Last night Ken promised on Newsnight to publish his accounts. He further said this morning “I will set out income to my company over the last four years, how much my wife and I received and how much tax was paid.” Instead we got a partial view of what he decided to pay tax on. Ken also claims that an accountant has signed these figures off, yet provides no evidence for this unlike the other candidates. He has still not published his company accounts and the clock is ticking.
Guido’s been speaking to bean counters today who are slightly puzzled by what Ken has put out. One writes:
“a) no book-keeper, let alone an accountant, has been near this – you never date down the left hand side – you run left to right;
b) Corporation Tax is paid on profits, not dividends – massive f**k-up here – tells you all you need to know about the integrity of these accounts.”
The meta-data on the .PDF document shows that it was drawn up not by an accountant, but by Mark Watts- Ken’s old Climate Change Adviser at City Hall. He got one of the crony pay-offs in 2008.
Apart from the 14.5% effective income tax rate – which Matthew Hancock points out is less than a City Hall cleaner pays – the main take-away from the part-publication is that by paying himself in dividends he is avoiding paying National Insurance, which employees have to pay. If you are employed you pay it at 12%. If you are self employed you pay it at 9%. If you are Ken, you don’t pay it at all.
He cannot say he is paying his fair share when he is avoiding paying National Insurance, which is the tax that pays towards the NHS. The question for Ken is a simple one. Why are you paying yourself in dividends rather than salary? There is only one answer. To avoid tax.
Boris’ figures have the accountants signature on them and Paddick has put his actual returns, plus a few personal details, out. Why so dodgy Ken?