Don’t let me get too deep into defending banks, I’m not Angela Knight, but when did this meme of equating “contributing to the economy” with paying tax start?

Quite sensibly the New Statesman points out that Financial Services aren’t all that, because, you know, they kinda helped crash the UK’s economy. That’s a good point, fat tails cause big problems, preaching to the choir man. But then there’s this:

Yet whilst the financial sector likes to think of itself as the powerhouse of the UK economy, in terms of the tax it pays, it’s more of a Wendy house. HMRC figures show a drastic reduction in Corporation Tax contributions since the financial crash – on average just £3.3billion a year, even when the paltry Bank Levy is included. To put this in context, the finance sector shelled out £14 billion in bonuses to top staff last year alone.

I’m under the impression that taxes are something you pay out of the contribution you make. The contribution you make being, if you’re a company, the profits you make and the wages you pay. That’s your value add. For finance the waters are muddied, because of TBTF etc., but the vast majority of the people involved in finance are doing work as boring and worthy as the rest. Employing over one million people counts as a contribution to me, so why is the New Statesman being so odd?

When did this meme start? I swear I’ve seen it developing for a little while and I’m just curious about whether this is going to be a “thing” now that’s going to annoy me.

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