16 Jul, 2016
By Max Lawson
I can only guess at the panic in the boardrooms of the investment banks and particularly at the big four accounting firms – Deloittes, PwC, KPMG and Ernst & Young, who between them have almost complete oversight over the business of aggressive tax planning by the major corporations. But no amount of security software can fully protect any firm from increasing numbers of employees no longer feeling morally comfortable with what they are doing, as ultimately the secrecy of the system is dependent on those that run it being able to look in the bathroom mirror in the morning and feel OK about their lives. And that is becoming harder for the corporate tax accountant to do. A study for the New Economics Foundation from a few years ago calculated that for every £1 of value that a tax planner contributes to the UK economy, they take out £37. Imagine if we were employing thousands of people in the City of London to travel around the country and actually physically destroy public buildings; schools, hospitals; or sack teachers and nurses.