19 February 2011

Economical with the vérité

The Chief Executive of Barclay’s Bank, Mr Bob Diamond was recently up before the House of Commons Treasury select committee. He told the committee that the Bank had paid £2 billion in taxes in 2009. He is also reported as saying that the time of “remorse and apology” was over.
It now transpires that almost all of this was income tax and national insurance. The Bank collects this on behalf of the taxman, and passes it on. It is not the Bank’s money, it is their employees’ money. It is hardly credible that the Bank actually pays, from its own resources, the tax due by their employees, though it would be a mighty perk if they did.
For 2009, Barclay’s Bank paid £113 million in corporation tax on its profits.
Mr Diamond’s statement is a nice example of being “economical with the vérité”. Or, when MPs do it, dissembling.

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