IMF boss who pays no tax lectures Greek people

IMF chief Christine Lagarde.

How outrageous is this story?

Just days after International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde lectured Greek people to pay their taxes or not expect any sympathy from the rest of the world, the British Guardian revealed that her salary of US$467,940 a year, plus US$83,760 in additional allowances, is tax-free. What a bloody hypocrite.

Like top United Nations officials and the Queen of England, the IMF chief enjoys tax-free status.

Queen Elizabeth II of England (once judged the world’s richest woman — that crown now held by Gina Rinehart) agreed to voluntarily pay some income and capital gains tax for the first time in 1992. But she only did this as a PR stunt to arrest her declining popularity with her subjects.

The rich in every country have the means to minimise the taxes they pay. The late Australian media mogul Kerry Packer was infamous for telling a parliamentary inquiry in 1991: “Now of course I am minimising my tax. And if anybody in this country doesn’t minimize their tax, they want their heads read because as a government I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra.”

This is an attitude embedded in corporate culture.

Last year, the Australian Financial Review said billionaire mining tycoon Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest “has never signed a corporate income tax cheque for any of the listed companies he has run in the past 16 years”.

BHP paid just $6.4 billion in income tax on $67.9 billion in revenue — just 9.4% — in the financial year to June last year. Other big companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Google paid a fraction of the 24% of gross profits paid by the 925 biggest companies in Australia. Small businesses paid an average of 40%.

To say the least, it is more than a bit rich for wealthy people with tax-free status or well-paid tax avoidance lawyers and accountants to lecture Greeks about paying tax.

But it is true that one contributing factor to the Greek sovereign debt, as Stathis Kouvelakis explained in his article “The Greek Cauldron” in New Left Review, is that Greece’s rich pay little tax (if any).

Not only that, but a series of conservative governments since the 1950s offered exemption from taxes and special access to public-sector jobs to a privileged client base of small business operators and professionals.

The IMF and other banks just want to get things back to what they consider “normal” for capitalism: where the richer get richer and avoid taxes, while the rest work harder and pay higher taxes.

It may be “normal” in their eyes, but Green Left Weekly calls it a crime. Tax the rich or better still get rid of the rich altogether and build a new society based on shared and renewable resources.

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Comments

It does not ever astound nor surprise me that the hypocrisy of the affluent has no effect upon their own conscience ?

If the affluent within the capitalist world do not attempt to even try to make financial sacrifices by their own hand or actions taken from the governments that have traditionally coddled them for so long that it is expected of the Citizen Taxpayers ,Small Business Owners and the other classes that fall within or shy of that margin to just shell out and shut up then we have been under one of the most ominous shadows of oppression for far too long .

These diluted strains of Democracies have now just begun to feel the lash of the People, for the conspiratorial meddling of the 1% have wrung the last drop of copper from the proverbial parchment of the peoples protections and rights , Constitutions and Charters of old get less respect than a history lesson and it is within these sacred scrolls of Freedom that people gave their lives for and the 1% be damned if the oppressed will not rise again !

what a sick joke with the imf funding of copret wllfear for greek rulling class how have bean geting a free ride on back Greek working Class now she lecturing tham after robing tham blind with austoty meshers why shoud hard working greek pepoole be craying the debt for copret doll bulgers no wonder thay vot for Sryzisa and Communiast party of Greeces the rejucting of astoty.
sinces the end mitlery junta in Greeece the Pasdok and New demricte party defeaning ruling class.
by sam bullock

How dare she say that greece is in trouble because of 'not paying their taxes'. It's the neo-liberal free market model of society is why Greece is where it is. The Greek crisis is almost identical to the one in Argentina. the Greeks should be getting a few pointers from the Kirchners and not this cog of the same hypocrisy.

The rising will be a bloodbath its started in the middle east expect it to move into the Caucasus onto Greece then in to Western Europe before it knocks on London's door.

After a few years S.E asia and south west India then North America after the fall of the Mexican right to the cartels.

Australia/NZ and South Africa will likely be last depending on how fast Indonesia, Egypt, Israel and North Sudan and falls.

Just in time for the water wars.

This will be a interesting century.

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