Gordon’s Tax and Benefits Mess

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According to an ONS release today the mythical average household is £31 better off after taxes and benefits are taken into account. Think about all the complexities of tax collection collection and benefit calculation, the bureaucracy and time wasted. It really is time for a lower, flatter, simpler, single income tax…

The statistics also confirm that after 5 years of “we’re all in it together” that Osborne has raised taxes on the richest 20% and reduced the burden on the poorest 20%.  The bottom quintile are net recipients of just over £10,000 in welfare transfers from those who actually pay taxes. Will no one stand up for the wealth creators?

Voice of Angel to Critics: “Hopefully Your Dick Will Fall Off”

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Charlotte Church spent her Saturday marching with the People’s Assembly Against Austerity – whose aims include “increasing taxes on the super-rich” and “closing tax loopholes”.

As Guido revealed in the Sun on Sunday, this is the same Cardiff crooner who is the director of five companies all registered to the London address of Thomas Harris Accountants.

Alligator Wine Records Ltd, Charlotte Church Ltd, PACC Music Limited, Bounce Publishing Limited and Chick Flicks Ltd are all conveniently based at the firm’s offices in Merton Abbey Mills. Thomas Harris boast on their website:

“Lowering and deferring tax is, of course, a key aim… We can make your capital as tax-efficient as possible, taking advantage of allowances and reliefs of which many people are unaware, and ensuring you pay no more tax than you need… [including] tax-efficient gifting strategies”

What would her new comrades say about such sharp practices?

Seems Charlotte is finding her newfound critics rather taxing:

Voice of an angel, vocabulary of a drain…

Charlotte Church U-Turns on 70% Tax Pledge

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Charlotte Church’s mission to be reborn as a poundshop Russell Brand continues. The singer yesterday told an End Austerity Now protest that she would happily pay 70% income tax if it were to improve public services. In 2010 was reported to be worth £11 million.

When it was pointed out to Charlotte that there is nothing stopping her writing a cheque to the Exchequer, her mind was changed:

Crazy chick

UPDATE: Here is Charlotte complaining about having to pay 40% tax before she became a crusader for the cause of social justice:

H/T @rrwholloway

EU Forces Elected Government to Renege on Queen’s Speech Promise

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The government will be forced to back track on their Queen’s Speech promise not to raise VAT following a European decree. The decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union to ban the UK’s 5% rate of VAT on the supply and installation of energy-saving materials will force the government to raise VAT to the standard 20% rate. Unelected pen-pushers over-ruling a democratically elected government just weeks after an election.

The CJEU has form with these types of judgements, last year forcing Poland to apply the full rate of VAT to fire protection equipment. One for Dave to bring up with his new German friends. 

Health Lobbyists Plan to Spy on Gays and Pregnant Women

Gay people and pregnant mothers will be spied on under controversial plans drawn up by health lobby extremists. Guido has seen a copy of a report set to be released later this month by ASH, that draws up plans for a massive clamp down on the rights of the individual in regard to smoking.

The anti-smoking lobby group have written a wide-ranging wishlist for the coming parliament and it’s about as authoritarian as you can get. History would indicate that this bunch get what they want; from the smoking ban, to plain packs and restrictions on smoking in cars.

The document includes plan to spy on gay people in order to stop them smoking:

“Improve national surveillance to ensure that timely and robust data are available on smoking prevalence including data on all socio-economic groups, people with long-term conditions, people with mental health problems, minority ethnic groups, the LGBT population and other disadvantaged groups.”

And the midwives will be armed in this fight:

“Issue every midwife in England who conducts antenatal appointments with a carbon monoxide monitor.”

Because obviously all pregnant women are liars.

Smoking is set to be banned in prisons and on stage, as ASH demand the government “remove the smokefree exemption for prisons” and “theatrical performances.”

And they’re not done there…

The leaked memo includes plans to investigate “legislative and non-legislative options to make outdoor environments smokefree” and “all enclosed cars and motor vehicles.”

So what will the group recommend to make all their dreams come true? Higher taxes, obviously:

“Increase the tax escalator on tobacco products to 5 per cent above the level of inflation.”

You read it here first…

Vivienne Westwood Driven to Madness By Tax Affairs

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour’s Tax Expert Admits Error

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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 […]

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Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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