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Bull shoots goose

George Bull, a senior tax partner at Baker Tilly has lambasted the government for 'taking pot-shots at the tax-paying goose'.

In Baker Tilly's weekly round- up of tax news Bull referred to revelations earlier in the week in which it emerged that HMRC had decided to write off £10.9 billion worth of unpaid tax, arguing that the government should as a result 'remember its own responsibility to behave appropriately'.

He maintained that while in the period from 2007-2010 the political emphasis was on 'rebuilding the economy' since last year it has shifted to 'shoring up the government's finances' by focusing on 'targets' such as high income groups and the recipients of large bonuses.

He remarked that what he described as 'continuous rhetoric' aimed at targets that 'change every couple of weeks' in fact 'undermines stability and social order'.

He cited the example of Louis XV of France, the 18th century monarch who he said helped to bankrupt France, leading to the eventual execution of his grandson Louis XVI during the French Revolution.

Bull mentioned the advise of Jean Baptiste Colbert, the Minister of Finance in France between 1665 to 1683 who advised Louis XIV that taxation was 'best if done with the minimum of hissing'.

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