I have no doubt at all that Princess Eugenie should have what she wants at her wedding. But I don’t want to pay for it. As she performs no royal duties, there is no way we should be expected to pay for it. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. Do some duties and maybe we’ll pay; don’t and the bill is yours or your parents’.
I am not surprised at the outrage caused by the public having to foot the bill of maybe £2m in respect of Princess Eugenie’s forthcoming wedding at Windsor.
We plainly need a head of state who should be well and securely looked after. But the royal family members such as Prince Andrew and Princess Eugenie (ninth in line to the throne) are mere hangers-on, yet they go about life as if they were valuable assets to the nation. It really is about time that in our age of austerity we carry out a proper examination of the role, purpose and extent of our royal family. Has the time now come for an elected or appointed president?
As for the forthcoming wedding, the Queen as Eugenie’s grandmother has private assets of some £350m, Prince Charles as her uncle has private assets of some £300m plus a huge private income from the Duchy of Cornwall, and Prince Andrew as her father has private assets of some £65m. All of whom can easily afford to fund this insignificant event. What a brazen piece of conduct, therefore, on the part of the whole royal family, to pass on these costs to the public purse.
It’s not just Amazon that should be paying more tax
According to many media reports, Amazon only paid £4.5m in corporation tax in 2017 despite UK sales of nearly £2bn! This amounts to a tax rate of only 0.225 per cent – much less than one percent – and most will agree this is disgracefully low.
Most individual UK taxpayers pay at least 20 per cent of their income to HMRC each year.
Is it beyond the wit of the chancellor and HMRC to impose on these grossly greedy and immoral “tech giants” a fairer rate of tax?
Long-suffering ordinary taxpayers under the PAYE system are chased for every penny of underpayment by a bullying HMRC who seem unwilling or perhaps unable to impose greater penalties on the tech giants.
One wonders how these tech giants have got away with it for so long?
Philip LJ Barton
Our prime minister has been in office for over two years now so it is not unreasonable to assess her performance. On the positive side she has shown tremendous resilience and determination in the face of numerous obstacles. No one can dispute that. On the negative side she has shown herself to be devious, an inept negotiator and a poor democrat.
What is the evidence? “Brexit means Brexit”, “no deal is better than a bad deal” and “red lines” were simply ploys to keep Brexiteers at bay. In the negotiations with the EU the prime minister has conceded point after point and gained virtually nothing.
Furthermore she failed to play her trump card, “no deal is better than a bad deal” by not planning for it until after the concessions had been made. Lastly, by prioritising the wishes of mostly “short-term” CEOs over the wishes of the electorate the prime minister has shown scant regard for democracy and no doubt the Tory party will pay the price at the polls.
My conclusion: the prime minister should resign, but her resilience won’t allow it.
Privatisation clearly isn’t working
How many disasters will G4S be allowed to perpetuate before the government stops awarding them or indeed removing contracts from them?
Instead of attempting to save money by privatising vital public services perhaps the government should abandon two high-profile billion-pound white elephants, namely HS2 and the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, which would save a worthwhile amount of taxpayers’ money.
Please can we have a referendum on whether or not to join the WTO? I don’t recall ever voting for any of its representatives.
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