Category Archives: tax havens

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.