Category Archives: tax evasion

A bogus charity

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 09.19.51

Many proud Oxfam employees are richly supported. Indeed they are comparatively very highly paid. The ‘charity’ states that this is owing to the need to ‘attract, motivate and retain highly skilled and committed executives’

By far the largest donor to Oxfam Australia, notes Dalrymple, is

the Australian government, which contributed slightly more than 26% of its total income — almost enough to cover the nearly 29% of its income it expended on raising funds.

It spent $3m last year on

long-service leave of its senior employees. We learn that remuneration for ‘key management personnel’ (number unspecified) rose by 16% between 2014 and 2015, from $821,000 to $952,000. (The head of Oxfam UK is paid somewhat over $200,000 a year.) No explanation for the rise is offered.

Properous employees

Explaining why remuneration is so relatively lavish at what is supposed to be a charity, Oxfam states:

The performance of the Group depends upon the quality and commitment of its senior management. To prosper, the Group must attract, motivate and retain highly skilled and committed executives.

A State-dependent racket that exists for its staff

Dalrymple comes across an advertisement for a job at Oxfam. The ‘charity’ indicates certain selection criteria:

  • experience in defining use cases and business rules and processes with a strong engagement of customer groups
  • experience in successfully mapping and documenting business and technical requirements, process diagrams, scenarios, and test plans based on conversations with the technical team and customers

The successful candidate will be paid $75,783 plus superannuation and

access to generous NFP tax concessions (specifically, a salary packaging scheme offering up to $18,450 of your salary tax-free).

Could this, asks Dalrymple, be

tax avoidance? Surely not. I may be behind the times, but Oxfam doesn’t sound much like charity to me, more like a government-subsidised scheme for those who work in it.

The joy of spite

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 15.37.08The outrage that greeted the Mossack Fonseca revelations partakes, writes Dalrymple,

more of joyous spite and hatred of the rich than of any real desire to improve the world, the latter being a much weaker emotion than the former. If the rich could be deprived of their wealth, even if no one else benefited thereby, I think many people would want it.

Even if the money hidden offshore were paid in taxation,

it does not follow that public services such as schools would improve proportionately. After all, it cannot be for lack of expenditure that a significant proportion of British children are semi-literate after 11 years of compulsory attendance at school. Every country has its bottomless pits.

As for Vladimir Putin’s illicit fortune,

anyone who supposes that, were the Russian state to recover it, the Russian people would benefit…well, they are not very well versed in Russian history.

The State dare not take on Molenbeek

Tax-exempt

Tax haven

Dalrymple writes that on his visit to Molenbeek, the Islamist quarter of Brussels,

I could see the dangers clearly enough.

People like Salah Abdeslam, the Moslem fundamentalist terrorist,

would swim like a fish in the sea there, to use a Maoist metaphor. Between the sympathetic locals and the rest of the population—whom they could intimidate into silence—it would be easy to hide.

This social world

is impenetrable to the forces of the State.

The Belgian government

is unable to collect taxes from businesses there, though it is able to distribute social security.

Extraterritorial Molenbeek

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 09.18.29The jihad capital of Europe

Brussels is slightly more than a quarter Muslim, Dalrymple points out, and nearly all Molenbeek residents are Muslims of North African background. The place, he writes, is

virtually extraterritorial as far as the Belgian state is concerned—apart from the collection of social security, of course.

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 09.16.08

A popular bar in the quarter. Mine host: Ibrahim Abdeslam

Dalrymple lists some of the features of the terrorist haven:

  • all women wear headscarves
  • young men dress like American rap music fans
  • police rarely enter and are far more concerned not to offend Muslim sensibilities—for example, by not being seen to eat during Ramadan—than to find or capture miscreants who make the area dangerously crime-ridden
  • businesses pay no taxes but are not investigated for evasion by the tax authorities: it is the tax authorities who do the evading
  • Islamist preaching and plotting is rife, but nothing is done to stop it, in order to keep the tense and fragile peace going as long as possible
  • sympathy for terrorism is the norm—or, it would be more correct to say, no one dares publicly voice opposition to it

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 09.18.01Incubator of Islamist evil

Molenbeek, Dalrymple explains, is thus

the perfect place for psychopaths with an illusion of purpose to flourish and make plans undisturbed by the authorities, while being supported by the welfare state.

The Belgian prime minister, Dalrymple reports,

The young people of Molenbeek warmly welcome you

The young people of Molenbeek

has virtually admitted that the area was extraterritorial to Belgium, and out of all control. The time had come ‘to focus more on repression’, he said.

But

whether the determination or sufficient political unity necessary to carry it out will last is doubtful. Repression requires discrimination; we live in a regime in which murderers may come and go, but social security goes on forever.

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 08.58.19

Molenbeek folk

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 08.58.02

Molenbeek: a vibrant community

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 09.10.58

Molenbeek as it was

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 09.10.26

Molenbeek past

Welcome to Yugoslavia

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 07.31.48

Boches beware

The old hatreds are stirring

At the end of his book Bismarck Herring: The German Poison, MEP and Parti de Gauche co-leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who was a presidential candidate in 2012 (he got 11.1% of the vote), points out that France retains independent military power, with, observes Dalrymple,

the clear implied message that Germany does not.

It was, says Dalrymple,

in the highest degree irresponsible

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 08.03.43to cobble together in a monetary union

two large countries – two large blocs of countries – with such different attitudes and interests. One of the justifications trotted out for the European Union is that it brings peace, as if, without it, Slovenia would attack Spain. In fact, by making neither living together nor divorce feasible, it is fostering a conflict such as that of the former Yugoslavia.

Notes on Germany and France

The Germans, Dalrymple explains,

have, or want to have, faith in their currency. The folk memory of inflations is still strong in Germany. Inflation is their bugbear and fiscal rectitude their policy, irrespective of who is in power. The rebuilding of the country and the achievement of monetary stability is their source of national pride. Financial rectitude is visible in their private lives: the Germans use credit cards far less than the French, let alone the British. When the German banks joined in the financial debauchery of the 1990s and 2000s, afraid of missing out, it turned out that they were no good at it. Speculation was not their forte.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 08.11.30As for the French, they

receive good value for their taxation. The country is conspicuously well-administered, as anyone who has driven through it will attest; and, in my experience, French bureaucrats, however much their onerous and Byzantine exactions may be detested, are much more intelligent and efficient than British ones. The French have a faith in their state which is in part justified. Its benefits are obvious every day; its stultifying effects are less evident except to the smaller proportion of the population that attempts something new.

The French duty to cheat the fiscal tyrants

In France there is, Dalrymple discerns,

a cultural predisposition to assume that while private profit is reprehensible, public expenditure paid for by tax is inherently good. This does not preclude a private avidity for money or a belief that cheating or deceiving the taxman is a proper sport, like cycling or swimming.

The Greeks blame the Germans to avoid self-examination

The Greeks are about the learn the meaning of socialist penury The self-deluding Greeks are about the learn the meaning of socialist penury

Dalrymple writes that the Athens government, relying on euro-based credit, borrowed to bolster its public sector, and when the pyramid collapsed,

the population’s chief object became warding off change — ensuring that it continued to receive more than it earned and consume more than it produced. The Nazi stereotype emerged quickly, once European subsidies were reduced.

Did the Greeks really not know, asks Dalrymple,

  • that tax evasion was standard practice in Greece, and by no means only among the elite?
  • that much of the employment in the public sector was makework?
  • that retirement conditions superior to those in Germany were unearned and unsustainable?
  • that their political and administrative class was composed of liars and cheats?