Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Entrepreneurs,Tax and Charity
Today we live in a World of plenty where people still starve,have no clean drinking water or proper sanitation.Yet there are a miriad number of International Agencies and Charities working to irradicate these problems.In this item I do not propose to discuss these bodies since they are better placed than I to understand the issues and the solutions that may be available.My main point today is to talk about successful people around the World who perhaps could do more through their connections with Governments of all persuasions to make a real difference.
I refer to what can loosely be termed the entrepreneurial class,most of whom do not live in Tax Havens and therefore contribute significantly to their countries economies,through personal and corporate taxation.This alone gives them considerable political influence and any business person with the vaguest sense of social responsibility is usually involved in some kind of Charitable undertaking.
I want to focus on those who simply take and do not give and specifically those who are domiciled in Tax Havens.It seems to me that there is a simple solution to extracting some of their wealth and putting it to good use in a focused way.Suppose for example,and we will use Jersey as a case study,Jersey imposes an extra 5% tax on tax exiles living on the island,who cannot demonstrate a reason other than tax avoidance,for living there.With this extra annual revenue The States of Jersey form a partnership with just one of the World's poorest countries.In this instance let's just say Mali.The partnership works on a business basis to develop specific projects in the country which directly affect the wellbeing of the populace.
Each of the various tax havens around the World could easily be put under pressure by Western Governments,to implement such a programme.Let's call it one on one mentoring with finance and expertise to back it up!
This may seem like a drop in the ocean but each partnership could become the hub and example for future development projects within the poorer countries,with the longterm objective being self sustainability.
I leave you with this thought,forget the poor of the World and we all die a little each day.