Wednesday 28 October 2009

Express unveils plan so secret it doesn't exist

The Daily Express. The EU. Tax. Not the most thrilling topics to write about but anyway...

Today's Express front page is yet another of their eye-catching, scaremongering headlines which bears little resemblance to either the story or the truth.

'Secret plan for EU income tax' sounds as if the EU is engaged in a secret plan to impose an income tax on British taxpayers.

The story, written by Gabriel Milland, begins:

Secret plans to seize more than £4billion a year from Britain and make its citizens pay taxes direct to Europe emerged last night.

So 'income tax' has become 'taxes' in the first sentence. And the headline looks even more questionable when Milland writes a few paragraphs later:

Possible taxes suggested in the report – which could be discussed as soon as the start of the European summit in Brussels tomorrow – include levies on phone calls, flights, financial transactions or carbon emissions.

Right. So no 'income tax' then? Well, no. Nothing in the story suggests any such thing.

And note how these 'possible' taxes have only been 'suggested' and 'could' (and therefore won't) be discussed tomorrow. At the end of the article an EU spokesman says the report is a 'draft' and 'work in progress'. And as the current EU budget runs until 2013, all of this is a very long way off. Whatever 'this' is.

Still, Milland has gone through his little black book of quote whores including the TaxPayers Alliance and several other Eurosceptics, who all express something like concern. But about what?

Does this amount to anything? Unfortunately, Milland's writing is pretty poor and it is hard to work out what he is actually on about under all the anti-EU rhetoric. At one point he says:

The proposals would see big cuts to programmes like the Common Agricultural Policy which sees tens of billions of pounds paid to small farmers in countries like France.

But in return Britain would be expected to give up its £4.1billion a year rebate, first agreed by Mrs Thatcher in 1984.

Countries 'like France'? Which countries are 'like France'?

But if the EU wants Britain to stop getting the rebate, and that equals the £4bn extra it wants from Britain, doesn't that make it all square?

You would think. But elsewhere, Milland says the 'new taxes' would:

have to raise about £6.4billion a year

So do they want £4bn or £6.4bn? Do they want extra taxes or the rebate withdrawn? Do they really want an income tax? Does Milland even know?

The story has been re-posted on both Stormfront and the website of David Icke. If both of them are pushing it as true, you just know something isn't right about it.


  1. Reminds of a similar story from a year or two ago, where the Daily Wail and the Diana Express unearthed an EU conspiracy map of Europe, in which those evil Brussels-dwellers planned to unite England with Portugal and unite Scotland with Scandinavia. These rags can't be arsed with being semi-plausible in their BS any more.

  2. More a case of a common policy cf VAT/TVA to facilitate fair competition i.e. not a tax feeding to EU but a common approach to various sales tax and duty to level playing field?


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