An uncomfortable truth has bubbled its way to the top of my consciousness over the last few months.
As the cuts in public spending start to bite and many local authorities slash costs and services, my logical left brain calmly assures me that this is necessary evil. Fortunately my right brain has gone mental, throwing a dozen or more factors into the equation.
There are plenty of people who have already accepted the 'we must cut' agenda. Most people if challenged would not be able to refute these cuts. UK plc has to cut its cloth. No jam tomorrow as it were.
The trouble is, it's doesn't need to be this way. A green paper, a white paper and some good old fashioned primary legislation by the government can close some gaping corporate tax avoidance loopholes.
Admittedly there is a disagreement about the level of tax avoidance that takes place:
UK Uncut cites a TUC estimate that UK tax avoidance costs £25bn a year.
By contrast, official statistics published by Revenue & Customs estimate that avoidance costs about £7.4bn a year, of which £2.9bn is due to avoidance by big companies.
Either way, these are substantial sums of money. Money that could go some way to offsetting the worst of the cuts to essential services.
The time for excuses has come to an end. This situation cannot persist.
Q and A
1) So will the Government legislate?
2) Will tax avoidance carry on unchecked if nothing is done?
2) Shall I go to a UKuncut protest at NatWest in Nottingham on Saturday?
Yes I probably should.