Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Brown’s “Not a Single Penny” Un-Spun

When it emerged that Gordon Brown had made £1.4m since leaving office on the international speech circuit, his spinners were quick to point out claim that “not a single penny” had gone to Brown himself and instead it was all given to charity. But that’s not quite true.

The most recent set of abbreviated accounts for the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown (Ltd.) paint a different picture. Though they do not give a turnover, or how much actually went to charity, or how much was spent on “administration”,  they do show that at least 20,934,300 pennies are being held by the Browns in cash. No income tax on that…

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Toff Times for Tories

We now live in a country where caviar is untaxed and a hot pasty is. Guido isn’t sure that’s quite the fairness agenda the government were trying to push and the continued budget hammering is well deserved and will be ongoing. A 10% drop in the latest polls suggests that raising taxes instead of cutting spending isn’t popular. Who knew?

Guido suspects Cornwall is now off Dave’s Easter holiday destination list. His government has fiscally attacked their national dish…

And just when the government are getting it in the neck, walking Tory liability and Young Conservative Chairman Ben Howlett goes out of his way to help matters:

Just the image the Tories want right now…

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Labour Abstain on 45p Rate Vote

Division 506 last night covered  the 45p rate of incomes tax. A perfect time for Labour to cement their opposition to the cut after days of noise:

PROCEDURE (FUTURE TAXATION: RATES OF INCOME TAX)

Question put,

That, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the practice of the House relating to the matters that may be included in Finance Bills, any Finance Bill of the present Session may contain the following provisions about income tax taking effect in a future year—

(a) provision that for the tax year 2013-14—

(i) the basic rate is 20%,

(ii) the higher rate is 40%, and

(iii) the additional rate is 45%, and

provision about other rates of income tax.

The House divided:

Ayes 319, Noes 22.

This is despite the promise made by Ed Balls last Thursday that: “There will be a vote next week, and we will vote against the 50p change.” Instead they were whipped into abstaining. Just two Labour MPs bothered to turn up to vote.

Balls claims there was no vote.

Hansard says otherwise…

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pre-Loaded Spinning

As far as Guido can tell, the last time a Ministerial Statement was rushed on to the Friday agenda was when we bombed Libya. Given that the government has bombed quite enough already this week, unsurprisingly this rushed distraction job is not having the desired effect. It failed to push the Granny Tax off of the front pages and has gone down like the proverbial dodgy pint. Theresa May is not helping matters by constantly talking about “pre-loading” to describe drinking cheap alcohol at home before going out. It seems she alone has coined this phrase…

UPDATE: Yvette just gave the Home Secretary a good going over declaring that May “is being used as human shield and she should have said no”. The Shadow Home Secretary also confirmed that there have only been three statements on a Friday in last decade. Two were concerning war and the other Swine Flu.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Murdoch and Mirror Man Maguire’s Money Mystery

Apparently not. With his Mirror job; New Statesman, Public Affairs News and House Magazine columns; BBC and ITV contributions; his weekly slot on Sky News as well being as host on LBC, Guido imagines that our Kev must do though. We should be told!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ken Promises to Start Paying Tax in May

In a tacit admission that his current tax affairs leave more than a little to be desired, Ken has told our friends at LBC that if he’s elected Mayor he will start to pay income tax. Why hasn’t he been doing this already?

“If I’m elected Mayor on May 3rd, I will have no other income, so the taxman will take it straight out the salary at City Hall. We’ll just close the whole thing down.”

Millions of Londoners will continue to pay their income tax on May 3rd, as they already do, whether they are elected Mayor or not. Is Ken suggesting that in the likely case that he loses, that he will continue to dodge income tax? Every time Ken opens his mouth he makes this growing problem worse…

Will Balls Back Tax Transparency?

Given that this was only put down as a 10 Minute Rule Bill in January, Tory MP Ben Gummer’s tax-transparency campaign looks set to be one of the more successful backbench tales of recent times. Given that Labour only managed to find a technicality on which to oppose it when it was debated in the House, can we now presume that Balls will be backing it? The Staggers is already starting to moanWill Balls manage to find a line on why he doesn’t want taxpayers knowing how the government spends their hard earned cash?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Young Campaign Rally Star Calls on Ken to Pay Taxes

Taking time out from photoshopping a fake campaign bus, Ken’s team have been whipping up support for tonight’s “eve of campaign rally” near Waterloo Station. Supporters have been lured in on the promise of speeches from the likes of election-jonah Eddie Izzard, Tessa Jowell and lefty wunderkid Owen Jones. Whoops…

Presumably the Ken team spent at least thirty seconds checking out what these speakers have had to say about Ken before they were invited to share at platform, and presumably Owen Jones is going to be repeating tonight his call for Ken to release his tax returns as he suggested on Sky News last week. Or is he a Chic-Ken?

Incase you missed that Owen says:

“People should always pay their taxes, there’s absolutely no excuse whatsoever for tax loopholes, tax avoidance and that goes for Ken Livingstone, it goes for Boris Johnson and it goes for anyone else… I think all mayoral candidates, I think that would be perfectly good, perfectly positive, if they release their tax returns… I’ve made it clear there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever.”

Chic-Ken is still refusing to do that…

There was one tiny silver lining for Ken though – when pushed Owen says that despite being a hypocrite, the tax mess does not rule Ken out of the race.

Hopefully Owen will have honed that line in time for the rally tonight…

Friday, March 16, 2012

Harman Bashed on Bankers Tax

Ed had his own muddles at his speech today, but this from his deputy is quite something:

Guido could watch this one again and again.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Labour Leadership Dodging Ken Tax Trouble

Guido just asked the two Eds about Ken Livingstone’s tax status at their joint press conference. Calling it a “desperate Tory smear” it was telling that Miliband had to stress it was all legal and pointed up that Boris was running a negative campaign. He might want to check some of the material being put out by his own party…

Nobody is suggesting that Ken has done anything illegal, just that he is a massive hypocrite. Guido even suggested that both the candidates release their tax returns, but it seems Labour are sticking to the blind eye approach on this one. Whether the public will be so forgiving of hypocrisy remains to be seen.

Following up, Guido asked Miliband about cancelling an appearance at an NHS rally on Saturday, citing illness, yet being spotted in the chairman’s box at Hull vs Ipswich that afternoon. Apparently it goes without saying that Ed loves the NHS more than football. You could have fooled the people of Hull…


Seen Elsewhere

What Will Happen if Scots Leave? | David Aaronovitch
Why Are Radicals Like Carswell Leaving Tories? | BBC
Danczuk: Rotherham Abuse Imported From Pakistan | Telegraph
Ashya King Case Shows How Authorities Get it Wrong | ConHome
The Carswell Show | Jon Craig
Cops Seized Journalist’s Phone to Out Whistleblower | Press Gazette
Chuka’s £2,500 Tax Avoidance Donation | Times
Another BBC Stitch Up? | David Keighley
Divided, Pessimistic Tories Expect Defeat | Alex Wickham
Labour Suspends Rotherham Council Members | Sky
PM Used Terror Crisis to Deflect From Carswell | Rachel Sylvester


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George Osborne rejects the Ice Bucket Challenge from Ed Balls:

“I’d rather pay the money to charity and pour cold water on his policies.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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