector; there the balance is reversed and the individual or organisation keeps all the income and HMRC does the scrabbling about bit.

HMRC seems to be completely and utterly out-gunned and out-witted by the opposition, which can afford to pay experts to exploit loopholes and semantics to transform tax evasion into tax avoidance.

I would have been happy to have had all my wages paid in the form of loans to be recovered from my estate when I kicked the bucket or alternatively quietly forgotten about, but that was never an option.

There is no equity in the current system and it will always be open to abuse and manipulation by those who can afford to do so. That excludes the majority who have their pockets picked by HMRC. The only true way of taxing income is to tax money when it is spent. You can be the richest man in the world but, until you spend your cash, you are just as poor as me.

Scrap all taxes other than VAT. Call it sales tax and apply it to every financial transaction, including the investment banking sector. Problem solved.

David J Crawford,

131 Shuna Street,


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