I do wish that people would get this right:
The Chancellor’s family-owned interior design business, Osborne & Little, failed to contribute to the Exchequer last year as it recorded its fourth straight year of losses.
There’s so many nonsenses mixed up in that statement.
Firstly, the measure of success of a business is not whether it contributed to the Exchequer. That’s not what they’re for: the measure of success is the consumer surplus enjoyed by the customers. That’s what they’re for: to increase the utils of the people who use the products or services.
Secondly of course that one specific tax was not paid does not mean that no taxes were paid. There’s economic activity going on in there and economic activity gets taxed at a number of points. The wages for the staff…OK, we could say that comes from the wages. The VAT, OK, so that comes from the consumers perhaps. No profit so thus not corporation tax: boo hoo. Bet you business rates are still an important consideration for a retailer.
Taxes are being paid, contributions to the Exchequer are happening: and that’s not what should be the measure of the contribution being made by the company anyway.
Fun fact: long ago I was offered a job with Osborne and Little. Standing in my favourite pub, chatting away, saying I was off to uni in London in a few months. Was asked if I’d like a summer job with them (by the MD, so I think I would have got it if I’d said yes) leading to a part time one while at uni.
Decided to be a waiter instead, more cash in it.