Wealthy groups ‘not paying their way’ in society

Rich, powerful and well connected groups in society are depriving the country of vital investment spending and costing the government billions in lost annual revenues, according to a new report from the Compass think tank.

The report takes the rhetorical language used by the government to justify cuts in claimants' benefits and applies it instead to much more privileged groups and organisations.

Key points

  • The 'scroungers' are the private landlords and multinational house-builders that exploit the housing benefit system – to the tune of around £50 billion each year.
  • The 'shirkers' are the tax dodgers – the big corporations and rich individuals who refuse to pay their fair share and evade or avoid their moral and social duty – costing the Exchequer around £20 billion in revenue each year.
  • The 'strikers' are the big corporations sitting on huge cash reserves, of around £750 billion, which they refuse to invest in the economy at a time when a boost to growth and jobs is desperately needed.
  • Even if a fraction of these amounts were mobilised for the public good, the economic outlook for the UK would be much brighter, and the government’s planned £123 billion worth of so-called 'fiscal consolidation' could be rendered obsolete.

Source: Shuvo Loha, Strikers, Scroungers and Shirkers: The People Really Holding Britain Back and Not Paying their Way, Compass
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