The message of this chapter is that the state in Britain now spends on a huge scale. It raises the resources in the many ways documented in these pages, and a critical political issue is: who should bear the load of taxation? Historically the answer was simple: the poor should pay because they did not share the responsibilities of those with property. Nowadays, a key issue in allocation has been how much of the load should be borne by big companies - by corporate taxation, in other words. An industry of tax accountancy has developed which takes legal tax avoidance to a high art. Most of the best-known corporate names operating in Britain practise tax efficiency, which is the worldwide organization of their financial resources so as to minimize their tax bills to the British state. But being tax efficient within the law is a highly complex business - hence only those with the wealth to hire very skilled lawyers and tax accountants can realistically practise it. The phenomenon is worldwide, but Britain occupies an especially central place because most of the leading tax havens are Crown dependencies. Estimates of the amounts saved by corporate tax efficiency reach as high as 85 billion - give or take 10 billion, which is virtually the cost of public education in Britain. The pressure group UK Uncut repeatedly publicizes the issue, organizing public demonstrations and boycotts of tax-avoiding big corporates.
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