"Ofwat [said] that the industry’s 'excessive profits' and tax-avoidance schemes, with water charges rising by up to 11 per cent a year, were 'morally questionable in a vital public service'. Then came the annual report of Thames, our largest water company, showing that, on profits of £550 million, it had paid no corporation tax at all, while giving its chief executive more than £1 million. Thames insists that its tax is only deferred, not avoided, because it invested £1billion on capital projects, although its critics point out that this did not include mending leaks, for which it has a notoriously poor record. This is far from untypical of an industry now averaging profits of 30 per cent a year, and much of which in recent years has been bought up by an array of mysterious private owners registered in overseas tax havens."
Tax havens? But I thought our tax-fiddling Chancellor said he would sort out these dens of iniquity -
Of course, all the government-controlled Privy Council has to do is to impose anti-tax fiddling laws on these colonies and that would be the end of the matter. But that's about as likely as HM Revenue and Customs (government-controlled, again) ceasing to let corporate giants off paying tax in return for the usual favours.