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Steel, Mark

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3 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

The Independent - United Kingdom | 13/02/2008

Rich Britons get off the tax hook

The British government wants to close the loophole that enables rich Britons to avoid paying tax, by claiming 'non-domicile tax status'. "This ruse involves living in Britain while not being an official resident, and is one of the main ways in which the richest 54 billionaires in the country have paid on average 1 and a half per cent tax." Mark Steel writes the claim that any tax reform will force the rich to emigrate is ridiculous. "The genius of this argument is it says that to let the richest people in the country not pay tax is good for the economy. In effect it's saying the less we take from them, the richer we are. ... Along with Ireland, we're the only country that allows the wealthy to live here and pay no tax through this system, and apparently we should be proud of this. So we're bragging, 'We're so soft they come to rob us. Isn't that wonderful? They don't rob France or Italy, just us. But we mustn't upset them or they might go somewhere else and rob them instead'."

The Independent - United Kingdom | 21/11/2007

Sarkozy is protecting the richest

Mark Steel comments on French strikes: "Seeing as the new government in France is determined to smash the culture of unearned privilege, Nicolas Sarkozy must be familiar with the characters at the top of the French rich-list. The No.1 spot in this list is a surprise, as you would imagine it must be occupied by a train driver from Lille with lots of stubble, but it turns out that it's Bernard Arnault, chairman of Christian Dior, who's worth $21bn. ... Sarkozy represents the frustrated wing of French business that wants their country to be handed to the same City types [as in the UK and US], their one per cent. ... When a government proposes cutting pensions, closing 200 courts, cutting 11,000 primary school teachers and privatising parts of the university system, these aren't random flights of madness but part of a pattern."

The Independent - United Kingdom | 24/10/2007

Class still rules the UK

Journalist Mark Steel points out that social class is still a major factor in British society. "The pundits who regularly declare its disappearance usually refer to the decline of industries such as mining and the docks. But there are now three times as many people working in call centres as there were mining in 1980. And, in theory, they could cause havoc if they all went on strike, because even the army couldn't take over in an emergency. ... To have any meaning, class must be about whether we have any control over how matters are organised in society. If you're Rupert Murdoch or on the board of a major bank you probably have. But if you work in Ikea or a call centre, or for Legal & General or you're a salesman or an air hostess, it doesn't matter that you're not covered in soot, you're probably working class."

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