Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ken is the 14.5%
Former Climate Change Adviser Knocked Up Partial Figures

Last night Ken promised on Newsnight to publish his accounts. He further said this morning “I will set out income to my company over the last four years, how much my wife and I received and how much tax was paid.” Instead we got a partial view of what he decided to pay tax on. Ken also claims that an accountant has signed these figures off, yet provides no evidence for this unlike the other candidates.  He has still not published his company accounts and the clock is ticking

Guido’s been speaking to bean counters today who are slightly puzzled by what Ken has put out. One writes:

“a)      no book-keeper, let alone an accountant, has been near this – you never date down the left hand side – you run left to right;

b)      Corporation Tax is paid on profits, not dividends – massive f**k-up here – tells you all you need to know about the integrity of these accounts.”

The meta-data on the .PDF document shows that it was drawn up not by an accountant, but by Mark Watts- Ken’s old Climate Change Adviser at City Hall. He got one of the crony pay-offs in 2008. 

Apart from the 14.5% effective income tax rate – which Matthew Hancock points out is less than a City Hall cleaner pays – the main take-away from the part-publication is that by paying himself in dividends he is avoiding paying National Insurance, which employees have to pay. If you are employed you pay it at 12%. If you are self employed you pay it at 9%. If you are Ken, you don’t pay it at all. 

He cannot say he is paying his fair share when he is avoiding paying National Insurance, which is the tax that pays towards the NHS. The question for Ken is a simple one. Why are you paying yourself in dividends rather than salary? There is only one answer. To avoid tax.

Boris’ figures have the accountants signature on them and Paddick has put his actual returns, plus a few personal details, out. Why so dodgy Ken?

Team Ken Send Out Tax Lines to Tweet Script

Labour have often denied they use command and control techniques on Twitter, yet strangely their Shadow Ministers, MPs and activists always end up singing from the same hymn sheet. Guido has long suspected this unity is fake and that lines to take are pushed out by spinners. Well it turns out that hunch was right:

From: “Tom Copley KenLivingstone.com”
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2012 13:47:37
Subject: Ken’s tax and income: urgent online engagement

███████ –

Details of Ken’s tax and income – signed off by his accountant – is now online here:

http://www.kenlivingstone.com/ken-releases-details-of-incometax

This shows that last year he paid the full income tax required on all his earnings at a rate of 35%. This is higher than Brian Paddick but lower than Boris Johnson because unlike Johnson Ken does not fall into the 50p tax bracket.

Guido Fawkes is using dodgy maths to try and claim that Ken only paid 14.5% in income tax last year:

This is deliberately misleading. They’ve calculated this figure by dividing the amount Ken paid in tax on dividends by all the money in the company. This is ridiculous – Ken does not own the whole company and money in the company was used to employ other members of staff. Ken has paid the full income tax required on all the money he has taken out of the company as shown in the accounts.

The truth on Ken’s taxes, from that “left-wing stalwart” the Spectator (of which Boris Johnson was a former editor) – is here:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/7766343/how-much-tax-do-the-mayoral-candidates-pay

We need you to urgently engage @GuidoFawkes, @MrHarryCole, @DaveMorgan25, @BackBoris2012 and @Boris_Backer on Twitter to rebut their lies. Please tweet the link to the Spectator article too.

Best wishes,

Tom Copley
Digital Campaigns Coordinator
Ken Livingstone for London

How’s that urgent engagement going?

UPDATE: Well badly is the answer. The Spectator have now updated the article that Labour were so keen to push:

“It seems Ken’s campaign is trying to use our chart as proof that he isn’t avoiding tax. It isn’t. Our figures for Ken are simply the amount he’s declared he pays in tax divided by his declared personal income. It’s what he claims his effective tax rate is, not what we claim it is.”

Urgent engagement required. 

Compare and Contrast: Candidates Effective Tax Rates

Ken has released information on the income that he decided to pay tax on, while simply choosing to ignore the rest. When Silveta Ltd’s numbers from all of his media earnings are included, the true picture of his company wheeze becomes clear. If the Silveta Ltd had actually done anything Ken might have had a leg to stand on, but it did nothing in that time bar employ his wife to write a book. He’s a tax avoider…

Ken Releases Partial Figures –
Earned £238,646 and Paid £34,661 in Tax at 14.5%

(Click here to enlarge)

He claims his income from employment last year was £5,700? LBC must be slave masters!

Ken earned £755,778 from media appearances and his books according to Silveta’s Company House filings. It’s not looking good…

UPDATE: Ken paid 14.5% of his gross income in tax last year. He brought in £238,646 via Silveta Limited and paid £34,661 in tax. He’s a tax avoider…

UPDATE II: Boris’ numbers were signed off by a respected firm of accountants and Paddick has gone the whole hog and actually released the bits of paper. What proof do we have that this page of numbers rushed out by Ken is legit? It isn’t even signed off by his accountant…

Ken U-Turn Under Way

After a morning of obfuscating and spinning, we now hear that Ken will be releasing the numbers and has sent them to the Standard.

In that time Ken earned nearly three quarters of a million and put it through Silveta Ltd. On the back of a fag packet that looks like about 15% of his earnings going on tax. No wonder he was trying to wriggle today – that’s below the basic rate of income tax…

WATCH: Cocky Ken Promises to Publish

Paddick’s Return
Ken in Meltdown

The LibDem candidate isn’t doing too badly for himself:

2010/2011
Police pension: £63,397
Other earnings: £13,355
Total income received: £76,804
Total on which tax is due: £70,329
Total tax due (and paid): £14,534

2009/2010
Police pension: £63,397
Other earnings: £10,437
Total income received: £73,843
Total on which tax is due: £67,443
Total tax due (and paid): £18,292

2008/2009
Police pension: £63,397
Other earnings: £130,102
Total income received: £193,499
Total on which tax is due: £188,470
Total tax due (and paid): £67,867

That £60,000 police pension is rather sweet. Paddick paid 24.7 % of his income in tax last year. Will Ken be higher or lower? 

UPDATE: Ken seems to be having a bit of a meltdown:

“I will lodge the details for the last four years with an independent body or individual, to be published simultaneously when all four main candidates have provided them. I will set out income to my company over the last four years, how much my wife and I received and how much tax was paid. Full household income and tax must be released by all candidates because the question of the overall household income and tax has continuously been the subject.”

It must be that bad…

Chic-Ken Refuses to Publish

The day Ken’s campaign died and he leaves it to his Campaign Director Patrick Heneghan to clear up the mess:

“We believe household publication is necessary for full disclosure as the question of Ken’s income and his wife’s income and their tax has been central the coverage of this issue. Publication of Ken’s returns alone will not address many of the questions that have been raised. The only way to answer all the questions about this issue and to move the debate on the real issues facing London is for full household income disclosure. This should apply to all the candidates equally to avoid any further questions about the income and tax affairs that may or may not be applicable to them through their households. The same principles need to be applied to all the candidates if this process is to be seen as open and fair.”

So he’s not publishing then. He’s a clucking liar…

Ken Dodging Tax Release

Ken’s campaign are dragging their feet. Mixed messages are doing the rounds. He said earlier he would release his financials when the other candidates do. They have now done this and still nothing. If he doesn’t publish then he is finished. Guido is awaiting the official line on why and what is going on…

UPDATE:

Boris Releases Income and Tax Records


Seen Elsewhere

More Owen Jones Errors | Michael Ezra
Why Should Men Get Equal Maternity Leave? | Laura Keynes
Dentists Have Last Laugh Over Sneering Keynes | FT
Why’s Clegg Giving Men Paternity Leave? | Conservative Women
Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan


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