Tax On UK Gas Production

Centrica is a multinational energy company that produces and sells more natural gas in the United Kingdom than any other energy company. Like all multinational companies it does not like paying tax, a feature that it shares with almost everyone on this planet. Most of us dislike paying tax, not because we feel that we should not contribute to the greater good of our society or pay for services that we and others use, but because we have a feeling, frequently supported by evidence, that governments waste much of the money that taxpayers provide. I suspect Centrica shares none of these feelings; for them tax is simply an expense that limits profits.  Continue reading

Our excellent banks

From time to time I have found myself shouting at the radio. Yesterday I was listening to a discussion about banks on Radio 4’s Today programme. The topic was the new tax on banks that has been announced in the Chancellor’s Spending Review. A chap called Paul Myners, ennobled by the labour government, was there to explain what a bad tax this was. Continue reading

Sorry is the hardest word to say

I find it hard to understand why modern society lays so much emphasis on demanding apologies. What usually happens is something goes wrong. The person or people at fault either apologise right away or do not apologise. If they apologise that is not usually the end of the matter; there are still many newspapers to sell and much airtime to b filled for advertising. If they do not apologise there are usually howls and choruses demanding an apology. Continue reading

Governments wasting money

Governments waste money. If they wasted their own money no one would be too bothered, but Governments have no money of their own. They collect money from the likes of us. We usually give them money that we have earned with our labour. Governments claim (and this is a particular claim of most recent governments) that it is unpatriotic to avoid paying your taxes because someone who does this deprives money from being spent on the common good. They make an awful fuss about non domiciled people being made part of the legislature in the House of Lords where some of these people do not pay the same taxes as we do, because they take advantage of their non domiciled status. Tens of millions of pounds might otherwise be collect but according to the United Kingdom’s National Audit Office the UK Government has virtually wasted £780 million in reorganising government departments in the past four years; most other developed countries have kept the same departs in place for dozens of years, without the need to reorganise them. Continue reading

How tax collection becomes a profit centre for energy companies

Npower have been widely criticised for handing out three million low energy bulbs to customers, who never asked for them. Ofgem has “expressed concern” and the Green Party have described this as “inexcusable”. This is one of those stories that are a little complex to understand, but when you do understand it you will appreciate that there is something that stinks in the United Kingdom’s energy policy, which upon close, careful and cool examination, appears to have been devised by morons. Continue reading

Counting emissions made for you in other places

One of the problems that will face the negotiators in Copenhagen at the end of this year is the problem of a nation creating its emissions elsewhere. If you permit emissions from a nation like the United States to be at a certain level, this begs the question of emissions created for the United States in manufacturing processes in places such as Mexico and China. An energy footprint of a nation includes not only its emissions but also the emissions created in other nations producing goods, foods and services for its customer nation.

It is a bit like the electric car which produces no emissions on the streets of London but plenty of emissions back at the electricity generation power plant. Continue reading

Climate change scepticism

There is plenty of disbelief in the theory of human made climate change in the United Kingdom according to a survey by the University of Cardiff in Wales. It is not hard to understand the reasons for climate change scepticism. Continue reading

The UK needs immediate constitutional reform

There is a great deal of talk in the United Kingdom about a new constitution; we have been shaken out of our lethargy and belief that our unwritten constitution provides us with the best possible system of government by a terrible scandal in which it has been revealed that the majority of our elected representatives and some of the appointed representatives have been taking from the public purse for their own enrichment. Continue reading

Money for new cars but not for solar panels

Today the UK “scrappage” scheme comes into operation. It was announced in the Budget by Alistair Darling just a few weeks ago, as an environmental measure, but it is really a measure to try to help the car industry which has been suffering in the recession. If you have a car that it more than ten years old you can get £2,000 for scrapping it, towards the cost of a new car. Continue reading

Higher tax rates, wealth creation and taxes on emissions

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Darling, has given fair warning that income tax will rise to a rate of 50% for those who earn more than £150,000 a year. I should point out that these high earners will also have to pay about 11% of their income in National insurance – a tax with a different name, so that the highest marginal rate will be 61%. Since the announcement the newspapers have been full with reports from extremely wealthy people complaining about this tax. Continue reading