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…
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…
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)
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…
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.
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!
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…
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 moan. Will Balls manage to find a line on why he doesn’t want taxpayers knowing how the government spends their hard earned cash?