What Are Taxes?}

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What are Taxes?


David Tang

There is a big demand for Boston accounting services and Boston payroll services, particularly now that Boston is becoming more and more industrialized. Companies and firms that offer such services also offer Boston Quickbooks support as well as auditing Boston taxes. For those who are not very familiar what taxes are and how they work, here are some useful information.

A tax is defined as a financial levy or charge that is imposed on a person or any legal entity or group. Taxes may also be imposed by subnational entities. It consists of direct tax and indirect tax, and can be paid in monetary form or its labor equivalent.

In the modern taxation system, taxes are given in money, although in-kind as well as corve taxation were usually the forms of pre-capitalist states.

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The system of taxation and expenditure of taxes collected is one of the highly debated issues in economics and politics. When an individual or legal entity fails to pay taxes, civil penalties like fines may be imposed, as well as being subjected to criminal penalties.

Funds raised through taxation are used by countries and states in carrying out various functions of the government. Some of the expenditures used from taxes raised are expenses on war, enforcement of public order, economic infrastructure like roads, public works, operation of the government, and social engineering.

Taxes are also used in funding public and welfare services like education systems, pensions for elderly, health care system, benefits for the unemployed, and public transportation. Public utilities like water, energy, and waste management also benefit from taxes raised. Colonial states also impose cash taxes in forcing reluctant subsistence producers.

There are different kinds and rates of taxes. Governments do this to distribute tax burden among classes of the population that are involved in taxable activities like business. This is also used to redistribute the resources between classes of the population. Modern security systems are designed in such a way to support the poor, disabled, or retired from taxes provided by people who are still working.

Also, taxes are applied to finance military and foreign aid and to spur macroeconomic performance of an economy. Taxes are also used in modifying patterns of employment or consumption in an economy by enabling some classes involved in transactions attractive.

The tax system of a nation is usually a reflection of its shared values, or values of its leaders. In creating a scheme of taxation, a government should make tough decisions on distributing the tax burden. The government should decide on who will pay more taxes, and how much a particular individual or business will pay. Democratic nations usually have tax system reflective of public clamor, while in less democratic countries tax systems reflect the values of its leaders.

If you are ever in need of Boston accounting services, Boston payroll services or Boston Quickbooks Support for your company or individual needs or for computing your Boston taxes, you could try going online and do a search for the best companies.

Murphy & Co. ( http://murphyaccounting.com/index.htm ) believes that small-business owners deserve the same high level of accounting services typically reserved for larger companies. They know that small-business accounting is an important part of a company’s success. Joseph Murphy of Murphy & Co. understands this, and so he created an accounting firm specifically designed to help small businesses with Boston tax returns ( http://murphyaccounting.com/Tax-Returns.htm ), QuickBooks support, and payroll services.

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Obama announces US$3.8 trillion 2011 budget plan for US
Obama announces US$3.8 trillion 2011 budget plan for US

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Barack Obama, the US President, has announced a budget plan worth US$3.83 trillion for next year. The budget includes additional spending for job creation, but cuts for other areas. The president also forecast that the national debt would reach $1.56 trillion in 2010.

Among the cuts proposed include scrapping the Constellation program, a plan to send astronauts to the Moon by 2020, and capping some domestic spending programmes for three years. Overall, the cuts are predicted to save $250 billion. There is also $100 billion in tax incentives aimed at hiring workers. US residents with incomes of over $250,000 per annum, however, would be given higher taxes, partially offsetting that.

Other increases in the proposed budget include; $48 billion for veterans’ medical care, or an increase of eight percent; $53 billion for homeland security; $310 million to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison. He also suggested freezing spending for some federal programs and departments and programs for three years, exempting Medicare, Social Security, and national security.

In order for the budget to take effect, Congress must approve it by the beginning of the fiscal year starting October 1.

When introducing the budget, Obama stated that “we […] continue to lay a new foundation for lasting growth. Just as it would be a terrible mistake to borrow against our children’s future to pay our way today, it would be equally wrong to neglect their future by failing to invest in areas that will determine our economic success in this new century.”

At the White House, he also commented: “It’s a budget that reflects the serious challenges facing the country. We’re at war. Our economy has lost seven million jobs over the last two years. And our government is deeply in debt after what can only be described as a decade of profligacy […] “It’s very important to understand,” the president said. “We won’t be able to bring down this deficit overnight, given that the recovery is still taking hold and families across the country still need help.”

The budget plan reads: “These estimates do not reflect any policy decisions about specific military or intelligence operations, but are only intended to indicate that some as-yet-unknown costs are anticipated.”

It will be impossible to bring the deficit down unless the economy is up. The budget the president is sending Congress today puts a priority on those objectives

“It will be impossible to bring the deficit down unless the economy is up. The budget the president is sending Congress today puts a priority on those objectives.” The president blamed the previous George Bush administration for the financial difficulties, saying: “Over the course of the past 10 years, the previous administration and previous Congresses created an expensive new drug program, passed massive tax cuts for the wealthy and funded two wars without paying for any of it, all of which was compounded by recession and by rising health care costs. As a result, when I first walked through the door, the deficit stood at $1.3 trillion, with projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade.”

“It will be impossible to bring the deficit down unless the economy is up. The budget the president is sending Congress today puts a priority on those objectives. It keeps one eye on the economy and the other on the deficit,” remarked Democrat Representative John Spratt from South Carolina.

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Republican senators, however, criticised the plan, citing the proposed tax increases, and suggesting that the deficit is an indication Obama isn’t able to control government spending. “President Obama is submitting another budget that spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much,” said the House Minority Leader, John Boehner. “Serious fiscal responsibility requires more than a few cuts here and there at the margins. Republicans have proposed adopting strict budget caps that limit federal spending on an annual basis and are enforceable by the president.”

this budget provides a startling figure that should stop us all in our tracks

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell commented that “this budget provides a startling figure that should stop us all in our tracks. According to the administration’s budget, the interest on the federal debt is expected to be nearly 6 trillion dollars over the next decade. We’ve all heard about interest-only loans, but this is the equivalent of an average of $600 billion dollars in interest every year. That’s an astonishing number.”

Republican Senator Judd Gregg also was critical of the plan: “These circumstances call for a bold, game-changing budget that will turn things around, put in place a plan to restrain spending, reduce the debt and tackle the big entitlement programmes that are growing out of control. Instead, the president has sent us more of the same.” He described the financial situation as being a “quagmire”.

Obama’s proposal to pull the space plan also drew fire from Republicans. “The president’s proposed Nasa budget begins the death march for the future of US human space flight,” said Republican Senator Richard Shelby. Obama, however, described the Constellation programme as being “over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation”, and said it was draining resources from other activities at NASA.

“Bigoted woman”: controversial Gordon Brown remarks caught on air
“Bigoted woman”: controversial Gordon Brown remarks caught on air

Thursday, April 29, 2010

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is now at the centre of controversy when, on Thursday, a live microphone caught him describing a voter he had talked to as being a “bigoted woman”.

The incident occurred after Brown, encouraged by his advisors to interact with ordinary people more often before next week’s parliamentary elections, went for a walkabout in the town of Rochdale, located near Manchester. There, he spoke with Gillian Duffy, aged 65, who challenged him on topics such as health and education, before asking about immigration: “All those Eastern Europeans what are coming in, where are they flocking from?” she asked him.

Brown responded by saying that “[a] million people come from Europe, but a million people, British people, have gone into Europe.” The prime minister, upon finishing the discussion, said it was “very nice to meet you” and returned to his car.

Unbeknownst to him, however, the Sky News microphone attached to his lapel was still turned on and picked up the conversation that followed inside the vehicle: “That was a disaster … they should never have put me with that woman,” Brown said. “Whose idea was that? It’s just ridiculous.” When an aide asked what Duffy had said, Brown responded: “Everything, she was just a bigoted woman that said she used to be Labour […] I don’t know why Sue [an aide] brought her up towards me.”

Whose idea was that? […] She was just a bigoted woman

The PM, upon being informed what had happened, returned to Duffy’s home to personally apologise. “Sometimes you do make mistakes and you use wrong words, and once you’ve used that word and you’ve made a mistake, you should withdraw it and say profound apologies, and that’s what I’ve done,” he said. During an interview with the BBC, Brown is seen with his head in hands as the comments were replayed.

Duffy, speaking to reporters immediately after having talked with the PM, described Brown as being “very nice”, but later said she was “very upset” when informed what Brown had said off-camera. “Why has he come out with words like that? He’s supposed to be leading the country and he’s calling an ordinary woman who’s come up and asked questions that most people would ask him,” she said in an interview with the BBC.

“[…] It’s going to be tax, tax, tax for another twenty years to get out of this national debt, and he’s calling me a bigot,” later adding: “I want to know why – them [sic] comments I made there – why I was called a bigot.”

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A spokesman for Brown said: “Mr Brown has apologised to Mrs Duffy personally by phone. He does not think that she is bigoted. He was letting off steam in the car after a difficult conversation. But this is exactly the sort of conversation that is important in an election campaign and which he will continue to have with voters.”

Some political analysts have said the gaffe may hurt Labour’s chances in the upcoming elections; the party had managed to narrow the Conservatives’ lead in recent opinion polls.

The Conservatives responded to the incident — dubbed by some media outlets as “Bigotgate” — with Shadow chancellor George Osborne saying that “general elections […] do reveal the truth about people.”

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, meanwhile said: “You should always try to answer the questions as best you can. He has been recorded saying what he has said and will have to answer for that.”

Andrew Russell, a politics lecturer for Manchester University, commented on the situation. “A politician in a stronger position could recover from this. What we know is that Gordon Brown is not in that position.”

EPA block massive West Australian energy project
EPA block massive West Australian energy project

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

The Western Australian (WA) Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has advised against the massive Greater Gorgon liquefied natural gas project off WA’s Pilbara coast. Proponents of the projects say Gorgon is one of Australia’s biggest export ventures, scheduled to provide up to 6,000 jobs and exports of up to $1.2 billion.

EPA chairman Dr Wally Cox said the Gorgon project operators (Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell), had made an effort on flora and fauna issues but in its present state, the Gorgon proposal was “unacceptable.” Gorgon LNG general manager Colin Beckett said that Gorgon was a world-class gas field and that the joint venture partners were confident that the decision would be reversed.

Environment Minister Mark McGowan said there was a definite process to be followed. The Minister says he will make a final decision on the Gorgon proposal after considering the EPA report – and any subsequent report from the Appeals Convenor. The EPA recommendations on the Gorgon proposal are subject to a two-week appeals period.

The EPA’s Dr Cox said that joint venture had “not been able to demonstrate that impacts from dredging, the introduction of non-indigenous species and the potential loss of fauna could be reduced to acceptable levels.”

In September 2003 the WA government provided “in-principle agreement” to the Gorgon joint venturers subject to a number of conditions. Dr Cox said that the Environmental Review and Management Programme had further highlighted the terrestrial and marine conservation values of Barrow Island and the adjacent waters.

Flatback turtles in particular would be put at risk from the proposal with two of the most important nesting beaches located adjacent to the proposed LNG processing plant site and the materials off-loading facility,” Dr Cox said. “There is very little science available on the life-cycle, behaviour and feeding habits of Flatback turtles and as a consequence it is not possible at this time to identify management measures that would ensure ongoing survival of this Pilbara Flatback turtle population.”

Dr Cox also said that the Proponent had not been able to demonstrate that risk could be reduced to satisfactory levels in the areas of: Impacts on the marine ecosystem from dredging; The introduction of non-indigenous species; Potential loss of subterranean and short range endemic invertebrate fauna species. “As a result, the proposal in its present form cannot meet the EPA’s environmental objectives and is considered environmentally unacceptable,” Dr Cox said.

Romanian VAT to remain at 19 percent
Romanian VAT to remain at 19 percent

Monday, February 28, 2005

[[w:Bucharest, Romania|Bucharest, Romania]] — The Romanian Finance Minister Ionu? Popescu has responded to public fears of a rise in value added tax (VAT) by saying that Romania’s VAT will remain at 19% and will not increase. He rejected rumours that the value added tax, which is applied to most goods and services, will increase due to negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and a need to boost government revenue.

After introducing a low flat tax rate of 16% on January 1, 2005, which applies to both personal income and corporate profits, the government has had to fund the tax cuts through alternative means, including increases in other types of taxation, to avoid running a high budget deficit. For example, from April 1, the government will increase excises as well as a range of other taxes. Despite the increase, Romania continues to have one of the lowest fiscal burdens in Europe due to the new 16% flat tax rate.

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Fred Thompson’s ‘exploration’ causes confusion on USA election rules
Fred Thompson’s ‘exploration’ causes confusion on USA election rules

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The day after Fred Thompson’s “exploratory committee” announced that it raised just over US$3 million dollars, the type of fundraising is causing “confusion” over Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules for the “exploratory” status.

CQ Politics reports, “Friends of Fred Thompson” also is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a “527” political organization, so named because it is regulated under Section 527 of the tax code.” Once Thompson decides to become a candidate, he must then meet FEC disclosure requirements. CQ Politics noted, “two issues — whether Thompson has raised more money than could be expected to be used for exploratory activities, and whether his months of ‘testing the waters’ have been a ‘protracted period of time’ as outlined by federal law as qualifying someone as a candidate — Thompson could have trouble.” According to Paul Ryan, FEC program director for the Campaign Legal Center, “Reasonable minds could disagree.”

The Washington Post noted, “Campaign finance experts said yesterday that if Thompson were to wait until Sept. 6 to launch a campaign, he would be legally permitted to delay filing a finance report with the Federal Election Commission until Jan. 31.” Nonetheless, “Thompson campaign officials stressed his commitment to disclosure.”

In addition to the personnel changes previously reported, today a top fundraising consultant, Kim Kaegi, resigned from the Thompson campaign. According to the AP, “Kaegi called it a ‘stretch’ to speculate that her departure was related to lower-than-expected totals.”

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TV debate between German chancellor Schröder and opposition leader Merkel held
TV debate between German chancellor Schröder and opposition leader Merkel held

Sunday, September 4, 2005

This article is part of the seriesGerman federal elections 2005
Complete Coverage
  • Schröder loses motion of confidence
  • German president dissolves parliament; elections in September
  • German Constitutional Court green-lights early elections call
  • TV debate between German chancellor Schröder and opposition leader Merkel held
  • Death of candidate will delay final results for German federal election by weeks
  • One week before German federal election, the race is wide-open again
Election Day
  • Results
  • German Christian Democrats win by-election in Dresden
  • Schröder gives up German chancellorship ambitions, makes way for Merkel
  • German Social and Christian Democrats agree on new government
  • Angela Merkel elected new German chancellor

German chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) and the Chair of the Christian Democrats (CDU), Angela Merkel, faced each other on Sunday evening in the first and only debate between them in this election campaign.

The 90-minute long program, simulcasted on Germany’s four major TV stations, focused on employment, taxation and social reforms.

Merkel stated that she wants to reduce the taxation on gasoline to ease the high price Germans have to pay at the pump. Schröder responded that the VAT-increase that the CDU is planning would neutralize that effect and that his government hadn’t increased gasoline taxes since 2003.

The chancellor went on to blast Merkel’s designate Finance minister Paul Kirchhof, a proponent of a flat tax on income. He said that Kirchhof’s suggestions would turn Germans into “guinea pigs”. But Merkel called Kirchhof a “visionary” and said her party would make taxation “easier and more just”.

Speaking of employment, Schröder stated that his reforms are beginning to work and that he is on the right track. Merkel referred to five million unemployed Germans and said that seven years of Schröder government were “bad years for Germany”.

Polls conducted by the ARD after the debate show that 49% of Germans believe that Schröder was “more convincing” while 33% think that Merkel was. The ZDF said that 48% of the population think Schröder performed better, while 28% say the same about Merkel.

However, overall polls conducted by the ARD as well, say that Schröder’s SPD can expect 32% in the upcoming federal election, his current coalition partner, the Greens, 7%. Merkel’s CDU, along with its bavarian sister party CSU, on the other hand is projected to get 43%, which would enable them to form a coalition government with the FDP, which stands at 6%. Their majority however is slim, because the newly formed Party of the Left can expect 9%.

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Tax Issues: Dealing With Unreported Offshore Transactions}

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Tax Issues: Dealing With Unreported Offshore Transactions


Tom Ajava

The news related to IRS actions usually goes unnoticed by the vast majority of people unless it involves something they have a financial interest in. The IRS has been making a lot of news the last few years related to hunting down Americans who hide money offshore and dont pay taxes. What if you find yourself in this situation?

It all seemed so clear. You read a story on the web about how going offshore would provide you with asset protection and tax advantages. After all, who would really know about a bank account or trust in the Cayman Islands? You took the plunge and stuck some money offshore. Now youve watched the IRS penetrate Swiss banking privacy laws and have read theyll be turning to the Caribbean next. What do you do?

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The first thing to understand is that going offshore with your finances is not illegal. Offshore sounds glamorous, but it simply means any country outside of the United States. If you have a bank account in Canada, youve gone offshore. It really isnt all it is cracked up to be, eh?

The problems with going offshore start when people dont pay taxes on their gains. It is oh, so tempting to buy stock in London, make a gain and not report it. Who is going to know? Well, that is ultimately the question. In some cases, the IRS will figure it out if it gets into a particular banks records. In others, an unhappy ex-spouse or employer might report you. It all just depends.

The far more common problem is the situation where a taxpayer enters into some offshore strategy a salesman pitched. It all sounded legal, but now you are a bit nervous. It is hard to ignore the fact the salesman is outside of the United States and wont come back in. What do you do? The answer is fairly simple and straightforward. You need to go talk to a tax attorney.

Why a tax attorney? The first reason is to get your actions checked out. There is a very real possibility everything was done on the up and up, which means you dont have to sweat anything. What if there is a problem? The tax attorney can advise you on a strategy for dealing with the IRS. The agency is much more passive if taxpayers come forth voluntarily to report wayward conduct than if the agency has to go after them. You will still have to pay taxes, penalties and interest, but you can at least avoid jail.

The last thing you want to do in this situation is nothing. Letting it hang over your head for years is simply not going to be good for your health.

Thomas Ajava writes for


– find a tax attorney in Houston, Texas who is familiar with offshore transaction laws and other tax issues.

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U.S. 2004 tax rates lower for those earning over $10 million, Tax Policy Center says
U.S. 2004 tax rates lower for those earning over $10 million, Tax Policy Center says

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Tax Policy Center has published a table that states that taxpayers earning more than $10,000,000 in 2004 paid lower tax rates than taxpayers earning between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000. Among other things, it breaks down the average tax rate by cash income into various income tax categories.

According to the Tax Policy Center, the average tax rate paid by the 9,000 taxpayers earning over $10,000,000 in 2004 was 20.1%, more than 2% lower than the nearly quarter million taxpayers earning between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000. If taxpayers earning over $10,000,000 were taxed at 22.3%, the rate of those earning between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000, the federal government would have received an additional $4.8 billion in revenue.

Taxpayers who earned more than $10,000,000 paid a lower average rate than any category of taxpayer earning over $100,000. Although taxpayers in the $75,000 to $100,000 range paid 18.9% of their income in taxes, 1.2% less than those making over $10,000,000, taxpayers in the $100,000 to $200,000 range paid an average of 20.6%, or 0.5% more than those making over $10,000,000.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Furthermore, the Tax Policy Center’s analysis is described by David Cay Johnston, New York Times columnist and author of Perfectly Legal as “understating the real economic gains of those at the very top, who have perfectly legal ways to defer reporting income for tax purposes.”

The Tax Policy Center is a nonpartisian joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution and comprised of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy who have served at the highest levels of government.

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Scottish Justice Secretary ‘acutely aware of unusual publicity’ in Kular case
Scottish Justice Secretary ‘acutely aware of unusual publicity’ in Kular case

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wikinews has obtained a letter by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to former Conservative justice spokesman John Lamont in response to questions raised by our correspondent about the Mikaeel Kular murder case. Wikinews has investigated possible contempt by media publishing potentially prejudicial material, and MacAskill wrote he has “been following the case of Mikaeel Kular and [is] acutely aware of the unusual publicity this case has attracted.”

When Mikaeel Kular, three, vanished from his Edinburgh home last month police and volunteers scoured the capital for him. His body was found in Fife just before midnight on January 17, and his mother was arrested on January 18. That’s when Wikinews first reported on possible widespread contempt by UK and Scottish media.

Our correspondent is based in Scotland and was been advised by a lawyer not to identify anybody detained until they have appeared in court, even if they have been arrested and charged. Professor James Chalmers of the University of Glasgow has since reviewed our coverage and confirmed this position. Despite that a large number of major media outlets identified Rosdeep Adekoya, nee Kular, 33, as the arrested individual.

Adekoya has since been in Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with murdering her son. She is in custody pending indictment and trial, but any eyewitness evidence may be tainted because her image has been widely published. This is common practice elsewhere in the UK but Scottish justice works differently and courts have viewed publication of photos as potentially prejudicial. Professor Pamela Ferguson of the University of Dundee notes “journalists do seem to be walking a dangerous line if publishing photos etc of suspects.” Crown Office, which is in overall charge of prosecutions, has indicated to journalists that no further comment will be made at least until indictment.

MacAskill however expressed confidence in the Scottish court system to deal with the situation. “I am confident… the courts themselves will intervene if they believe publicity is in danger of being prejudicial.” He also wrote to Lamont that he has faith in the court to successfully direct any jury that may try the case in order to maintain fairness.

The courts have said that the only safe route to avoid committing a contempt is to avoid publishing a photograph

The Contempt of Court Act 1981 is designed to prevent prejudicial material going in front of juries before trial. Although UK-wide legislation, the law is interpreted differently north of the border than in England and Wales. Witnesses in Scotland may be asked to identify accused persons standing in the dock. The BBC College of Journalism advises legal advice be sought ahead of publishing photos and notes it has previously been ruled contempt. The BBC used the accused’s photo prominently in their own online coverage.

Chalmers explains: “It may be a contempt of court to create a substantial risk of serious prejudice to someone’s right to a fair trial. A photograph might do this in a case where identification is an issue; on the face of it, that does not seem especially likely in this case, but it is impossible to know for certain at this point. The courts have said that the only safe route to avoid committing a contempt is to avoid publishing a photograph, but that does not mean that publishing a photograph is automatically a contempt.” MacAskill noted “the kind of issue that publicity might raise may become apparent only during the trial itself.”

Contempt has been a considerable issue in the UK in recent years after high-profile cases. In one instance a charge against serial killer Levi Bellfield was dropped owing to publicity while the jury were deliberating; in another, newspapers were fined and sued for libel over reporting on the arrest of a suspect who turned out to be innocent in a prominent investigation.

A proposal was mooted to ban identification of suspects arrested anywhere in the UK, but this was subsequently shelved. MacAskill confirmed “the Scottish Government is content with the way the courts are operating the rules on contempt of court in Scotland at the moment and has no plans to make changes.” He also wrote of the difficulties with trying to individually cover all eventualities with prescriptive legislation, saying “A trial for a sexual offence will raise very different issues — particularly of protecting victims — from those that are raised by a tax fraud trial.”

MacAskill says it is the Scottish Government’s position that the task of “counterbalancing the public interest in reporting with upholding the criminal law should be left to those whose job it is to do so — the courts and the judiciary, acting in the individual circumstances of the case”.

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