I saw Call Me Dave's proposals for the VAT holiday for small businesses...
And today we are calling on the government to allow small and medium-sized enterprises to defer their VAT bills for up to six months. That means a typical small business with 50 employees, revenues of £5m and an annual net VAT bill of £350,000, doesn't have to find £90,000 to pay the taxman when the bank has just taken away its overdraft.
... and I thought, "I bet EU regulations won't allow him to do that." Luckily, EU Referendum have the time and the knowledge so sadly lacking in your humble Devil.
There are, however, just one or two tiny little problems with this idea. VAT is, of course, an EU tax, implemented via the VAT 6th Directive. A payment holiday on VAT would amount to a de facto reduction in the rate of tax, which is not permissible without the unanimous approval of all 27 EU member states, following a proposal to that effect from the Commission—which it not required to deliver.
That, though, might be the least of Mr Cameron's tiny little problems. Member states are required under EU law to collect VAT, a proportion of which goes to the EU coffers—known as the "own resource". Collection procedures are also defined by EU law, requiring the imposition of penalties on late payment—typically one percent per month. Changing these procedures unilaterally, guess what, is not permissible without the unanimous approval of all 27 EU member states, following a proposal to that effect from the Commission—which it not required to deliver.
Under certain circumstances, member states are entitled to adopt a simplified procedure for charging VAT, under Directive 2006/69/EC, but that does not include any provision for delaying tax payments. To the contrary, the Directive allows special provisions to enable member states to "prevent distortion of competition," which rather shows where EU priorities lie.
If these hurdles were somehow to be overcome, however, unilateral action by the UK in offering a tax holiday would certainly be considered a "distortion of competition" under Single Market rules. At the very least, Commission permission would have to be given, which will not necessarily be forthcoming.
And, since Mr Cameron's proposals affect only small and medium-sized businesses, larger firms might be moved to complain. A company like McDonalds, for instance, would have a just complaint. It regards itself as a "group of small businesses" under one banner. Fighting as it does for market share in competition with other high street outlets, it could argue that different rules on payment would most certainly distort competition.
There is also the matter of state aid. Broad-brush aid—which includes tax-breaks of any form, directed at one sector rather than applied uniformly—would most likely be considered illegal. At the very least, Commission approval would be required, which might not be forthcoming.
Then there is one other tiny little detail. Numerous studies—not least this one [PDF]—have drawn attention to the danger of deferred VAT payments, making the system even more vulnerable to fraud. This is already a massive problem. Would Mr Cameron want to add to that problem?
So, given Spam's proposals, one needs to apply the Polly Conundrum: is the massively-foreheaded cunt a stinking liar or a rampaging hypocrite? Given the resources at Master Cameron's beck and call (paid for by us, of course), one can only assume that he is, in fact, a lying fucking bastard.
Particularly galling is the beginning of the lying fuck's last paragraph.
Gordon Brown cannot hide from the truth.
Why not? It seems that you are determined to hide the truth from the British public, you hideous little shit—and that truth is that we no longer rule our own country and that you and your merry band of blues can do little more than tinker at the edges. For fuck's sake, man, almost every proposal that you have made, over the last few weeks, to fix this economic fuck-up would be blocked by the EU!
When will you actually start telling the truth to the people of Britain? When are you actually going to own up to the fact that every successive government in this country has given away more and more power—power that is only loaned to you by the British people and is not yours to give away—to an unelected bureaucracy based in a foreign country?
When, Mr Cameron, are you going to stop lying to the British people?
Stop. Fucking. Lying. To. Us. You. Lying. Cunt.