75% Think BBC Licence Fee Too High

A study conducted ahead of the parliamentary debate about the BBC’s Royal Charter reveals that 75% of the British public think the licence fee is too expensive. A survey of 1,023 respondents carried out by Strategy Analytics* found 10% said they didn’t pay the telly tax.

Of the one in ten households that admitted to not paying the telly tax 17% were entitled to a free one as they were over 75 years old. This means that 8.3% of all households, some 1.6 million, are not paying for it. Isn’t it time to switch to a pay-as-you-go system? Netflix and Amazon have joined Sky in proving this is easily possible. If the BBC is as well loved as their propaganda claims they will thrive. If it is not they will shrink, rightly so….

David Mercer from Strategy Analytics’ digital consumer practice says, with some understatement, that the BBC “struggles to identify with younger and lower income groups”. Of those that were willing to pay the telly tax, £101.57 was the average figure – 30% lower than the actual price (£145.50). The advent of widespread broadband means that there is no technological barrier to abolishing the outdated telly tax. There is popular support for such a move…

*The interesting thing about this research is that it was not commissioned by the BBC or a rival. BBC commissioned “independent” research always finds that the BBC is wonderful.

Will Self: Big Mac Bigot

McDonald’s plans to set up a holding company in the UK to pay tax on its global income outside the US. UK tax competitiveness reducing the burden for everyone. But not according to Will Self, who interrupted Nigel Farage on Question Time last night to derisively belittle 85,000 Golden Arches employees in Britain and more than a million globally:

“Great jobs! Great jobs for everybody! Mine’s a Big Mac.”

Big gaffe…

Treasury Implements Amy Lame Tax

lame

The Treasury has warned public bodies they can no longer employ staff through personal service companies – a direct challenge to Sadiq Khan to change the tax efficient contract of his aide Amy Lame. Khan’s controversial ‘Night Tzar’ receives her taxpayer-funded £35,000 salary (for two days’ work a week) through her company Amy Lame Ltd, a highly unusual arrangement for a public servant. Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke has today ordered public bodies like City Hall to ensure this is not allowed to happen:

“Public sector bodies should be leading by example… From April 2017, where a public sector body engages an off-payroll worker through their own limited company, that body will become responsible for determining whether the rules should apply, and paying the right tax… the responsibility for determining whether or not the rules apply will remain with the public sector body, who will need to inform the agency or third party of their conclusion.”

Will Khan and City Hall now end Lame’s cushy tax arrangement?

Cushy Property Deal For Amy Lame’s Taxpayer-Funded Firm

lame-house

Sadiq Khan’s aide Amy Lame runs her taxpayer-funded company from the subsidised student accommodation of her partner, who she employs as company secretary. Lame’s City Hall salary is paid into her company Amy Lame Ltd, meaning she pays no income tax. Amy Lame Ltd is registered to her partner Jennie Hogan’s address in leafy Mecklenburgh Square. The property is owned by Goodenough College, where Hogan is a chaplain – it is listed by the College as subsidised accommodation costing around one-third less than market rates. Hogan is a shareholder and company secretary of Amy Lame Ltd. 

It is a cushy deal – Hogan lets Lame run her taxpayer-funded business from her College flat. In return, Hogan gets a share of the profits. All while no income tax is paid. This is a financial arrangement that would make Ken Livingstone proud…

UPDATE: Tory GLA leader Gareth Bacon says:

“Another day, and there are further serious questions for Amy Lamé to answer. The Mayor of London should take control of this situation, reverse his decision to pay her through a personal service company and avoid bringing the reputation of City Hall into further disrepute.”

Hammond’s £4 Billion Tax Bombshell

tax

It isn’t just debt and borrowing that are going up, Hammond has stealthily raised taxes too. Insurance Premium Tax is being hiked from 10% to 12% from next June, a 100% increase compared with November 2015. It was just 5% when the Tories got into power. This means £855 million extra tax per year, £4 billion raised by 2020. Insurance companies are already clear this is going to be passed onto consumers – your home insurance, pet insurance and motor insurance are going up.

UNA Alliance: “This is a significant blow. As a result this will significantly hit the pockets of families throughout the country with significant figures being added to the average buildings and contents policies.”

Axa: “An unwarranted attack on millions of people… affordability of insurance is being fundamentally threatened”

Cuvva: “The Chancellor has just slapped “just about managing” pet owners, home owners and drivers with an unfair tax hike that punishes sensible consumers for taking steps to protect themselves against risk.”

Fiscally conservative low tax Tories give us soaring debt and higher taxes…

Shadow Chancellor Sold Out on 100% Top Rate of Tax

mcdonnell

These days John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn are aligned with the right-wing capitalist running dogs of the Labour Party on income tax, favouring a 50% top rate. This is yet another policy position on which they have massively sold out. Just five years ago McDonnell’s pamphlet for the Trotskyite group Permanent Revolution, which Guido yesterday revealed included calls to arm the working class, demanded a 100% top rate of income tax for the richest in Britain. As well as a further 50% wealth tax to appropriate half their assets.

tax

From full communism to Miliband-lite as soon as he became Shadow Chancellor…

Khan’s Troll Aide Paid Via Company, Pays No Income Tax

lame

Sadiq Khan’s new part-time aide and full-time internet troll is to receive her City Hall income through a personal service company. Amy Lame, who has attacked Amazon and Boris Johnson over supposed tax avoidance, paid no income tax last year.

lame2

The Sunday Times reports Lame, real name Amy Caddle, will be paid her taxpayer-funded £35,000 salary for two days work a week via Amy Lame Ltd, allowing her to pay corporation tax rather than income tax despite being a public servant. Amy Lame Ltd is registered to an address in North London’s desirable Mecklenburgh Square, where a flat costs over a million quid. This appointment stinks – Lame is a completely unqualified z-list comedian who has been rewarded for her Labour fundraising with a fake job funded by the taxpayer. And despite her previous virtue signalling is now being allowed to take her salary in a highly tax efficient way…

Open Britain’s Web of Offshore-Owned Offices

open

A Guido investigation can reveal that all three addresses registered by Open Britain, the continuity Remain campaign, are owned offshore. Open Britain and its predecessor Stronger In have campaigned against tax havens – they claimed the Panama Papers were a reason why Britain should remain in the EU. Yet their registered office, St Bride’s House in Salisbury Square, is owned by Rreef St Bride’s Ltd, a company incorporated offshore in Jersey whose address is cited in the Panama Papers. “The EU helps Britain tackle tax avoidance in the wake of the Panama Papers,” Open Britain have said.

What about their HQ? Until the summer they were based at 16 Dowgate Hill, at an office previously used by Stronger In. It was declared by Will Straw to Companies House as his correspondence address. This building is also owned offshore in Jersey by a company called Karlton Ltd. They were grandstanding about tax havens from an office owned in a tax haven…

Recently Open Britain moved to a new office at Tenter House in Moorgate, which is the HQ of multi-millionaire tycoon Roland Rudd’s lobbying company Finsbury. You guessed it, Tenter House is also owned offshore – it is ultimately controlled by Linnet Ltd, “a company incorporated in the Isle of Man and controlled by trusts”. As they campaign in support of an EU crackdown on tax havens, all three offices registered by Open Britain are – by strange coincidence – owned offshore…

Marmite Owner Unilever Books Profits in Switzerland

unilever-switzerlan

Unilever has a discreet – though huge – HQ in Schaffhausen, Switzerland (outside of the EU), through which it books purchases and sales to reduce tax liability. If you didn’t already know it was there you would be hard pressed to notice the blue ‘U’ logo on an upper level window…

Guido’s co-conspirators in Switzerland say purchases are made through the Schaffhausen entity and they are fairly certain Unilever’s intellectual property brand assets take advantage of the friendly tax regime. Could it be that Unilever’s companies across the EU pay heavy royalty fees to their Swiss entity, so as much profitability as possible rolls up there and gets taxed at super-low rates. Schaffhausen is well known in Switzerland (like Zug & Geneva) for offering special sweetheart corporate tax deals that are negotiated individually. Unilever’s €urophilia and pro-Remain campaigning does not extend to its profits remaining in high-tax EU states…

UPDATE: A well informed gnome tells Guido:

The point of Unilever running the purchases through Switzerland, means that the Swiss entity then owns the raw materials (and also the finished goods – the legal/finance people will ensure this).  Then, the individual Unilever country offices around Europe have to buy these materials from Unilever in Switzerland – at hefty price, no doubt including the royalty/IP charges for the Unilever recipes which will also be owned by Switzerland.  This has the effect of moving money to Switzerland from the UK/Germany/wherever else.

Slave for 20 Years for Tax Man

tax-hmrc_2358937b

New research from the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) reveals that the total amount of tax paid by the average household increased by 2.7% last year. The study found that:

  • Over a lifetime, an average household will pay £826,030 in direct and indirect taxes.
  • In 2014-15, an average UK household had a gross income of £41,027.
  • At this level of income it would take more than 20 years just to pay their lifetime tax bill.

Half your average working life will be spent slaving for the tax man. Is that the type of society we want?

Guardian Editorial Condemns Rivals’ Tax Affairs

guardian

Today’s Guardian editorial says vote Remain because the newspapers backing Brexit are owned by tax avoiders. Yes, really.

“Questions also need to be asked about what lies behind the flag-waving certainties that are currently being served up by so much of Fleet Street. Imperfect as it may be, Europe-wide cooperation is the best hope we have on tax avoidance. And the typical tax-paying patriot may wonder whether they are on the same side on that question as the non-domiciled Lord Rothermere, who owns the Mail, or the Barclay Brothers, who own the Telegraph and have major interests in the Channel Islands and a Monaco address.”

“The typical tax-paying patriot?”

Readers don’t need reminding about the Guardian’s own offshore secrets, the assets held in the Caymans, the Scott Trust tax dodge. The lack of self-awareness is stunning…

Tax Freedom Day Coming Later Under Osborne

osborne tax freedom day

The ASI’s Tax Freedom Day – the first day of the year when you stop working for the state and start working for yourself – is arriving later and later under George Osborne. A few years ago you stopped paying tax and started putting income in your own pocket on around May 28 to May 30. This year’s Tax Freedom Day comes four days later than last year – in June for the first time – meaning taxpayers have worked 154 days just to pay their taxes. That’s a 42% effective tax rate. We are almost half way through the year, and everything you earned before today went to the taxman…

Campaign Report: 22 Days to Go

oil rig

Leave message: Government would axe fuel VAT post-Brexit.

Remain message: Lord Sugar says Remain’s better for business.

Cut through: Fuel VAT cut post-Brexit.

Leave social media count: 434,209 likes, 48,062 followers.

Remain social media count: 440,282 likes, 31,838 followers.

Odds: Remain 1/3, Leave 3/1

Latest poll: Remain 44%, Leave 47% (ICM, phone). Poll of Polls is now Remain 52%, Leave 49%.

EU Plots Tax ID Numbers For Every European Citizen

euro stars

The EU is laying the groundwork for new, centrally planned National Insurance-style numbers for every taxpayer in Europe. The proposal was passed by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee last night, and chillingly calls for a ‘European Taxpayer Identification Number’ to keep track of every EU citizen. This is the European Commission text:

“Proper identification of taxpayers is essential to effective exchange of information between tax administrations. The creation of European Taxpayer Identification Number (EU TIN) would provide the best means for this identification. It would allow any third party to quickly, easily and correctly identify and record TINs in cross-border relations and serve as a basis for effective automatic exchange of information between member states tax administrations.”

Brussels wants the ability to track every EU taxpayer, laying the foundations for a new European tax…

The report also calls for the EU to take over member states’ corporate taxation powers with a common corporation tax base, banning sovereign states from increasing their competitiveness by cutting corporation tax below 15%. This is a direct attack on sovereignty and attempt to create a new, centralised EU tax system…

UPDATE: UKIP’s Steven Woolfe says:

“If we stay in the EU, we will be forced to pay a European tax. Plans for an EU taxpayer ID system – effectively a new continental National Insurance number – demonstrates their real ambitions for further integration. They are laying the foundations for an EU tax system.”

Osborne Exempts “Politically Exposed Persons” From Money Laundering Checks

MPs complained earlier this year that they are being hounded “like African despots” following anti-money laundering checks from banks like HSBC. These checks are designed to ensure money isn’t being funnelled into criminal gangs or other corrupt arrangements. Charles Walker was furious that MPs and their families are on the list of “Politically Exposed Persons”, the automatic anti-money laundering watch list used by banks:

“It is ridiculously heavy-handed for banks to treat British MPs and their families in this aggressive way. They should be targeting crooked despots and dictators, not MPs’ grannies.”

Because politicians’ family members would never be involved in anything dodgy…

George Osborne this afternoon accepted an amendment to the Financial Services Bill which will see some Politically Exposed Persons and their families exempted from these anti-money laundering rules. Ministers will now “exclude… specified categories of persons” from the list of so-called PEPs, as Osborne says it is “disproportionate” for banks to include MPs and relatives on the watch list. Mossack Fonseca will be able to whisk MPs and their families through the account opening process…

Eagle Spins Caymans Aide Row

Following Guido’s revelation that the firm run by Labour’s new business tsar was incorporated in the Caymans, the FT’s Jim Pickard has asked Angela Eagle for a comment on her “ethical” business adviser. Eagle replied that Anthony Watson’s company “pays taxes in all the jurisdictions in which it operates”. What is the corporate tax rate in the Cayman Islands? Zero percent. Ian Cameron’s Panama fund paid taxes in all the jurisdictions in which it operated, and Labour said that was morally disgusting…

Labour Business Tsar’s Firm Incorporated in Caymans

The financial services firm run by Labour’s new business tsar was incorporated in the Cayman Islands, Guido can reveal. Anthony Watson is the flamboyant president and chief operating officer of Uphold Inc, an online financial services company headquartered in California. Earlier this year he was appointed by the Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle to chair Labour’s Business and Enterprise Advisory Council. Eagle said at the time: “Both Anthony and I are determined to lay the foundations for a shared capitalism… It’s great that Anthony has agreed to chair this group which will help forge a new vision for a dynamic industrial strategy, because he has the fresh ideas and a proven track record of putting innovation and ethics at the heart of business practices.”. Well, how’s that whole “shared capitalism” and ethics thing working out?

Watson took charge of his financial services company in April 2015, when it went by the name Bitreserve. This is from their website:

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission documents seen by Guido show that Bitreserve’s jurisdiction of incorporation was the Caymans. Its address is a PO box.

What does Angela Eagle think about the ethics of her top business adviser running a company incorporated in the tax-free Caymans? 

MPs Send £1 Million of Expenses Offshore

Over £1 million of taxpayers’ money has been diverted to offshore property companies through the MPs’ expenses system. In 2012-13, 13 MPs were paying rent expenses for properties in the luxury riverside Dolphin Square complex, made famous as the home of coke-snorting Lords (and worse).

Records show MPs including top Corbyn allies Steve Rotheram, Nic Dakin and Shabana Mahmood paid the expenses cash to subsidiaries of Westbrook Dolphin Square Ltd. This is a network of 612 companies which own two flats each in Dolphin Square. All 612 companies are registered in Jersey…

Tory MP Jonathan Evans meanwhile paid rent expenses to Abal Establishment, a property company with offices in London but which is registered in the tax haven of Lichtenstein:

Overall in 2012-13 MPs sent over £230,000 of taxpayer cash to tax-avoiding offshore property companies. Extrapolating these figures means over the course of the last parliament well over £1 million of your money was sent offshore so MPs could live it up in London…

MPs’ Pension Scheme Managed Offshore

Potentially every MP has investments managed offshore through the parliamentary pension scheme. The latest annual accounts of the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund disclose that one of the fund’s managers is BlackRock UK Property Fund. A quick look at said fund’s prospectus shows it is domiciled offshore in Jersey:

When Labour MPs condemn Cameron’s father as “absolutely disgusting” for incorporating trusts offshore, remember their own pension scheme is run by fund managers domiciled in Jersey…

Dave Gets His Daily Dose

Another happy reader – Dave shares with the House the news, as revealed by Guido, that the BBC, Mirror Group, and Guardian have all been using offshore investment funds. Sign up to the Guidogram here to get your daily dose too… […] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Michael Crick on Safe Seats:

“In effect, new MPs are being elected day by day now, as, amid huge secrecy, small cabals of party bigwigs pick candidates for safe seats.”

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