August 15th, 2012

Unions Help Teachers Pay Less Tax

Guido would like to express solidarity with £142,000 per year union fat cat Christine Blower, who has found an innovative new way to reduce her members’ tax bills. For all her moralistic demands that people “play fair on tax“, it turns out she wasn’t talking to union members. 

Unionised teachers are being advised that they can now claim tax back on their union subscriptions. Any member of the National Union of Teachers, NASUWT or any of the other major teaching unions is eligible to a generous rebate on their yearly union fees. Guido is thinking of a forming a union of yacht owners…


77 Comments

  1. 1
    Kebab Time says:

    One rule for one etc…..

    How about a union of window-lickers in memory of Dolly ;)

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    How little you know about yacht owners.

  3. 5
    Tax is not paid by 'socialists' says:

    This has been going on for years

  4. 6
    Grammar School Boy says:

    The Left being hypocritical – well blow me!

  5. 7
    Piss pot says:

    Labour, in the pockets of the Unions, and two-faced, shameless, thieving, conniving, hypocritical, bastards.

    If I’ve left any adjectives out, please feel free to add to the list.

    • 13
      Time to ban influence peddling by the bankers says:

      You have forgotten to include the huge banking and retail conglomerate which funds its own political party inside Labour.

    • 41
      Four-eyed English Genius says:

      I believe there is a synonym for “rectal sphincters” that you have left out.

  6. 10
    Malcolm Redfellow says:

    Nothing new here: been happening for decades. And the teaching unions issue this reminded on an annual (if not more often) basis.

    This is rather like the joke about the banker, the Daily Mail reader and the teacher. Why not bleat about BMA and similar professional subscriptions? Are they somehow different? They certainly involve a lot more filthy lucre. Ah, yes! — such are decent, upright citizens, unlike the lower orders at the chalk-face.

    • 30
      The Paragnostic says:

      I truly, truly feel sorry for “those at the chalk face” – with their featherbedded pensions, extensive holidays and short working day, it must be hard to raise the enthusiasm needed to sort the flint from the churt.

      I wonder how much effort goes in to administering all these tax relief claims on the part of the Revenue? How much do these claims cost us, the non-unionised and unprivileged taxpayers of the private sector?

      As for the BMA, they haven’t yet reached the depths of destructiveness shown by the teaching unions with repeated ideological strikes and unreasonable wage demands, so they’re not really a fair comparison. The thugs of Unite or the PCS are more akin to the NASties and the NUTters.

  7. 11
    The Fallen Angel says:

    (1) I’m a teacher
    (2) I’ve been bombarded with emails from my union about this
    (3) I’m not bothering to claim the rebate- it may be ‘legally’ right but it doesn’t feel ‘morally’ right.

    Ps- the only reason I’m in a union? To ensure that I have legal representation as/when/if (delete as appropriate) I need it due to either stupid management or a malicious student…

    Pps- Isn’t it ironic that teachers whinge about not being treated as professionals yet prefer to have multiple trade unions instead of a single General Teaching Council????

    • 15
      Malcolm Redfellow says:

      Perhaps because Gove scrapped the GTC for England?

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/jun/02/general-teaching-council-england-abolished

      • 32
        Anonymous says:

        Don’t confuse Greedo’s vermin with facts.

      • 34
        The Fallen Angel says:

        True enough….but if it had been done properly it should have replaced the Trade Unions though!

        Just that the unions weren’t willing to release their stranglehold on power and that the GTC was fatally flawed from the start because of how it was set up by the previous government. (i.e with govt. control and primarily used as a disciplinary body)

        I was training as a teacher when the GTC was being set up and we were ADVISED by not only our course tutor but the Head of the School of Education to provide only our names but not to pay any fees etc- right from the start the teaching establishment was against it. In the end the govt was putting additional money into our salaries in order to pay the fees.

        There was so much resentment that the GTC had to be abolished- Gove did the right thing in one way but in other ways proper reform of the GTC could have made it a useful body; and broken the teaching unions to boot.

    • 31
      Really? says:

      Since when did teachers, incompetent or otherwise get fired?

      BTW, you don’t inspire much confidence as a teacher if you didn’t even know that all household insurance policies offer legal cover for such things as wrongful dismissal.

      • 39
        The Fallen Angel says:

        ‘Really?’-

        I have worked with several teachers who have been fired; some for incompetence, some for negligence and some for downright stupidity…

        It does happen but (1) not enough and (2) it happens quietly.

      • 56
        Voice dripping in sarcasm says:

        Well said “Really ! ” all the best Teachers have extensive knowledge of household insurance cover as its so important to impart this information to students. I myself would never have passed my exams if my own teachers hadnt known this.

    • 61
      Dougie says:

      Having tussled with the GTC myself, I can confirm that it was totally useless. Whether the replacement disciplinary arrangements Gove has set up will be any better remains to be seen.

  8. 14
    When I was at school I was taught how to read says:

    In the third paragraph at
    http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6194082 she says:


    tax avoidance, which can be within the law but is in many cases … illegal

    Within the law and illegal at the same time. There is something odd in her head.

    • 24
      Ivor Tapeworm says:

      Krusty the Clown was nicked for Tax Avoision IIRC

    • 25
      AC1 says:

      Thatcher stole her milk so she grew up without a brain and could only get a job in a union.

      • 57
        Voice dripping in sarcasm says:

        Thatcher has a lot to answer for, all those kids who died from malnurishment as a result of her snatching the milk. Thank Goodness the Labour Party reinstated it during their subsequent 13 years in office.

        • 58
          JH says:

          Yes, and thank god they didn’t remove school milk for other age groups before Thatcher. Oh, hang on…

          As Voltaire said, “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.’”

          The almighty certainly delivered on that one regarding the left.

  9. 16
    Cyril Matvech says:

    Just so long as your dingy union is not another illegal closed shop union, like Chartered accountants & surveyors, lawyers, judges, actors and a whole host of other fat-cats who are above the Tory law against occupational protectionism? Aren’t private schools allowed this same tax avoidance?

    • 42
      Anonymous says:

      Private Schools? Er, I thought that they were all charities now?

    • 72
      Anonymous says:

      Not sure you can justify “actors” in the fat cat category;my understanding is that the great majority of them are not in work.

      • 74
        Cyril Matvech says:

        Is an Actor “acting” when he is unemployed or is he just another unemployed person? What stupid comments on this funny site. I wanted to work as Surgeon but the tax avoiding closed shop union banned me from joining.

  10. 27
    giant gonad says:

    she is just reminding them of what it says on the self-assessment form.

  11. 28
    Nullbymouth says:

    Can the Pilgrim teachers also claim?

  12. 33
    Hamish says:

    Union subscriptions and professional association fees have been tax-deductible for ages. If the former are wrong, so are tha latter.

    • 40
      The Paragnostic says:

      Professional associations are, by and large, less socially destructive than unions. To allow tax to be reclaimed on donations to a malign political entity seems foolish…

      • 75
        Cyril Matvech says:

        “Less socially destructive than Unions”? So says the Dickensian poor house operator who objects to toilet breaks and workers going home at night to eat! The UK is bankrupt & in a deepening double-dip because successive ultra-right wing corrupt warmongering Labour & Tory regimes have removed workers rights and reduced the UK’s ability to compete with Europe.

  13. 36
    Arthur Dent says:

    Hmmm you have always been able to claim relief on professional fees and subscriptions that are NECESSARY for your work. Thus my fees for the society that grants may professional qualifications fall into this category. Extending this to a trade union which is a voluntary activity unconnected with carrying out of the job seems a bit of a stretch.

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/incometax/relief-subs.htm

    • 63
      Dougie says:

      Much as I detest Blower and (most) of the teaching unions, union membership really is a necessity for any teacher. They need it for the legal protection against bullying management (which is sadly rife in education) and malicious accusations by pupils and their feckless parents.

      • 76
        Cyril Matvech says:

        I think I have read replies & comments from a lot of those part-educated bullies on this website? As the government makes it easier to sack loyal UK workers, we all need the support of a Union or professional body.

  14. 38
    Olympic sports 'legacy' destroyed by Wanker Gove selling off school sports fields says:

    that didn’t take long

    • 43
      The Paragnostic says:

      Let me see.

      In 13 years, Labour sold off over 200 school fields.

      In 2 years, Gove has approved 21 sales.

      It looks to me, as a numerate type, as though Labour were selling off school fields at twice the rate of the Coalition.

      Twigg’s the one who looks like a bit of a twat here.

      • 45
        2 rollocks says:

        perhaps there’s a diminishing number left to be sold off ?

        • 46
          2 rollocks says:

          John Prescott John PrescottVerified ‏@johnprescott

          Under Thatcher & Major, 10,000 school playing fields were sold off. Under Labour -192. Less than 2% of Tory figure http://bit.ly/NcNauW

          • Hugh Janus says:

            Typical Fatty Presclott – when ordering pies think of a number and then double it….

          • 2 rollocks says:

            click on link, he is quoting national archives website. I’m pointing out they’ve all been guilty/wrong headed

          • UKIP.i.am.awake says:

            And as result of closing them we have won 29 gold medals, have the best golfers in the world and England are rated number 3 (by FIFA) at football and rated number one at cricket.

            Just think what could be achieved in education by closing state schools.

          • 2 rollocks says:

            I’m not following your thinking as to cause and effect.

  15. 48
    Legal Crook says:

    I am unaware that union subscriptions are tax deductable. The criteria is, is it essential for work purposes, clearly the answer is NO.

  16. 51
    Jimmy says:

    Work related expenses deductible?

    Another scoop!

    • 67
      Lord Ashcroft says:

      Yes it is merely just another way of avoiding paying tax. What is wrong with that?

  17. 53
    Clarification for every occassion says:

    Look Im sick of having to tell you that you all misunderstand the position of those on the Left. For the last time, when they talk about taxation or indeed anything to do with Socialism , they are talking about everyone else NOT themselves. Please get that into your heads.

    • 68
      UKIP.i.am.awake says:

      Not paying tax is only wrong when done by people you are jealous of because you haven’t made it as far up the ladder.

  18. 54
    Man on Clapham Omnibus says:

    Surely union membership fees are not an expense that is necessary and exclusively in pursuit of one’s trade … no-one NEEDS or REQUIRES union membership to be and practice as a teacher.

    • 62
      Anon E Mouse says:

      House flipping to claim additional refurbishment costs at taxpayer expense isn’t necessary and exclusively in pursuit of an MP’s business but that didn’t stop them either…..

  19. 55
    Man on Clapham Omnibus says:

    Hence union membership is NOT an allowable expense under HRMC rules.

  20. 59
    Malcolm Redfellow says:

    HMRC have a list of “approved” professional bodies and learned societies which are “allowable expenses”.

    All those who are frothed up by the 2/3rds that teachers are allowed to claim should check it out: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/list3/list3.htm

    “S” is very interesting. Members of the International Academy of Sex Research, the Sheep Veterinary Society and the European Shock Society can all claim and are all in close proximity on the same page.

    • 70
      Man on Clapham Omnibus says:

      I do hope you’re not confusing subscriptions to a professional body which is claimable if you need to be registered, kept up to date etc. with something entirely voluntary such as joining a club or a union?

      Not being a union member does not make it difficult or impossible to do one’s job …

      …. err … actually joining the union often makes doing a job less likely – especially if one get’s called out on strike!

  21. 64
    Whippersnapper2 says:

    Christine Blower huh !!!! Well she can’t be all bad.

  22. 73
    Hamish says:

    Is membership of London clubs tax-deductible?
    Essential for high-flyers in some walks of life, surely.

  23. 77
    Robert Mugabe says:

    Gee…I do not get this outrage here.Teachers belong to unions….it is an expense to do with their job. They would not belong to a union otherwise. Teachers need a union for many reasons, not least false allegations from kids or parents. It is and has been the case for decades that you can get a deduction from tax on your union contributions, just like a buy-to-let landlord can get the accountant charges deducted from his tax bill. What is this blog on about?


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Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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