UKIP Launch “Theresa May Tax”

A crass attempt at token Labour-vote stealing communism announced at UKIP conference today. A 25% tax on luxury goods such as £200 shoes, £1,000 handbags and £50,000 cars. UKIP sources are calling it the ‘Theresa May tax’. Claws out for the kitten heels…

Labour Yesterday Pledged to Use Mansion Tax to Reduce Deficit
…Yet Today Miliband Says Money Raised Will Fund NHS

Both the BBC and Channel 4 News last night reported that Labour will pledge to pay for an increase in NHS funding with a ‘mansion tax’ on higher value homes. Last year Ed Miliband committed to spending the revenue raised from a mansion tax on the return of the 10p tax rate. And the 10p tax rate isn’t the only thing they have pledged to spend the mansion tax money on.

Just yesterday, Rachel Reeves told the Daily Politics that the money raised would go towards paying down the deficit. Fast forward to 1:30:

AN: “You’re inheriting a deficit of £75 billion.”

RR: “Child benefit is not the only thing that we’ve announced. The tax on properties worth more than two million pounds, repeating the bank bonus tax, increasing the top rate of tax back up to 50p, the winter fuel allowance not going to the richest pensioners, you add all those up, that adds up to several billion.”

Labour have now pledged to spend the mansion tax cash three times already. It’s the bankers’ bonus tax all over again…

Dave: Being a Conservative is About Tax and Spend

Discussing the fact that Britain’s poorly costed second aircraft carrier will see active service after all, Dave told the Commons earlier:

“In a nutshell really, that’s the difference between a socialist and a conservative. They dream about having money, where we raise it and spend it.”

Really, Prime Minister? Being a conservative is about raising tax and spending? Think that line might need a little work…

Chuka’s Taxing Spin

Chuka Umunna is spinning hard in the Times this morning over Guido’s revelations about his tax avoidance adviser donor. A spokesman for two-faced Chuka says with a straight face:

“There’s no link [between Mr Umunna and Signature Tax]; there are Labour supporters in all walks of life who share the values of the party and donations do not influence policy. The donation has been made and declared in the normal way, in accordance with the rules.”

“No link between Mr Umunna and Signature Tax”, apart from the £2,500 they gave him. Chuka’s spinner says of the donor: “there are Labour supporters in all walks of life who share the values of the party”, Guido wonders if this refers to their penchant for offshore tax arrangements.

Incidentally, Signature Tax itself has a rather odd whiff about it too. No one answers when you call their phone number and their website could have been designed in five minutes by anyone with a laptop. Yet they found £2,500 to bung to Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary…

Chuka Takes Donation From Tax Avoidance Firm

Chuka Umunna has received a £2,500 donation from a firm which advises its clients on how to swerve HMRC rules to help them avoid tax. Signature Tax paid the sum two weeks ago, with the money “received through the Labour Party to support the office of Chuka Umunna”.

According to their website, Signature Tax specialise in “non-DOTAS tax schemes”, structures designed to avoid HMRC’s Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes regulations, which require those using tax avoidance schemes to inform the taxman. Accountancy Age explains how non-DOTAS schemes offered by Chuka’s donor bend the rules:

“Some of the (tax avoidance) promoters who used DOTAS numbers as tacit approval from HMRC initially, are now promoting schemes outside the DOTAS system. Some promoters are looking hard at their product lines and designing versions that escape the rules. Those rules have become so prescriptive, advisers say, that the longer they become, the easier they are to find holes in. For example, class action group Rebus claims to know of at least two promoters looking for non-DOTAS versions of old products.”

Signature Tax’s website also offers advice on “off shore” tax arrangements. Chuka has been a staunch opponent of such schemes, famously grilling former Barclay’s boss Bob Diamond over his bank’s offshore subsidiaries and urging him to close them down.

And who can forget when he called “on the chancellor to close in on tax avoidance, close in on tax loopholes and deliver greater tax justice.” Adding that: “It is time to close in on tax avoiders, recoup public money and ensure everyone in society pays their fair share.”

In light of this new information about his donor, will Chuka give the money back to avoid any allegations of massive hypocrisy?

Government Front Group Hires Lobbyist to Lobby Government

Save the Children is an organisation that gets 53% of its money from the government. You probably think of it is as a charity, yet it’s funding structure looks more like a quango that does a little fundraising on the side.

The group, that is dependent on handouts from the government, is looking to recruit somebody with a lavish salary and pension to lobby the same very government.

Round and round the money goes…

Premier League Already Pays £1.3 Billion in Tax Per Year

ed

Labour’s latest proposed tax on fun is a 5% compulsory levy on Premier League football TV revenues, announced by Harriet Harman this morning. The Premier League tell Guido that they already contribute £1.3 billion in tax revenues to the government annually, so it is inevitable that the cost will be passed on to fans. The cheapest season ticket at Arsenal for the coming year is £1,014, already a 3% hike on last year, while a Sky Sports TV package sets you back another £552 a year. Under Labour you would likely end up paying more. What cost of living crisis?

BBC Justifies Telly Poll Tax By Claiming Poor Watch More TV

The BBC claims that the licence fee poll tax is justified because poor people watch more television than better off households. With Director General Tony Hall appearing in front of the DCMS select committee this week, the Beeb’s Director of Policy James Heath blogged that a flat rate licence fee is fair on the poor because they watch so much TV:

“The argument for a uniform fee is that there is a direct link between the level of the service received by everyone, and the level of the charge made on everyone. While the licence fee does constitute a higher proportion of lower households’ expenditure, these households also consume more BBC TV than richer households.  As a proportion of household spending, the licence fee is lower than expenditure on many other household items, including transport services, communications, and fuel. Over the last five years the cost of many household items has gone up significantly in real terms while the cost of the licence fee has declined. The licence free represents a very small percentage of household expenditure – even for the lowest income decile, on average, the licence fee is around 1 percent of household spending.”

Dismissing people on a low incomes as a bunch of idle, square-eyed couch potatoes hardly seems in keeping with the liberal, progressive values of Aunty Beeb. If a right-winger patronised less well-off people by telling them a flat tax was value for money because they spend so much time in front of the telly, the Today programme would be in uproar…

The Death of the ‘Squeezed Middle’
Miliband Ambushed By More Harman Comments

The last PMQs before the summer break is one of the most important of the year, as it leaves a lasting impression about the leaders before MPs disappear off for the summer to stew. Poor Ed.

Miliband was just ambushed […]

+ READ MORE +

Bigmouth Strikes Again: Classic Hodge PwC Dodge

Question-dodging Margaret Hodge chaired a panel discussion in parliament this morning on tax transparency, wasting no time in piling into the ‘Big Four’ professional services companies for failing to use “copper bottom schemes” to prevent tax avoidance. Awkward then, that […]

+ READ MORE +

Cost of Taxation Crisis

Over the course of a year, the average British household pays more in tax than it spends on food, clothing, housing, fuel and power. As illustrated by this chart from the Taxpayers’ Alliance:

Click to enlarge.

Forget the cost […]

+ READ MORE +

WATCH: Gary and Dave in Happier Times

“It does help having an internationally renowned pop star with you, I must remember to take one with me everywhere I go.”

“Got your lipstick mark still on my coffee cup…”[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

David Cameron tells MPs after voting:

“Wouldn’t miss this for the world. Secret ballots very important. Remember the Chartists.”

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