Vivienne Westwood Driven to Madness By Tax Affairs

vivian_2_innerbig

Vivienne Westwood has admitted that Gaia Fawkes’ revelations about her tax affairs led to her holding imaginary conversations in the night as she tried to convince herself that she wasn’t a massive hypocrite. Writing in her online diary, Westwood claimed that Gaia’s revelations didn’t worry her because she is “comfortable” with the tax she pays, before confessing that she is “re-structuring” her tax practices.

First I went through everything with my accountants, asking questions. I wished to make a simple statement but I kept thinking I needed to supply some detail, but every time I tried the detail led to more detail and I found myself at every spare moment and in the middle of the night holding imaginary conversations with the world at large explaining why I had not morally avoided paying tax.

Whatever helps you sleep at night Viv…

BBC Dodge Hodge Tax Scandal

Guess where you won’t find the Margaret Hodge story? Yep, on the BBC’s controversial election website…

They normally love a good Hodge tax quote. Odd…

Hodge the Dodge’s Tax Hypocrisy Goes Box Office

Regular readers will be well aware that Guido has been banging on about Margaret Hodge’s shameless tax hypocrisy for years.

Back in 2012, he took a look at her 0.01% tax rate-paying family company, Stemcor. At the time she insisted her £1.5 million shareholding was “tiny, tiny, tiny” and she succeeded in scaring off the dead tree press from reporting her arrangements. Hodge even threatened to sue anyone accusing her of tax avoidance. Yet no writ or letter before action came. 

Today’s Times splashes on the story:

“just under 96,000 Stemcor shares handed to Ms Hodge in 2011 came from [Liechtenstein], which is renowned for low tax rates. Three quarters of the shares in the family’s Liechtenstein trust had previously been held in Panama, which Ms Hodge described last month as “one of the most secretive jurisdictions” with “the least protection anywhere in the world against money laundering”. The veteran Labour MP was accused of sheer hypocrisy. She has repeatedly attacked big businesses and bankers who used offshore arrangements, but has not declared that she benefited from an offshore trust.”

Busted…

Man With Plane Trolls Owen Jones From the Sky

With Owen Jones visiting South Thanet yesterday to campaign for Labour, Simon Moores – an economist, Guardian contributor, councillor and pilot – saw his chance to troll the his lefty colleague from a great height. And troll him he did, by flying this banner over the constituency for the afternoon:

Moores tells Guido:

“I did it off my own back because I can’t stand Owen Jones. I can’t stand economic illiterates and Jones drives me crazy.”

One critic Owen can’t block…

Inheritance Tax Highlights Millionaire Miliband’s Hypocrisy

The Tories are going to make it a manifesto commitment (again) to raise the inheritance tax threshold so that only millionaires pay it. David Cameron is giving a speech today highlighting the issue. This morning Harman was less than convincing on Marr about the Milibands’ own efforts to avoid the inheritance tax threshold. Why would the Milibands – as Harman claims – pay expensive lawyers to produce a Deed of Variation to not avoid tax?*

CCHQ’s promotion for their manifesto commitment looks like this:

ihtgraphic

Guido’s version would look like this:

IHT-MILIBAND

Not positive enough?

*Guido’s informed guess is that they entirely avoided paying inheritance tax at the time. Later Ed Miliband and David Miliband probably had to pay some lesser amount of capital gains tax when they realised their profits on the difference in the value they had inherited tax free and the price they received for their shares of what was the family home when it was eventually sold.

TUC Welcome Tory Pilgrims’ Charter

Brilliant. The TUC have welcomed the Tory manifesto policy of forcing the public sector and businesses to give staff three days off to volunteer:

“Trade unions are the UK’s biggest voluntary groups. This new right will give every union member a guaranteed three days for time off to get involved with union activities.”

Great!

Having spent three years trying to stop the unions agitating on the taxpayer, the government will give them three days off to organise.

Unless of course political activity is excluded from the policy?

A question to which nobody has managed to give Guido a straight answer, yet… 

UPDATE:

A Conservative Party spokesman is adamant:  ‘It definitely won’t include trade unions’.

Sources claims they can exclude union activity (which is not charitable) at a legislation writing level.

We shall see…

UPDATE II: 

TUC hit back again. Frances O’Grady says:

“Confusion is growing by the minute about the Conservatives’ time off for volunteering pledge. First Eric Pickles can’t make up his mind whether it is a right at all, and now the Conservatives say that there will be an approved state list of volunteering opportunities which will not include trade union activity. One wonders whether they will go on to ban help at food banks,  giving advice to workers on zero-hours contracts or community wind power projects.”

Labour’s Tax Expert Admits Error

jolyon

This morning on the Today Programme Ed Balls namechecked the blog of Jolyon Maugham a tax specialist QC, he estimated that Labour’s change to the non-dom tax rules would bring in an extra billion. Ed Balls referred to him again later as a “tax expert”:

Just now in the Q & A after his speech Ed Miliband also referred to Jolyon Maugham as an “independent expert” – he’s actually a Labour Party stalwart.

Well other independent experts have taken him to task on Twitter for a basic error, most countries have double taxation treaties (DTCs). If you pay tax in one country on your earnings, you can’t be taxed again in another jurisdiction – the UK has over 100 such treaties. On Twitter Jolyon has conceded “I accept DTCs could have some impact. There’s plainly some uncertainty about the numbers.” When you take this into account the net tax take will be nowhere near the billion claimed…

Will Ed Balls End the Guardian’s Non-Domiciling of Corporate Assets?

gmg

Further reading on the Guardian‘s tax hypocrisy:

10 Reasons to Re-Non-Domicile in Ireland if Red Ed Wins in May

Non-doms, hedge fund managers, entrepreneurs and investors are still welcome in Ireland:

  1. Only income from Irish sources is taxable in Ireland.
  2. Income from UK or foreign sources is only taxable to the extent of amounts remitted (brought into) Ireland.
  3. Remittances

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tax Dodge Shame of Labour Election Star

Labour have wheeled out Tim from The Office, aka Martin Freeman, as their latest celebrity endorsement. Freeman, who is worth £10 million, told the Guardian in 2005 that he supported “Socialist Labour” but would not be voting for Labour […]

+ READ MORE +

Two-Faced Chuka Refuses to Rule Out Toxic ‘Jobs Tax’

That sound you can hear is Labour pulping thousands of their Tory VAT leaflets. They won’t be using yesterday’s attack ad again either, which bashed current and former Tory chancellors for saying they had “no plans” to raise VAT, then […]

+ READ MORE +

Cameron Rules Out VAT Rise in PMQs Miliband Mauling

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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