Corbyn Guru Plugs ‘Joy of Tax’ Chez Ashcroft

Anglia Ruskin University are very excited to announce a series of free public lectures taking place on campus this autumn, where Corbyn economics guru and Cameron joke fodder Richard Murphy will “share his Joy of Tax”. According to the press release, loony left blogger Murphy “is credited with shaping Corbyn’s economic strategy, also advises trade unions on tax policy. He is the author of The Joy of Tax and a founder of the Tax Justice Network”. The contents of the lecture will not exactly be kind to, say, former Belize-based tax exile non-doms. Appropriate, then, that it “will take place on Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus in the Lord Ashcroft Building”…

Shock: Labour Back Cut in Corporation Tax

“We believe that we can tackle the deficit by halting the tax cuts to corporations,” says Labour’s new Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. So Guido is not sure what he is going to make of his party supporting the Tories’ corporation tax cut in the Finance Bill debate last night. In a curious exchange between Treasury minister David Gauke and his shadow Barbara Keeley, Labour strangely backed the move:

Barbara Keeley: “Labour is in favour of support for businesses, which is what we need to discuss as we consider the clause. We want to help British businesses to invest in the UK and to enable long-term investment. We will support the corporation tax measures…”

David Gauke: “I begin by welcoming the support of the hon. Member for Worsley and Eccles South for the reduction in corporation tax… I certainly give way to the hon. Lady, who can confirm her party’s and, indeed, the shadow Chancellor’s support for this measure.”

Barbara Keeley: “I do not think it would be my place to confirm the shadow Chancellor’s support for the measure…”

David Gauke: “I note that the hon. Lady said that although she is able to make a statement about party policy as the Labour party Front Bencher in this Committee, neither the leader of her party nor the shadow Chancellor are in a position to do so. If that is the way the Labour party operates, that is one for that party, curious though it might be to the rest of us.”

The question of “Rate of corporation tax for financial years 2017-2020” – i.e. to be cut to 18% – was then put and agreed to.

Wonder what McDonnell makes of that!

Corbynomics Guru Gets Brillo’d

Obscure tax blogger and Twitter eccentric Richard Murphy is now unofficially advising Corbyn on his economic policy. Readers will remember Guido’s past stories on the hypocritical ‘tax justice’ campaigner, well today he got Brillo’d on the Daily Politics:

Including such gems as:

“One of the ideas I’ve got is to create modest amounts of inflation…

At the moment I would add to the deficit…”

Coming soon to a Tory attack ad near you…

Douglas Carswell v Owen Jones

Douglas Carswell wasn’t going to let Owen Jones get away with saying “I want to pay more tax”…

Who does he think he is, Charlotte Church?

How Sugar Tax Would Affect You

sugar tax

Prohibitionist doctors from the British Medical Association have published a report demanding an extra 20% tax on sugary drinks in order to fight obesity. Including VAT, that would raise tax on a can of deliciously refreshing coke to a whopping 40%…

Osborne Spectacularly Trolls Renewable Industry

Osborne’s Budget announcement that green energy producers will no longer be exempt from the Climate Change Levy is driving the renewable industry into meltdown. The levy used to only apply to non-renewable energy but, in a spectucular trolling exercise, now businesses have to pay this green tax even if they are purchasing green energy:

Caroline Lucas: “We’ve seen yet another example of reckless short-term policy making that prioritises the profits of polluters over the public interest in a safe and habitable climate”

RenewableUK: “It’s another example of this government’s unfair, illogical and obsessive attacks on renewables”

Greenpeace: “This will make it more expensive for business to buy electricity from renewable power. He is man out of step with the times” 

Friends of the Earth: “This is totally bizarre, making renewable electricity pay a carbon tax is completely counterproductive — like making apple juice pay an alcohol tax” 

The green tax raid on green energy producers will raise almost £1 billion a year. Hoist by their own petard…

Bob Crow’s Memorial Tax

BOB-CROW-MEMORIAL-TAX

The cut in housing benefit for under-occupied state housing was mis-named by Labour as the ‘Bedroom Tax’, for want of a snappier description. The official title of ‘Spare Room Subsidy’ was by comparison an also-ran. Despite being a benefit reduction the ‘Bedroom tax’ became the standard title used by the BBC…

Labour might call George Osborne’s proposal to make higher earners living in state housing pay market rates a ‘tax on success’ or an ‘aspiration tax’ or some such. They are perhaps brainstorming the best phrase right now for Harriet Harman to use. The most famous high earner in social housing was the late Bob Crow, who by not moving out and using his salary to buy a house instead denied a dwelling to a family lower on the income scale in greater need. This made a mockery of the Marxist mantra of ‘to each according to his needs’. Crow rented for clear ideological reasons.

The ‘Bob Crow Tax’ seems the obvious name for this measure. In Bob’s honour… 

Gordon’s Tax and Benefits Mess

tax+benefits

According to an ONS release today the mythical average household is £31 better off after taxes and benefits are taken into account. Think about all the complexities of tax collection collection and benefit calculation, the bureaucracy and time wasted. It really is time for a lower, flatter, simpler, single income tax…

The statistics also confirm that after 5 years of “we’re all in it together” that Osborne has raised taxes on the richest 20% and reduced the burden on the poorest 20%.  The bottom quintile are net recipients of just over £10,000 in welfare transfers from those who actually pay taxes. Will no one stand up for the wealth creators?

Voice of Angel to Critics: “Hopefully Your Dick Will Fall Off”

church

Charlotte Church spent her Saturday marching with the People’s Assembly Against Austerity – whose aims include “increasing taxes on the super-rich” and “closing tax loopholes”.

As Guido revealed in the Sun on Sunday, this is the same Cardiff crooner who is the director of five companies all registered to the London address of Thomas Harris Accountants.

Alligator Wine Records Ltd, Charlotte Church Ltd, PACC Music Limited, Bounce Publishing Limited and Chick Flicks Ltd are all conveniently based at the firm’s offices in Merton Abbey Mills. Thomas Harris boast on their website:

“Lowering and deferring tax is, of course, a key aim… We can make your capital as tax-efficient as possible, taking advantage of allowances and reliefs of which many people are unaware, and ensuring you pay no more tax than you need… [including] tax-efficient gifting strategies”

What would her new comrades say about such sharp practices?

Seems Charlotte is finding her newfound critics rather taxing:

Voice of an angel, vocabulary of a drain…

Charlotte Church U-Turns on 70% Tax Pledge

church2

Charlotte Church’s mission to be reborn as a poundshop Russell Brand continues. The singer yesterday told an End Austerity Now protest that she would happily pay 70% income tax if it were to improve public services. In 2010 was reported to be worth £11 million.

When it was pointed out to Charlotte that there is nothing stopping her writing a cheque to the Exchequer, her mind was changed:

Crazy chick

UPDATE: Here is Charlotte complaining about having to pay 40% tax before she became a crusader for the cause of social justice:

H/T @rrwholloway

EU Forces Elected Government to Renege on Queen’s Speech Promise

queen eu

The government will be forced to back track on their Queen’s Speech promise not to raise VAT following a European decree. The decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union to ban the UK’s 5% rate of VAT on the supply and installation of energy-saving materials will force the government to raise VAT to the standard 20% rate. Unelected pen-pushers over-ruling a democratically elected government just weeks after an election.

The CJEU has form with these types of judgements, last year forcing Poland to apply the full rate of VAT to fire protection equipment. One for Dave to bring up with his new German friends. 

Health Lobbyists Plan to Spy on Gays and Pregnant Women

Gay people and pregnant mothers will be spied on under controversial plans drawn up by health lobby extremists. Guido has seen a copy of a report set to be released later this month by ASH, that draws up plans for a massive clamp down on the rights of the individual in regard to smoking.

The anti-smoking lobby group have written a wide-ranging wishlist for the coming parliament and it’s about as authoritarian as you can get. History would indicate that this bunch get what they want; from the smoking ban, to plain packs and restrictions on smoking in cars.

The document includes plan to spy on gay people in order to stop them smoking:

“Improve national surveillance to ensure that timely and robust data are available on smoking prevalence including data on all socio-economic groups, people with long-term conditions, people with mental health problems, minority ethnic groups, the LGBT population and other disadvantaged groups.”

And the midwives will be armed in this fight:

“Issue every midwife in England who conducts antenatal appointments with a carbon monoxide monitor.”

Because obviously all pregnant women are liars.

Smoking is set to be banned in prisons and on stage, as ASH demand the government “remove the smokefree exemption for prisons” and “theatrical performances.”

And they’re not done there…

The leaked memo includes plans to investigate “legislative and non-legislative options to make outdoor environments smokefree” and “all enclosed cars and motor vehicles.”

So what will the group recommend to make all their dreams come true? Higher taxes, obviously:

“Increase the tax escalator on tobacco products to 5 per cent above the level of inflation.”

You read it here first…

Vivienne Westwood Driven to Madness By Tax Affairs

vivian_2_innerbig

Vivienne Westwood has admitted that Gaia Fawkes’ revelations about her tax affairs led to her holding imaginary conversations in the night as she tried to convince herself that she wasn’t a massive hypocrite. Writing in her online diary, Westwood claimed that Gaia’s revelations didn’t worry her because she is “comfortable” with the tax she pays, before confessing that she is “re-structuring” her tax practices.

First I went through everything with my accountants, asking questions. I wished to make a simple statement but I kept thinking I needed to supply some detail, but every time I tried the detail led to more detail and I found myself at every spare moment and in the middle of the night holding imaginary conversations with the world at large explaining why I had not morally avoided paying tax.

Whatever helps you sleep at night Viv…

BBC Dodge Hodge Tax Scandal

Guess where you won’t find the Margaret Hodge story? Yep, on the BBC’s controversial election website…

They normally love a good Hodge tax quote. Odd…

Hodge the Dodge’s Tax Hypocrisy Goes Box Office

Regular readers will be well aware that Guido has been banging on about Margaret Hodge’s shameless tax hypocrisy for years.

Back in 2012, he took a look at her 0.01% tax rate-paying family company, Stemcor. At the time she insisted her £1.5 million shareholding was “tiny, tiny, tiny” and she succeeded in scaring off the dead tree press from reporting her arrangements. Hodge even threatened to sue anyone accusing her of tax avoidance. Yet no writ or letter before action came. 

Today’s Times splashes on the story:

“just under 96,000 Stemcor shares handed to Ms Hodge in 2011 came from [Liechtenstein], which is renowned for low tax rates. Three quarters of the shares in the family’s Liechtenstein trust had previously been held in Panama, which Ms Hodge described last month as “one of the most secretive jurisdictions” with “the least protection anywhere in the world against money laundering”. The veteran Labour MP was accused of sheer hypocrisy. She has repeatedly attacked big businesses and bankers who used offshore arrangements, but has not declared that she benefited from an offshore trust.”

Busted…

Man With Plane Trolls Owen Jones From the Sky

With Owen Jones visiting South Thanet yesterday to campaign for Labour, Simon Moores – an economist, Guardian contributor, councillor and pilot – saw his chance to troll the his lefty colleague from a great height. And troll him he did, by flying this banner over the constituency for the afternoon:

Moores tells Guido:

“I did it off my own back because I can’t stand Owen Jones. I can’t stand economic illiterates and Jones drives me crazy.”

One critic Owen can’t block…

Inheritance Tax Highlights Millionaire Miliband’s Hypocrisy

The Tories are going to make it a manifesto commitment (again) to raise the inheritance tax threshold so that only millionaires pay it. David Cameron is giving a speech today highlighting the issue. This morning Harman was less than convincing on Marr about the Milibands’ own efforts to avoid the inheritance tax threshold. Why would the Milibands – as Harman claims – pay expensive lawyers to produce a Deed of Variation to not avoid tax?*

CCHQ’s promotion for their manifesto commitment looks like this:

ihtgraphic

Guido’s version would look like this:

IHT-MILIBAND

Not positive enough?

*Guido’s informed guess is that they entirely avoided paying inheritance tax at the time. Later Ed Miliband and David Miliband probably had to pay some lesser amount of capital gains tax when they realised their profits on the difference in the value they had inherited tax free and the price they received for their shares of what was the family home when it was eventually sold.

TUC Welcome Tory Pilgrims’ Charter

Brilliant. The TUC have welcomed the Tory manifesto policy of forcing the public sector and businesses to give staff three days off to volunteer:

“Trade unions are the UK’s biggest voluntary groups. This new right will give every union member a guaranteed three days for time off to get involved with union activities.”

Great!

Having spent three years trying to stop the unions agitating on the taxpayer, the government will give them three days off to organise.

Unless of course political activity is excluded from the policy?

A question to which nobody has managed to give Guido a straight answer, yet… 

UPDATE:

A Conservative Party spokesman is adamant:  ‘It definitely won’t include trade unions’.

Sources claims they can exclude union activity (which is not charitable) at a legislation writing level.

We shall see…

UPDATE II: 

TUC hit back again. Frances O’Grady says:

“Confusion is growing by the minute about the Conservatives’ time off for volunteering pledge. First Eric Pickles can’t make up his mind whether it is a right at all, and now the Conservatives say that there will be an approved state list of volunteering opportunities which will not include trade union activity. One wonders whether they will go on to ban help at food banks,  giving advice to workers on zero-hours contracts or community wind power projects.”

Labour’s Tax Expert Admits Error

jolyon

This morning on the Today Programme Ed Balls namechecked the blog of Jolyon Maugham a tax specialist QC, he estimated that Labour’s change to the non-dom tax rules would bring in an extra billion. Ed Balls referred to him again later as a “tax expert”:

Just now in the Q & A after his speech Ed Miliband also referred to Jolyon Maugham as an “independent expert” – he’s actually a Labour Party stalwart.

Well other independent experts have taken him to task on Twitter for a basic error, most countries have double taxation treaties (DTCs). If you pay tax in one country on your earnings, you can’t be taxed again in another jurisdiction – the UK has over 100 such treaties. On Twitter Jolyon has conceded “I accept DTCs could have some impact. There’s plainly some uncertainty about the numbers.” When you take this into account the net tax take will be nowhere near the billion claimed…

Will Ed Balls End the Guardian’s Non-Domiciling of Corporate Assets?

gmg

Further reading on the Guardian‘s tax hypocrisy:

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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