Star readers’ share how what change they’d make if they were in charge for the day “Close tax loopholes and make companies pay their fair share in taxes”

If you were the Prime Minister for just one day, what one policy change would you make?

By Christopher Hallam
Monday, 2nd August 2021, 4:50 pm

Our readers shared their thoughts on what they’d change if they were in power for just one day:

Without a doubt the most popular response came from Jean Hepplestone who replied saying that she would “Make sure corporate tax is paid at higher rate by all companies. And have a law that if you live in the country and earn your money here it doesn't go into an offshore account. That money could go into NHS, Policing and public services and to make life fairer for all, not just the privileged.” A view that was shared by a number of our readers, if not all.

As was the case with Luke LK, who replied with “Fiscal incentives are one of the most common incentives used to attract businesses to countries. Fiscal incentives include tax exemptions, tax holidays and loans. Other examples include reduced restrictions on shareholders and stocks, as well as greater access to domestic and international partners. You have no economy if companies pack up and leave!”

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AYLESBURY, ENGLAND - JULY 28: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he meets Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta at Chequers on July 28, 2021 in Aylesbury, England. President Uhura Kenyatta of Kenya is in the UK to attend the Global Education Summit Financing GPE held in the coming days. (Photo by Peter Cziborra - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Regardless of Luke’s view on the matter (as measured as it was, to an extent), others are very much of the mind that we should “Make large companies like Amazon pay their taxes on UK profits by closing the tax loopholes”, which was an opinion shared by Jane Yates. Many of you agreed with her take. Similar opinions were expressed by Elizabeth Gethin, who said that she would “Close all tax loopholes so that companies and individuals who currently dodge paying tax actually pay what they should be paying. Would allow proper funding of NHS, education, etc.” The majority of our readers were intent on ensuring that the wealthy paid their fair share, rather than continuing to profit off a taxation system that benefits the ‘well off’, case in point being TJ Grün, who wrote, “Close tax loopholes and make companies and mega rich pay their fair share in taxes.”

Some of our readers are concerned about the environmental impacts we’re collectively having on our world and how it will impact those who will live here after us, like Talulah Bankhead who said, “Ban plastic, fireworks and foil balloons. As educated humans we really do know better.”

Ben Johnson wants to “Make it illegal to lie to the public. That way, millions of gullible simpletons wouldn't have put us in the mess we're in now.” And Michael Frank says that he would “Get rid of the archaic and undemocratic first past the post electoral system”

Susan Standering wasted no time in highlighting some of the issues that have afflicted this city in recent years, when she said “Tougher sentences for knife crime and for attacking emergency service workers, no matter what age the culprits.” Quite a few people do believe that the judicial system could do with an overhaul or rather firmer sentences were being dished out, Sara Marris would decree “That judges carry out the right sentences for crimes and that life should actually mean life.” Firm but fair?

Picture of a gavel

Liam Murph Murphy says he would change the law so that it meant, “Life for a life”, a tad controversial… and John Bunion responded, saying “what about miscarriage of Justice, would you be happy hung for a crime you didn't commit?” He has a point there.

Meanwhile other readers were more concerned by the state of pensions, meaning state pension. Like June Dove, who said that she would “Increase state pensions” and Karen Budd added “Pay us our money in lost pensions”, an opinion that struck a chord with a few people. A few others wanted to reduce the retirement age, like Phil Baggaley and he said “bring down the age of retirement”… surely we should all be able to work to live and not live to work?

Sadly we couldn’t include all of your comments but there were some really lovely ones, only a few utterly daft/bigoted ones, and generally most people are of the mind that we need to ensure that people and companies are taxed, justice is firm and fair, and finally that we shouldn’t be working until we’re almost in our graves. That’s just not living.

But let’s end with a chuckle, courtesy of Paul Cooper, who said that he’d invoke a law that would provide us all with “Free wigs and teeth”, cheers Paul.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 29: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during his meeting with Somalia's Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble on the second day of the Global Education Summit on July 29, 2021 in London, England. Co-hosted by the United Kingdom and Kenya the Global Education Summit aims to raise investment for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to help transform education for the most vulnerable children in up to 90 lower-income countries and territories around the world. (Photo by Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images)