Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Tax avoiders are failing our Armed Forces

On the eve of Armed Forces Day tomorrow, it is timely to remember that most of our men and women in uniform are paid very modest salaries indeed, with no opportunity for tax avoidance.

Those civilian Britons with high incomes who use slick, albeit legal, schemes to avoid tax are, presumably, failing to contribute pro rata to the cost of defence.

This is certainly morally wrong and hardly patriotic. Defence is not a matter of choice for any taxpayer and high-earners must pay their share of its cost.

Our sporting bodies, also, should require all who wear a national shirt to pay their taxes in full and not indulge in aggressive tax avoidance.

A national shirt should be about pride, as is wearing the Queen's uniform. High-earning tax avoiders who are unwilling to pay their full and proper share for defence through HMRC should be shown the red card.

They should certainly not be honoured by the state.

LESTER MAY (RN - RETIRED)

London NW1

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