Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Readers' Letters Of The Day

From City AM Forum:

[Re: The recovery is being driven by a revolution in the jobs market, yesterday]

Have you considered that the reason for the rise in self-employed consultants is the tax system? With a good accountant, moving from PAYE to self-employment, for effectively the same job, can reduce your liability. I find it increasingly difficult to hire employees who want to be permanent.

Iain Herd

From The Metro:

I was interested but not surprised to read your article about the investigation in Poland into claims drugs firm GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to use its medicines (Metro, Mon).

As a nurse of 30 years, I have seen groups of specialist consultants being flown to warm European destinations for seminars and lectures at the expense of the drug companies, billeting the doctors in the finest hotels. I have seen nursing colleagues wined and dined at plush restaurants.

I used to attend lunchtime lectures at work where the drug reps would bring anything from sandwiches to gourmet take-aways while they peddled their chosen drugs. Any awkward questions asked about some of these drugs were either sidestepped or met with a fudged response.

It makes me think that morals and statutes do nothing to counter such practices and never will: drug companies have powerful lobbyists who will keep a stranglehold on the drugs market and the price we taxpayers have to pay.

Anton Clark. Essex


The Stigler said...

Bribery happens, whether it's an envelope of money, holding "meetings" in exotic places or whatever else.

The only sensible thing you can do to stop it is to stop giving people the power to spend other people's money.

paulc156 said...

@The Stigler.
It's because the 'un-free' prices of newly developed drugs can be so incredibly high [ergo profitable] that some alternative to patent protection would be a good way to end such practices. As an added bonus that might also end the sorts of shady practices [legal variety] that routinely blight Big Pharma, not to mention the litany of lawsuits against Big Pharma resulting in $billions of fines just in the last few years.

Dinero said...

if you go self employed you can save tax on commuting.

Can you insist on going self employed.

I once made an enquiry on this subject, a very long time ago it was, and the person at the local hmrc tax office I was speeking to replied along the lines of " it looks like the position of your employment fits the conditions of an employee so no you can't"

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, yes, but these practices happen everywhere, even where the health system is largely privately funded. Basically, you take what the doctor recommends, whether you are paying for it, the insurance company is paying or the taxpayer.

Paul, Ok, you think up such a system. For example, every healthcare provider in the whole world (government or private insurance) could form their own R&D division and sell drugs to themselves at cost-plus. Something like that?

Din, that's another advantage to being "self-employed".

We'd save all these stupid arguments if employed and self-employed (and indeed limited companies) were taxed at exactly the same rate with the same rules for allowable expenses.

paulc156 said...

Joe Stieglitz came up with one. Dean Baker reviews several proposals here.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Paul, yes, that's the sort of thing I meant, thanks.