Posts Tagged ‘Kraft Foods’

Secular Talk: Bernie Sanders Proposes ‘Outsourcing Prevention Act’ to Make Trump Keep Election Promise

November 30, 2016

Here’s another great idea from Bernie Sanders, the self-declared ‘democratic Socialist’, who should definitely be the one to go to the White House next year, rather than Trump.

Remember how Trump was telling everyone at his rallies that if he got into power, he was going to stop the corporations outsourcing their jobs abroad to create more poverty and unemployment in America? Aside from the racism and the islamophobia, it was this promise which may have helped him gain the votes of middle class and blue collar workers, whose jobs are threatened by the neoliberal outsourcing policies championed by the establishment Republican and Hillary Clinton and her clique in the Democrats.

Now Bernie Sanders has come up with a proposal to try and keep Trump to his promise. In this piece from Secular Talk, Kyle Kulinski discusses the report in the Huffington Post that Sanders has put forward the outlines of an ‘Outsourcing Prevention Act’. If this was passed, it would punish companies moving jobs out of America. Those corporations that did so would be banned from receiving federal tax breaks, grants or loans, and demand the repayment of any federal perks. The offending companies would also have to pay a tax equal to the amount they saved through the outsourcing, or 35 per cent of their profits, whichever is the greatest amount. The executives would also be banned from receiving bonuses, stock options or golden handshakes.

Kulinski makes it clear that Democrats and progressive should not be prepared to give an inch of cooperation to Trump when he trying to pass any of the massively unjust or racist measures he’s promised, such as deporting undocumented immigrants, registering Muslims and building that wall with Mexico. Kulinski recognises, however, that the latter is rapidly being played down, with Trump himself now claiming that it was mainly metaphorical. When Trump does propose something that will benefit all Americans, rather than just the corporate elite, or racist Whites, they should be prepared to work with him. This proposal is Bernie’s attempt to make sure Trump doesn’t go back on his promise, and actually does something positive for the American people.

We need something similar in this country. Executive pay has massively outstripped ordinary people’s wages and salaries, and companies are outsourcing jobs abroad, including elsewhere in the EU. It has been something of a local issue here in Bristol, where the local chocolate factory, Cadbury’s in Keynsham, a small town between Bath and Bristol, was closed down after it was taken over by Kraft foods. I’ve got a feeling the company then moved the jobs to a new factory in Poland.

I’m not sure how much chance Bernie’s proposal actually has of ever becoming reality. Trump is now very rapidly going back on all of his election promises, appointing Washington insiders and establishment bankers to important cabinet posts. These include some of the very people he personally attacked at his rallies. And even if it had his backing, neoliberal and corporate interests are now so entrenched in both sides of Congress that it would be bitterly attacked and voted down.

And you can imagine how the Conservatives and their paymasters in the CBI would scream and holler if Jeremy Corbyn promised anything similar in the Labour party. They’d almost certainly be joined by the Blairites. After all, Tony Blair said that his administration was ‘extremely relaxed’ about becoming rich, and did so much to promote businessmen to important and lucrative government posts. And vast numbers of MPs, possibility the majority, are managing directors or senior executives of companies, and therefore stand to benefit personally from government policies that boost business at the expense of domestic jobs.

We need to clean up parliament, and remove the corporate interests so that it starts to represent the British people as a whole, and not wealthy businessmen and women. And we do need to prevent further jobs being lost abroad, and punish the firms that make big profits from creating unemployment here in Britain.

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Private Eye on Daily Mail’s Hypocrisy over Tax Avoidance

April 10, 2015

Ed Miliband this week announced he was to abolish the non-dom tax bracket, that allows businessmen and others to avoid paying taxes in this country on the grounds they are living abroad. One of the most notorious beneficiaries of this arrangement has been Lord Rothermere, the owner of the Daily Mail. Rothermere inherited his non-dom status from his father, who lived for most of his life in France. The current Lord Rothermere, however, shows every evidence of living in Britain, even building what amounts to his own stately home.

I put up Private Eye’s article on how Rothermere was using his non-dom status to avoid paying tax on his millions. And on Wednesday, the day that Miliband announced his policy, it was by far and away the most popular article on this blog.

It’s almost needless to say that Miliband’s policy was much less popular with the right-wing press, who all harrumphed about how this was going to harm Britain by driving all the non-domiciled rich titans of industry and Lord Rothermere away. Yet Rothermere’s mighty organ, the Daily Mail, has also shown the immense hypocrisy it’s known for by attacking other companies for avoiding UK tax.

In 2010 it launched a campaign against Kraft foods, which Private Eye reported and criticised in a brief article in its issue for the 23rd December.

“If you won’t pay our taxes, we won’t eat your cheese, Kraft.” So runs the Mail on Sunday’s campaign against the US firm that has taken over Cadbury and is transferring ownership of some of Britain’s favourite brands to Switzerland to avoid tax.

Another internationally tax-efficient company of course is the Daily Mail and General Trust, owned through a Bermudan company and a series of offshore trusts so that the principal beneficiary, the “non-domiciled” Lord Rothermere, can avoid tax on his income from the group.

“If you won’t pay our taxes, we won’t buy your paper, Rother5s”, runs nobody’s campaign at all…

The Mail was absolutely right in that Kraft should pay taxes in Britain for profits raised through its British firms. As should the Daily Mail, who, after running this campaign, should keep resolutely silent about Miliband’s campaign to end the non-dom tax breaks.