Talking of cash in hand, Miliband had the roofers in to his North London home last year.
He did get a receipt, didn’t he?
Talking of cash in hand, Miliband had the roofers in to his North London home last year.
He did get a receipt, didn’t he?
Marina Hyde on why UK tax is so untaxing…
“The Hong Kong tax code, widely held by tax lawyers to be the most admirably efficient in the world, is 276 pages long. The British tax code, rapidly beginning to look like the most disingenuous in the world, is currently in excess of 17,000 pages. It has more than trebled in size since 1997.”
Challenged by Toby Young on the Daily Politics, Owen Jones swerved the question of the Guardian attacking offshore tax shelters whilst sheltering half-a-billion of its assets in the Caymans:
“I am not responsible for my employer’s tax affairs.”
While writing in today’s paper that “while the poor’s smallest misdemeanours are punished, the rich are able to draft the loopholes they then use to avoid tax”…
Miliband worded this answer about the Deed of Variation on his family home very carefully:
“This is something my mother did 20 years ago. That was a decision she made. Let me just say this: I’ve paid tax as a result of that transaction, I’ve avoided no tax in that.”
A Deed of Variation has the sole purpose of saving tax. That Ed paid capital gains tax is irrelevant – the Miliband family avoided paying in some part inheritance tax (how much is still unclear).
From the Sunday Times, 19 September 2004:
“DAVID MILIBAND, the schools minister, and his brother Ed, the chancellor’s economic adviser, are set to avoid paying thousands of pounds in tax through an Inland Revenue loophole which the Labour party pledged to close.
The brothers, Labour’s rising stars, are poised to benefit after their family set up a scheme to share ownership of the family’s Pounds 1.3m townhouse in north London which was sold recently.
Accountants and the Inland Revenue say the scheme established by the Milibands is used to reduce inheritance tax.
The move is particularly controversial for Ed Miliband who is chairman of the council of economic advisers responsible for co-ordinating the Treasury’s long-term policy on behalf of Gordon Brown, the chancellor.”
The Sunday Times has learnt that after Ralph Miliband, the socialist father of David and Ed, died in 1994, he transferred almost all his assets, including homes in London and Oxfordshire, to his wife.
However, after taking professional advice, the family is understood to have posthumously rewritten his will to give 20% of the London home to both David and Ed.
David has declared a “20% share of family home in London” on the MPs’ register of interests since 2002.
This scheme is called a “deed of variation” and was highlighted by the chancellor in opposition as an unacceptable way in which the wealthy avoid paying death duties.
It allows people to inherit assets tax-free even if this goes against the wishes of the deceased. Had Ralph Miliband’s will not been altered, David and Ed would have inherited the house (or the money raised from its sale) when their mother Marion died and would have faced a tax bill equivalent to 40% of its value.
Instead they were able to cash in on their stakes when the family’s four bedroom townhouse in Primrose Hill, north London, was sold earlier in the summer.
For the record…
Ed Miliband just clearly said that he was not calling Lord Fink dodgy. The vanilla peer has responded:
“Yesterday I challenged Ed Miliband to repeat the accusations he made in the Commons – that I used an HSBC bank account to avoid tax and that I was a “dodgy donor.”He did not. This is a major climbdown by a man who is willing to smear without getting his facts straight.”
Fink/the Tories are now focussing on the word dodgy. Which was not mentioned in his letter yesterday….
Nick Robinson is reporting that over Lord Fink’s taxes “The Labour leader’s aides say that he sees this as another Milly Dowler moment”. That would be the apocryphal Milly Dowler moment for which the Guardian apologised and of which Mr Justice Saunders said they were “wrong and they have accepted that”. It is also a pretty tasteless metaphor (sounds like Tom Baldwin, at a guess, is the source).
In addition to this being a beltway thing of interest only to broadsheet readers, this may not go as they think…
UPDATE: A Labour spokesman denies this is Miliband’s view:
“Ed is not comparing this to a Milly Dowler moment. This is about standing up for what is right, not making comparisons.”
So who briefed it?
+ Labour’s Pink Van Paid For By Taxpayer
+ Made in Turkey at Cost of 500 British Jobs
+ Funded By €190 Million EU Loan Raised By UK Taxpayer
Is there anything British about Labour’s sexist pink van? 500 jobs were lost when the Ford Transit factory in Southampton was closed down in 2012 and relocated to Turkey. In a further slap in the face for British workers, the EU’s European Investment Bank then approved a €190 million loan for the new Turkish site, raised on the back of UK taxpayer funding for the bank. So Labour’s pink van was made in Turkey thanks to the loss of UK jobs, funded by an EU loan paid for by us. The only thing British about it is that it was paid for by the British taxpayer…
Worth listening to the end of Margaret Hodge’s interview on the World at One as she is politely reminded of her massive hypocrisy when it comes to Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Hodge began by slamming Labour’s Shadow Cabinet – including Ed Ball, Chuka Umunna and Rachel Reeves- for employing PWC staffers, before being told that her company Stemcor also uses PWC, that she used be a senior consultant for the firm herself and still receives a pension from them:
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By the end even she was laughing at her own hypocrisy…
The Government Digital Service has made a massive stride towards fixing the hated Government Gateway, the cumbersome registration portal that users need to access online government services. The Cabinet Office has announced today that its new alternative verification service, GOV.UK Verify, helped 11,000 people avoid paying late submission fines on their self-assessment form this year. Last year, if people didn’t have their login info ready from around two weeks before the deadline they were forced to pay a fine. The new Verify system allows anyone with a passport and driver’s licences to bypass the 10 day wait for a username or password in the post.
Unlike some government IT projects in the past, it appears the Cabinet Office have executed GOV.UK Verify with some degree of competence. Two competing private companies were given the contract (they will be joined by three more soon), it was rolled out in beta form with throttled (limited) access in December and incremental changes were made regularly. Like it’s supposed to be done.
The online verification issue has been a major stumbling block to the Cabinet Office’s dream of creating a seamless one stop online shop for accessing any government service. Not like a government IT project to actually help save taxpayers’ money…
Smarting from the stinging attack by the boss of Boots, Ed Miliband has rehashed his vague promise to clampdown on big corporations not paying UK tax.
He made this pledge while taking part in Sky New’s ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’ leaders’ event hosted at Facebook HQ.
The same Facebook who have paid no UK corporation tax for the last two years.
Really sticking it to power there.
An “insidious poison fed into the nation’s veins”. So said Polly Toynbee of the Taxpayers’ Alliance in 2009. Therefore it was a surprise to see North London’s finest quote research by the grass-roots tax justice campaigners in her latest rambling missive. Toynbee’s claims today about “paying the highest proportion of its income in taxes: 47%” is lifted directly from a TPA report. Unfortunately she appears to have forgotten to credit the source in the same way as she’s credited the lefty Centre for Cities, the lefty JRF, and uber-lefty Oxfam. Always happy to be of help, Polly…
Which Shadow Cabinet minister with a special interest in Streatham could it possibly have been?
Jim Murphy’s mansion tax raid on London to fund nurses in Scotland has descended into an almighty slanging match with Diane Abbott. The Hackney MP couldn’t even remember the Scottish Labour leader’s name on Wato today:
“I am very surprised John Murphy is making these boasts… Jim Murphy can’t surely mean he is going to expropriate money from London to Scotland… he is jumping the gun in an unscrupulous way.”
Murphy hit back:
“It’s hard to take this argument seriously when she can’t even remember my name… I am leader of the Scottish Labour party, not Diane. I don’t have to consult Diane Abbott… I don’t have to clear things with Ed Miliband.”
François Hollande, Ed Miliband and now Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi. The FT reports that ISIS are implementing Red Ed’s policy of a 50p top rate of tax across the one holy caliphate:
“Sajad Jiyad, an independent researcher in Iraq, says that Isis struggles to balance its books, but services continue to function because of the money Baghdad still pays to former civil servants in Mosul. Isis taxes those employees at up to 50 per cent of their salaries.”
It’s a cost of jihad crisis! The caliphate can do better than this. One nation….
Welcoming Stamp Duty reform, the Shadow Chancellor dodged the obvious question. Why didn’t Labour do it when they were in power?
“We could have done it but we didn’t because we had other things to do, like not join the euro…”
And the bloody rest…
Air Passenger Duty may generate £3.2 billion a year for the Treasury, but Guido wonders why George doesn’t just go out on a wing and get rid of the tax altogether. It would hardly be terminal for the UK economy – a projected fall in the deficit of £6.2 billion by 2015 would more than cover the cost to the Exchequer and the move would encourage more flights into to the UK.
There was a growing problem on the APD front too – all the evidence seems to suggest that the SNP are going to remove APD altogether on Scottish flights – creating competition from north of the border to Newcastle Airport in the soon-to-be Northern Powerhouse. That could be what made the idea fly…
As Osborne delivers his Autumn Statement today, a YouGov poll for the Sun finds his personal ratings have dropped from -3 to -8 over the last nine months. Optimism that the economy will improve is down from 39% to 25%, while pessimism is up from 23% to 32%. The Chancellor’s credibility will hardly be helped this afternoon when he announces OBR numbers confirming he has missed his deficit forecasts and that there is a £50 billion black hole in public finances, when in the same speech he pledges:
Cynical Neo-Keynesianism nevertheless appears to be paying electoral dividends for the Conservatives, proving once again that voters prefer jam today to jam tomorrow. This generation of voters prefers to put the burden for its profligacy on the next generation…
The Times leader puts it plainly: “What is clear is that he has decided to risk what progress has been made towards repairing the nation’s finances on an electorally inspired spending spree that will have to be funded… at least partly with debt.” Douglas Carswell has a point when he says Osborne will today deliver Gordon Brown’s 18th Autumn Statement…
United Nations Special Envoy and High Commissioner of the UNHCR, Angelina Jolie, has voiced her concerns about Ed Miliband’s mansion tax:
“I’m quite responsible about money. That could put me off [moving to London].”
Wonder who could have put her up to that…