Following our revelation last week that Ken had a far-from-chicken-feed £319,478 tucked away in the bank, Andrew Gilligan has had an accountant take a look at the books. The left-wing accountant Richard Murphy, who usually writes for the Guardian, reckons that by rolling up his fees from Iranian Press TV and the like in his company, Livingstone has saved himself some £50,000 in one year alone. That tax saving works out at nearly a £1,000 a week.
All a bit rich from the man who poses as ‘Comrade Ken’ and warns that the “super-rich” are “exploiting every tax fiddle” and says he wants to “sweep away tax scams and everybody should pay tax at the same rate on earnings and other income”. If Ken had paid himself the £319,478 direct instead of sheltering it in the company bank account, he would have been on the top 50% rate. Instead the corporate tax rate of only 21% applies.
Given that millionaire Ken Livingstone has attacked tax avoiders as ‘rich bastards’ in the past, he has some cheek. Tax accountant Richard Mannion says there is nothing illegal about what Ken is doing though
“Given what Mr Livingstone has said about tax avoidance, that takes you into a whole different area of what is legally correct and what is morally correct.”
Legal and pretty damn hypocritical of Ken…