Wednesday, August 15, 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…

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

LibDems Offer Tax Avoidance Legacy Scheme

Back in July Guido revealed how both the Tories and Labour were advising their donors how to avoid tax through controversial inheritance schemes. Now it appears the LibDems have followed suit. Right at the beginning of this year’s conference guide yellow benefactors are encouraged to sign up for their new “legacy fund campaign“, where donors “leave a sum of money or a share of your estate to the Liberal Democrats“. Generous participants even get the chance to meet Tim Farron…

The LibDems have been slightly more subtle than their Coalition counterparts – rememberClick here to see how a gift to the Conservative Party can reduce your inheritance tax bill” – but it would appear that the boundary reform busters are up to the same trick. They note that “legacy income provides an important part of the funding for most major charities, and so it should for us too“, hinting that they will take advantage of inheritance tax loopholes to help their donors avoid tax. What was that about morally repugnant…

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tax Dodge Investigators Funded By Labour Non-Dom

The Inspector Clouseau hacks over at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism have prided themselves in exposing tax avoidance over the last few months. In March they worked with Private Eye to reveal Vodafone had used Swiss bank accounts to exploit a loophole in tax laws, while they have even gone after the Guardian for saving millions in the Cayman Islands. To say they have had a holier-than-thou stance would be an understatement.

Funny then that TBIJ‘s founder and chief benefactor, Labour Party donor David Potter, is a tax avoiding non-dom. Potter has given some £2 million to TBIJ since 2010 despite the fact that he has allegedly used his non-dom status to avoid paying income tax. It seems TBIJ are against tax dodging unless it’s done by the man who bankrolls them… 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

That HMRC Stasi Document in Full

Guido had to check he hadn’t woken up in some Stalinist dystopia when he read that HMRC have been telling school children to tell their teacher if they suspect that their neighbours have been dodging tax. Lesson plans suggested by the government include asking teenagers to name any examples of tax evasion they can think of from their local area:

Anyone seen Mr. Gauke recently?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

David Gauke Worked For Tax Avoidance Firm

Exchequer Secretary David Gauke has some nerve doing the rounds on tax morality this week. Yesterday Guido brought you news of Gauke’s past avoidance of stamp duty and his wife’s job at a firm advising tax lawyers, while today the Telegraph and Mail both splash on his claim that paying tradesmen cash in hand is “morally wrong“:

“Getting a discount with your plumber by paying cash in hand is something that is a big cost to the Revenue and means others have to pay more in tax. I think it is morally wrong.”

Guido can now reveal that Gauke himself worked for a company that specialises in helping the wealthy avoid tax. According to Debretts between 1999 and 2005 – when he became an MP – Gauke was a solicitor at Macfarlanes, a top city law firm with expertise on tax efficiency. They boast on their website:

“The tax efficient structuring of employee incentive arrangements is often a key requirement for our clients to achieve their commercial objectives. We have particular expertise in the structuring of tax efficient equity based incentive plans. We are able to develop innovative solutions to the most complex tax issues when necessary.”

Tax efficient equity-based plans, eh? Like those used by investment bankers perchance? Gauke must have made a success of finding “innovative solutions” to reducing his clients’ tax bills as he appears to be held in high regard by his former colleagues:

Guido feels Gauke should look in the mirror the next time he thinks about lecturing us on the morality of taxation…

Monday, July 23, 2012

David Gauke’s Wife is Tax Avoidance Lawyer

This morning Guido named and shamed Treasury minister David Gauke – in his own words – as “morally repugnant” to be criticising others for their tax arrangements, but it doesn’t stop there. It turn’s out that Gauke’s wife Rachel is a professional support lawyer for Lexis Nexis, a company which boasts of its ability to “support every tax practitioner on the front line as they deal with the tax collector“. According to her personal profile Rachel “specialises in corporate tax law…and has advised on corporate restructurings, M&A, investment funds and finance“. Sounds like it an awkward weekend in the Gauke household…

Naming and Shaming the “Morally Repugnant” David Gauke

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke writing in The Times this morning says that they are going to name and shame tax dodgers. He also gives examples of what is fair and what is not:

Legitimate use of reliefs, for example taking out a tax-free ISA, is not tax avoidance. Buying a house for personal use through a company to avoid stamp duty, on the other hand, clearly is. Morally repugnant practices such as this are where the Government is cracking down.

 David Gauke MP claimed £10,248.32 expenses back from taxpayers to avoid paying the stamp duty and fees involved in the purchase of his home in London. Not only is that in his own words “morally repugnant”, it is beyond hypocritical to lecture others against doing what he himself did. It is shameless.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tax Funded Union Research Backs Tax Funding of Unions

On the day that the consultation into union-leeches is launched, Unison have put out a report about facilities time. In a complete shock the union-funded research has found that unions taking money off  the taxpayer can only be a good thing. Needless to say it’s full of holes, but nice of them to show their hand…

Dave Prentis’ cronies are arguing that union bods in the workplace save money. This is fundamentally dishonest as it only takes into account one side of the picture. For every full-time pilgrim teacher, nurse or back-room pen-pusher that takes time off, the taxpayer has to pick up the tab twice by paying someone else to cover for them. For full-time pilgrims, the state ends up paying double the staffing costs.

This is not factored in to Unison’s hearsay case-study puff piece.

The consultation does not seek to end union officials being given time off, but the real question that needs to be addressed is why they should be paid out of public money when they are not on the job? Union members pay membership fees, the cost of pilgrims should be met from that.

It’s very simple.

UPDATE: It seems it is pilgrim day today. Cabinet Office sources are making all sorts of new information available this afternoon:

  • In one Whitehall department a staggering 2,660 Civil Servants were doing trade union work during their paid hours, including 563 trade union representatives working on Health & Safety, and another 387 on Skills and Learning.
  • A prison service official who worked 100% on trade union work was “promoted twice whilst in their trade union role, up to Grade 7 level” which can confer a salary of up to £61,038.
  • In contrast another 100% trade union representative in a different department earned less than £20,000.
  • In one department TU officials make up 4% of the overall workforce or 1 in 25 people.
  • One department admitted that “no formal allocations [had been] made or central records kept” of the amount of time spent by representatives on some union activity, while another confessed that “no central monitoring takes place”.
  • Only one department reported that they asked each representative “to apply to, and get the sign off from, the line manager in advance for the time they require” to take off – insisting that “reasonable notice (usually min 10 days)” must be given.
  • Several departments reported that they held “no central record” of the numbers of representatives working on Health & Safety or Skills & Learning.

Overall there are a staggering 10,000 civil servants doing trade union work during paid hours, that’s 1 in 40 of the total civil service workforce. Unbelievable… 

UPDATE II:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

George Osborne Demands Hooker Goes Down
Chancellor is Super-Pimp

George Osborne’s Treasury has wreaked revenge on high-earning hookers after a £1,000-a-night tart was jailed over a £120,000 tax fraud. Donna Asutaits will go down for 16 months after being found guilty of evading taxes over a two year period in which she earned over £300,000. UKuncut will be happy…

Osborne is responsible for the HMRC cracking down on high-earning tax evaders, demanding that high-class call girls pay a whopping 45% of their earnings, making him the harshest and most lucrative pimp in Britain. Guido can’t imagine how George ever got involved in such a sordid business

Hollande Outflanks Cameron From the Right

France’s socialist president François Hollande visited David Cameron at Downing Street today, but the afternoon press conference turned into a bit of an embarrassment for Dave as his opposite number threw up a few surprises from the right of the PM. Not only did Hollande promise he wouldn’t tax second homes owned by Britons south of the Channel, but he taunted George Osborne’s top rate of income tax as too left-wing:

He’ll be calling for an EU referendum next…


Seen Elsewhere

Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power
Guido’s Column | Sun
Elite’s Obsession With Climate Change Alarmism | David Keighley
Charities Should Not Demonise Freud | ConHome
Double Standards of Police Leaks to Guardian | Mail
My Year in Court | Charlie Brooks
Legalise Pot | NY Times
Spooks Recruited IRA Paedo | Mirror
How Police Hack Phones and Email | Times
Labour’s Minimum Wage Pledge Not Ambitious | Alan Milburn
Lord Freud’s Comments | Ryan Bourne


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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