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:

10 Reasons to Re-Non-Domicile in Ireland if Red Ed Wins in May

Non-doms, hedge fund managers, entrepreneurs and investors are still welcome in Ireland:

  1. Only income from Irish sources is taxable in Ireland.
  2. Income from UK or foreign sources is only taxable to the extent of amounts remitted (brought into) Ireland.
  3. Remittances of capital are not subject to Irish income tax – income earned at a time when the individual was not resident in Ireland would be treated as capital in nature and therefore not subject to income tax here when brought (remitted) to Ireland. This means that while such individuals will be chargeable to tax in Ireland on Irish source income and gains, they will only be chargeable on foreign income and gains to the extent that they are remitted to Ireland.
  4. Where non-domiciled individuals come to Ireland and use their wealth accumulated outside of Ireland to cover their day to day living expenses, it is possible for such individuals to live in Ireland free of tax.
  5. Individuals tax resident or ordinarily tax resident but not domiciled in Ireland are liable to Capital Gains Tax on gains arising on the disposal of assets situated in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and on all foreign gains to the extent that those gains are remitted to Ireland.
  6. Prime property in Dublin as well as estates in the country are still below their bubble highs – though Dublin is rebounding fast. Beachfront properties or houses with stabling facilities are plentiful.
  7. Ireland has world beating sporting teams, fantastic golf courses, the fishing is spectacular, hunting is legal, the sailing is great and the country is the world leader in equestrian sports.
  8. Ireland’s regional airports are an hour away from London City Airport in your Lear  jet.
  9. Ireland has a world class educational system and universities, technology start-ups are springing up everywhere, foreign tech firms like Twitter base their European headquarters in Ireland because the young well-educated English-speaking workforce has the talent they need.   The International Financial Services Centre ‘IFSC’ in Dublin welcomes hedge funds with financial incentives to relocate and is second only to London for the number of fund managers. The Heritage Foundation ranks Ireland the freest economy in the euro-zone.
  10. There is broad cross-party support for Ireland remaining a low tax, business friendly country welcoming to foreign investors. Corporation tax is 12.5%, inward investment incentives with tax breaks for entrepreneurs are generous.

If Red Ed does get elected on May 7 and the socialist terror comes to Britain, Ireland will welcome the huddled elite, yearning to breathe free…

Tax Dodge Shame of Labour Election Star

Labour have wheeled out Tim from The Office, aka Martin Freeman, as their latest celebrity endorsement. Freeman, who is worth £10 million, told the Guardian in 2005 that he supported “Socialist Labour” but would not be voting for Labour under Blair again. Guess Miliband meets that criteria.

Back in 2013 it was widely reported that Freeman allowed his long-term partner and fellow luvvie Amanda Abbington to go bankrupt after she was whacked with a £120,000 tax bill. At the time the Mirror described the arrangement under the headline “Morally Bankrupt” as:

“an absolute disgrace… Amanda has been with Martin for 10 years and they have two kids – even if she really is skint why on earth can’t he chip in and help out with the bill?.. because she and her multi-millionaire partner can afford a fancy accountant, she doesn’t have to either, because he’s found her a way out of it”

Did Labour know about their star celeb’s past before they lined up his endorsement today?

Two-Faced Chuka Refuses to Rule Out Toxic ‘Jobs Tax’

That sound you can hear is Labour pulping thousands of their Tory VAT leaflets. They won’t be using yesterday’s attack ad again either, which bashed current and former Tory chancellors for saying they had “no plans” to raise VAT, then going back on their word. “No plans” was the key sound-bite. 

24 hours later, on the pre-PMQs Daily Politics, when asked to rule out a rise in National Insurance, two-faced Chuka Umunna used the exact same choice of words:

“We’ve got absolutely no plans to do so.”

Will Labour rule out the the toxic branded ‘tax on jobs’ or do they just have “no plans” to do so?

Cameron Rules Out VAT Rise in PMQs Miliband Mauling

camdance

Save Ed…

Rachel Reeves Finally Admits Bedroom Tax is Not a Tax

How does the aspiring Work and Pensions Secretary want to raise money for Labour’s new flagship policy in Scotland?

Reeves wants to scrap the bedroom ‘tax’ and “use the savings” to raise £175 million. But, as should be obvious from Labour’s name for the policy, the bedroom ‘tax’ actually reduces government spending. Saving around a billion pounds so far in fact. Therefore scrapping it would not, as Reeves thinks, ‘save £175 million’. On the contrary, it would cost over a billion. Not like Reeves used to be at the heart of Labour’s Treasury team or anything…

UPDATE:

Official: Rich Hit Hardest Under Osborne

Another bash the rich budget from the Chancellor…

Ed Upsets the Neighbours

What happened when a community magazine in Ed’s family neighbourhood tried to find a supporter of the mansion tax, so they could write a balanced article giving equal prominence to both sides of the argument? The Primrose Hill journalist tasked with the story tells Ham & High:

“We wanted to do pieces on issues affecting the community, giving both sides a voice. For hours I tried – and failed – to find just one supporter of Labour’s proposals in Primrose Hill. Everyone opposed it. We’ve had to push back the piece until next month. Or until I find someone.”

Most neighbours fall out over mending a fence…

PWC to Host Labour Prawn Cocktail Offensive

In their continued quest to pretend they are on the side of business, Labour frontbenchers are being wheeled out to meet local capitalists up and down the country:

What the invitation fails to mention is “Donington Court” is a regional outpost of Labour’s embarrassing big donor, the tax-avoiding PWC.

So the tax avoidance kings swell the coffers and host the shadow cabinet, yet still Ed Miliband told the House “none of these people had given a penny on my watch…”

“Inappropriate” Tax Experts Labour’s Biggest Non-Union Donors

PriceWaterhouse Coopers, whom Margaret Hodge condemned earlier this month, gave almost £400,000 to Labour in the last quarter.

Also blows out of the water Labour’s line that they are being massively outspent…

‘New Owen Jones’ is Scion of Media Elite

Look out Owen Jones, there’s another younger, prettier, chippy, extremely privileged left-winger on the scene. Public schoolboy Jacob Diamond has been on Sky News this afternoon, telling Kay Burley:

“More people are in favour of increasing income tax to solve the problems in society. That is how you fund it, easy.”

As a borderline Marxist student, obviously Jake knows all about the realities of paying tax. 

Thankfully, Diamond told Sky that he does not want to be a politician, instead he wants to be a journalist:

In an already tough market and extremely competitive field, life is tough for any aspiring young hack.

Luckily for Jake, he’s the son of broadcaster Anne Diamond and telly executive Mike Hollingsworth.

Which has nothing to do with how he’s able to start his national broadcast career whilst still a student…

How Journalism Works

The Huffington Post are desperately trying to spin for Balls, resorting to real barrel scraping tactics:

From: Money4Media United Kingdom 
Date: 17 February 2015 12:26:49 GMT
Subject: Journalist Alert: The Huffington Post, Asa Bennett

Tax Experts on Receipts/accountancy Needed

I’m looking for a good tax expert who could help for a potential piece, aiming to debunk the Daily Mail’s suggestion that Ed Balls is a “total hypocrite” as he hasn’t asked his window cleaner for a receipt, despite suggesting it would be right to do that for odd jobs…

Contact Person: Asa Bennett

Publication: The Huffington Post

Deadline for responses: Date: 17/02/2015 Time: 2:30PM

An accountant that will say the opposite to reality? Try PWC…

Meanwhile, on the World at One, Rachel Reeves just totally contradicted Balls. The Shadow Chancellor said on Sunday:

“The right thing to do if you are having somebody cut your hedge for a tenner is to make sure they give you their name and address and a receipt and a record for the fact that you have paid them.Over my life – have I ever given people a tenner and not got a receipt for it? Probably yes. Since I’ve been involved in politics and Treasury matters, absolutely I think it’s really important to have a record.”

Today Reeves says the exact opposite:

“It’s not always that easy to get a receipt… it’s not the wrong thing to do.”

Who speaks for Labour?

Flashback: Osborne on How to Avoid Tax

 

Tony Hart died for the second time today and this clip of Osborne from 2003 looks to be making a similar social media resurrection.

“The one piece of advice I would give… is there are some pretty clever financial products which enable you to in effect pass on your home, or the value of your home, to your son or daughter… I probably shouldn’t be advocating this on television.”

Also known as ‘Doing a Miliband’…

Via @SophyRidgeSky / @liarpoliticians
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Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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