Letters: Multinationals are exploiting R&D tax breaks

The unstated story about Apple and taxes (How one Irish woman made $22bn for Apple, 29 May) is the problem of determining where value accrues in a digital transaction. If I import a novel in a country that charges duty, VAT or sales tax, the postal service may intercept it and charge me the taxes. […]
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Letters: Watford’s difficult choice over allotments or apartments

It is disappointing that in your article on council allotments (The plot thickens, 1 June) John Harris chooses to deride Watford borough council’s plans for the town’s most ambitious regeneration project in decades. He chooses instead to focus on the emotional and subjective feelings of the 70 or so allotment holders who will be displaced […]
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Letters: Decarbonisation plans need Lib Dem support

Energy secretary Ed Davey is right to warn of the massive gamble we’ll be taking with the future of our planet if we fail to tackle climate change (Planned energy bill ‘will destroy green benefits of HS2’, 3 June). This is why MPs must support amendments to the energy bill today to decarbonise the power […]
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Letters: The limits of lobbying in parliament

Recent stories of parliamentarians apparently agreeing to be paid by journalists posing as lobbyists raise difficult questions about our political system (Ministers race to change rules as lobbying scandals hit home, 3 June). They follow a depressingly familiar pattern of people at the end of their political careers appearing to tout themselves as – to […]
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Letters: Royal Mail sell-off

Your report (Goldman Sachs and UBS to lead Royal Mail float, 30 May) stating that banks appointed by the government will receive £30m for their work on the sale of Royal Mail is misleading. We have agreed fees which are competitive compared with previous privatisations and which represent good value for taxpayers. No decision has […]
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Letters: Contributions to the welfare debate

The discussion of welfare by Ian Mulheirn (Comment, 27 May) and generally conflates two different payments. The first is illustrated by my state pension, which is based on 36 years of contributions (not on the 40 years I could have accumulated, had I not missed four years of national insurance payments). This and work pensions […]
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Letters: Democratic solutions to re-engage voters with politics

Perhaps there is another reason for the failure of the main political parties to capture the popular imagination, as witnessed by a depressing low voter turnout at elections (Comment, 28 May). Could it not be that our over-centralised political parties have lost the means to engage with the electorate? In the 90s it became the […]
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Letters: Ending the arms embargo on Syria

Apparently William Hague and the French have got their way, after all, and can now supply advanced weapons to the “moderately mad mullahs”, as your cartoonist Steve Bell aptly describes the likely recipients of the UK and France’s military largesse. You report (UK forces EU to lift arms embargo on Syrian rebels, 28 May) that […]
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Letters: ‘Orwellian’ changes to legal aid provision

As a practising member of the criminal bar, I am horrified at the proposed changes to the provision of legal aid, currently undergoing a so called “consultation period” by the Ministry of Justice (Editorial, 22 May), albeit the justice minister refuses to meet the chairman of the Criminal Bar Association. It is clear that the […]
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Letters: Paying tax is absolutely a moral issue

CBI president Sir Roger Carr’s claim that there can be no moral basis to concerns about tax avoidance is a grave misjudgment (Never mind morals, tax is all about the rules, 21 May). A great many ordinary people see payment – or rather non-payment – of tax as fundamentally a moral question. Perhaps it might […]
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