Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Lies, damn lies and... City AM.

City AM finally jumps the shark (bottom of front page):

High property taxes put British businesses at a competitive disadvantage, despite the UK’s low corporation tax rate, said Jim Hubbard, policy advisor at the [British Retail Consortium].*

For every £1 a business pays in corporation tax, it must pay £2.30 in business rates.

That is a humungous lie, even by City AM's standards.

According to the UK government:

Total UK corporation tax liabilities 2015-16, £43.7 billion.

Total English Business Rates liabilities, 2015-16 £23.1 billion, round up to £26 billion for whole of UK.

If we also include about £10 billion in income tax paid by owners of unincorporated businesses, on average, UK businesses pay about 50p in business rates for every £1 of tax on net profits (corporation tax and income tax), less than a quarter of City AM's figure.

* The first part is clearly hokum as well. Ignoring the tax incidence point, UK retailers are not competing in any realistic way with non-UK retailers. The only reason some UK people go on shopping trips to France etc is because of lower alcohol and tobacco duties over there; business rates have absolutely no effect on the price paid by the end consumer.

Business Rates do make a marginal difference to the viability of heavy industry in low-value areas, but that's all part of the general Home-Owner-Ist plan.


Bayard said...

"That is a humungous lie, even by City AM's standards."

It could be true, just that they missed out "businesses in a small part of the centre of London," or something like that between "For" and "every".

It's like those survey results which trumpet "73% of respondents agreed that...." without letting on from where they carefully picked those respondents.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, of course there are some businesses who pay £2.30 BR for every £1 corp tax, there are some which pay £infinity BR for every £1 corp tax because they manage to wriggle out of corp tax or suffer losses so pay none.

But in the instant case, there is no caveat or adjective, it is not restricted to any particular kind of business. The first sentence specifies "British businesses" and the second just says "businesses".

So they are deliberately lying fuckers, there are no two ways around it.

Bayard said...

No they are not lying, they are misleading with statistics, which is why whoever it was said the quote your title is taken from. A lie is a falsehood whatever the context it's taken in. That's not to say that they are not doing something worse than lying.

James Higham said...

And so, if they're lying, how can they be called out?