December 3rd, 2012

All Eyes on Hodge the Dodge


Margaret Hodge is enjoying her day in the limelight but continuing to dodge Guido’s questions about her own perfectly legal and sensible tax efficiency. The slayer of Starbucks and chief inquisitor at the Public Accounts Committee has been peddling around a Private Eye story that she says exonerates her over the tax avoidance allegations put to her by Tory MP Priti Patel. The Eye claim that one figure used by the Telegraph and Mail was “complete b******s”, but there was more…

Cute as it is of the Eye to fight her battles for her, their whitewash conveniently ignores why Hodge described the valuation of her family business shareholdings as “tiny, tiny, tiny”, and whether or not – as even Polly Toynbee suggests – placing some shares in trust reduces the inheritance tax liability of her children. Guido put those questions to her again last week, but still Hodge is dodging answering. If she called Stemcor to the Public Accounts Committee, as recommended, we would get to the truth once and for all…


  1. 1
    Kebab Time says:

    She is a Hypocrite, like the Milibands.


  2. 2
    genghiz the kahn says:

    One rule for her, another for everyone else.


  3. 4
    Roscoe Rules says:

    You know they say dog owners sometimes look like their pets?
    Do Margaret Hodge and Polly Toynbee own King Charles Spaniels by any chance?


  4. 12
    Sir William W says:

    The tax system will not work properly until it is refounded on rational principles. The existing woolly muddle dates from the age of the telegraph and steam packet-boat. It operates in a fantasy world where multinationals are loose federations of independent companies. If they want to tax 21st-century multinationals they need to stir up the stagnant pool of complacent lawyers and install a radically new tax system based on 21st-century reality.


    • 59
      Jonathan Wilson says:

      Thing is, why not change the tax law so that transfer of money to overseas holdings cannot be used as a way of reducing profit?

      It would be very easy to enact such a rule change.

      OK I realise that one argument would be “it would make us less competitive” but to counter that; would amazon, stemcore; starbucks et. al. prefer to have a reduced profit from the UK, or no profit at all by not being present in the uk.

      These companies have huge turnovers based in the uk so are hardly likely to abandon it as a market place, although I guess stemcore could leave as I think its more trading as apposed to real goods/product, but then again it pays so little its not like we would loose out.

      As for the likes of google, its not like they need to be physically based here, they could quite easily put everything in one physical location in timbucktoo and would still be accessible.

      This whole “moral” thing is a joke, if she was realy serious she would argue for the law to be changed, not a wishy washy “moral obligation” to pay more


      • 62
        ironside says:

        Article 9 of almost all tax treaties is there to prevent such pricing abuse between associated enterprises (usually multinationals), and where transactions have been performed at an ‘undervalue’ or an ‘overvalue’ the test must be whether they have been made ‘at arm’s length’. In other words, tax administrations may step in, and they possess the power to adjust the amount of money which remains behind to be taxed.

        If a company pays a whopping licence fee from the UK to a low tax jurisdiction the tax on the profit remaining in the UK is reduced accordingly as the profit is less. Providing the licence fee paid (as an example) is at ‘arm’s length’ tax administrations cannot complain and have no power to adjust the transaction

        This is standard transfer pricing which has been around for more than 40 years, and it is perfectly legitimate. Cross-border trade – inevitably – generates such differences in pricing, it is called an international market economy.

        And as for ‘fair share’, it’s a ridiculous statement and actually demonstrates Cameron and Gideon have NO CLUE about how the world of commerce works, he should be cringing with embarrassment to have said such an utterly stupid thing.


  5. 13
    Ed Miliband (Prime Minister designate) says:

    My candidates for potential anti-christs should armageddon come: Obama, Putin, Hollande ,Kim Jong, the new Chinese bloke,Guido Fawkes & Louise Mensch


    • 55
      Ed Milishambles says:

      Sorry – missed out my old mate Ken Lvingstone and there’s David as well of course. Ooops – does anybody read my ravings – sorry again – posts?


  6. 14
    Priti Vacant MP says:

    Turnover Tax Now!


  7. 16
    Walter Plinge says:

    Are you sure about that photo? It looks like Patricia Hodge to me.


    • 49
      its bleak in sunderland says:

      A spokesperson for Patricia Hodge says she will be consulting m,learned friend for such a slur.


  8. 18
    Maragret Dodge says:

    Guido you are forgetting the golden rule. Do as I say not as I do.


  9. 19
    Fuel for the fire says:

    One shouldn’t forget her cover up of child abuse in Islington.


  10. 20
    Pundit Too says:

    I have been away from the Eye for over a year and yesterday bought their latest copy. I was totally underwhelmed by their copy.
    Nothing at all on the usual corrupt Labourites except their cock up in Rotherham and the defence of Hodge.
    Leverson and Thacker was of 6th form copy and that is denegrating to 6th formers.
    Obviously their research on Hodge is less than adequate as even the TUC have some dirt on this company, though I suspect they will soon remove it from their website.
    I found the whole of the Eye sadly living on its past and with nothing really interesting to say except the above, and their following of the Mirror and Gruniard in attacking Gideon.
    Have they been taken over by a Russian Oligarch or Common Purpose?


  11. 23
    genghiz the kahn says:

    After reading another blog from that Hunt Peston, I was wondering if there is a full list of BBC presenters, editors, and others who have been taking advantage of tax minimisation schemes? It would be a terrible shock to discover that Peston has been paying less than his fair share of income tax.


  12. 24
    Fishy says:

    I notice that that BBC’s inquisitor in chief, Humphrys, failed miserably this morning. Not one question challenging her about this, not even one asking her to clarify her position. It makes you wonder whether there was an agreement on what and would not be asked before the broadcast.

    Danny Alexander on the other hand could hardly get more than a couple of words in before being interupted.


    • 39
      B Boyd says:

      I can remember when Private Eye wasn’t run by a Beeboid pseud.


    • 52
      Furious in Fulham says:

      See No 50 above at 2.23.


    • 58
      Just another bloody whinger says:

      Be fair. You know that Danny Alexander needs interrupting before he even opens his trap. Unfortunately the Beeboids had forgotten that the best place for Maragaret Hodge to be interviewed is KMVE Cincinatti with the volume turned off.


  13. 26
    The corrupted Labour Party says:

    Is this PR company still spinning for Dame Hodge?

    Paid for my the taxpayer?


  14. 28
    Barry says:

    I’ve sent the fragrant Mrs Hodge the following message:

    “Dear Mrs Hodge

    I’m writing as a British taxpayer to lend my support to your crusade as Chairman of the Publioc Accounts Committee to name and shame large companies which seek to minimise their tax bill in the UK.

    To date you have been critical of Starbucks, Google and Amazon, but there is another company much closer to home which falls into the same league. I refer, of course, to Stemcor, in which you are a not insignificant shareholder, and which pays a fraction of its income in UK tax.

    Given your relationship to thIs family business, it would clear the air of any suspicion of double standards if you were to declare openly your interest, which you have sought so far to downplay, and to summon representatives before your Committee to explain the situation.”

    Can I suggest others do likewise. It’s easy enough, she has a website with a contact facility.


  15. 29
    Never forget says:

    In 1985, Demetrious Panton complained about abuse that he had suffered while Islington council’s care in the 1970s and 1980s. He did not receive an official reply until 1989, in which the council denied responsibility.

    In 1990, Liz Davies, a senior social worker employed by the borough and her manager, David Cofie, raised concerns about sexual abuse of children in Islington Council care. Correspondence between Hodge and the director of social work indicates that she declined a request for extra resources to investigate.

    In 2003, following Hodge’s appointment as Minister for Children, Demetrious Panton went public with his allegation that he was abused in Islington Council care and had repeatedly raised this issue with no effect. He accused Hodge of being ultimately responsible for the abuse that he suffered. Following a media campaign conducted by several national newspapers calling for her to resign from her new post, she responded to Panton by letter, in which she referred to him as ‘extremely disturbed’. Panton then passed the letter to the press which planned to publish it, only to be judicially restrained from doing so at the instruction of Hodge. The letter was eventually published, mainly on the grounds that the blocking of the letter was seen as disproportionate. Hodge was forced to publicly apologise and offered to contribute to a charity of Panton’s choosing as recompense.


  16. 33
    Chris Bryfronts says:

    Leave Maggie Hodge alone! She’s great! I’m a good judge of character!


  17. 34
    Jilly Cooper at thr races says:

    I have given up on Dave the Rave

    But saw his chums at the races this weekend…'actualit%C3%A9/charlie-brooks-and-rebekah-brooks-attend-the-photo-dactualit%C3%A9/157285815


  18. 38
    MPs talking of morality is such a fucking laugh says:

    Arch hypocrite Hodge currently being hypocritical on Jackass & Co.


  19. 40
    Goodbye Ruby Monday says:

    Autumn statement , in December ? Who put the chancellors diary together, Theresa May ?


  20. 41
    Willie Whitelaw says:

    Fed up to the back teeth of this moral crusade and witchhunt by moral high grounders who are legally not paying all their tax.
    Paying tax has nothing to do with morality, it has everything to do with the law. Governments set tax regimes and rates.
    What were Labour doing 1997-2010? Lots of them were making themselves very rich.
    Fed up too with the daily dose of Anti Coalition government propaganda doled out by the BBC. Spineless Cameron and his cronies do nothing about it and well deserve the electoral rout that’s coming their way. First MEP’s then MP’s.
    He really is a disaster as a PM. Has he read any political history? A PM is only as good as his advisors, and his are truly dreadful.
    Cameron and Osborne – a double act doomed to sink without trace.


    • 45
      Bill says:

      cameron and osborne were left with a bucket of poo to deal with. Labour were happy to let people get rich as long as the banks paid loads of tax (alistair darling is quoted on this), however thye did not realise that oncce the banks stopped paying tax then the magic money tree would dry up, and other companies who had agressive tax avoidance schemes would not take up the slack.


  21. 44
    I don't nee d no doctor says:

    What has she to be afraid of?


  22. 47
    Trust me says:

    A trust is a tax avoidance vehicle used by rich people to err… avoid paying tax.

    Make them pay their share!


  23. 63
    keredybretsa says:

    Perhaps an Eye shareholder??????


Seen Elsewhere

Rise of Angela Merkel | New Yorker
May SpAd Removed From Candidates List | ConHome
Clodagh’s Law | Press Gazette
Whitehall Bosses Ban Christmas | Sun
Meanwhile, in Russia… | Media Guido
Christmas TV Tips | Laura Perrins
Labour Marginal Fright | Lord Ashcroft
Osborne’ Real Deficit Reduction Record | ConHome
Blameronism | Peter Oborne
Everyone Can Lose | Staggers
Splintering of the Left | Tim Montgomerie

Find out more about PLMR AD-MS

Labour insiders turn on Ed over Powell’s latest gaffe:

“When is he going to stop promoting useless people? He was warned about her.”

Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:


AddThis Feed Button

Guido Reads

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,641 other followers