UN Special Envoy Slams Miliband’s Mansion Tax

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…

Clip via Channel 4 News.

Greens Will Still Bill Oddie

First Myleene Klass, now Bill Oddie:

Guido hates to break it to Bill that his new preferred party are no friend of mansion owners either. In addition to their wealth tax on people worth over £3 million, and their so-called backdoor mansion tax whacking up rates for wealthier home-owners, the Greens also propose a draconian Land Value Tax. This is from their website:

“Land, the primary source of all real wealth, is the common heritage. We acknowledge that land is held in trust by human society on behalf of other species and future generations, and that land should not be treated as a capital investment nor traded for speculative profit. We therefore assert the principle that no person and no body should have absolute control of land, but only particular rights over the use of it.

The Green Party proposes introducing LVT as a tax payable on the annual value of land… The level at which the tax would be levied would be based on the full value of the current permitted use of the land… Where a property rockets in value, LVT would seek to tax that windfall increase in property value to be re-invested back into the community.”

What’s a mansion owning North Londoner to do?

Working Klass Hero: The People Back Myleene Over Ed

You know it’s bad when the Staggers have to try to spin Ed’s going over by Myleene Klass on last night’s Agenda. Apparently “this row could work in Miliband’s favour.” Hmm, not if the voting public are anything to go by…

Today’s poll on Metro just about says it all:

At least he didn’t sniff a fellow guest on the show, this time.

Who Are These Immoral Tax Raisers?

moral-taxes

“The government has a moral duty to think of these people [taxpayers] in any decisions made on tax and spending” says the Prime Minister. “But what is morally wrong is government spending money as if it grows on trees. Every single pound of public money started as private earning” he continues in The Times.

So who immorally raised VAT to an eye-watering 20%? Who has maintained high combined national insurance and tax rates on everyone earning above minimum wage at Gordon Brown levels? Who allowed inflation to push some million more of the middle classes into the higher rate bracket?

Who introduced 509 tax rises since being elected in May 2010? Who is planning to increase the share of GDP that is taken in taxation by the state to higher levels than under Gordon Brown?

£513 billion in 2009-10, representing 36.5% of GDP
£648 billion in 2014-15, representing 37.0% of GDP
£778 billion in 2018-19, representing 38.1% of GDP

Who would be so immoral?

Tax Avoiding Guardian Sets Up Rival to Tax Avoiding Amazon

Are you a bookworm who can’t bring yourself to boost the profits of a nasty offshore tax-avoiding corporation? Alan Rusbridger has a suggestion for you:

Of course the anti-Amazon Guardian bookshop neglects to mention to potential customers that the newspaper’s offices are owned offshore. Nor do they disclose their owner’s use of a Caymans Islands corporation to avoid stamp duty. Nor that for three quarters of a century the Guardian has been shirking taxes. Even worse, the first thing that appears when you click on the website is Russell Brand’s face…

CON 35 / LAB 34: Tories Take Poll Lead for First Time Since 2012

Tax cuts are popular? Who knew!

Osborne Cuts 40% Boundary Back to Brown Era Levels

2009-10-bandsGuido hasn’t seen this reported anywhere else in the news, the PM’s forward promise to move the 40% threshold up to £50,000 means that the rate will kick in at the boundary level last seen in 2009/10 under Gordon Brown. In 2009 the 40% rate kicked in after £37,400 of taxable income and under a Conservative government in 2020 after a decade in office it would kick in at £37,500 (£50,000 – £12,500). A move in the right direction of £100…

Confused? Well the threshold drag has been a hard-to-headline stealthy massive tax hike by this government. With no other deductions and no change in the N.I. rate – which Guido suspects will be abolished in a final Lawsonian type reform towards which Osborne is ideologically inclined – the net take home figure would only be improved by some £2,100 for a £50,000 earner in 2020 compared to 2010 – a 4.2% relief. Whereas someone on minimum wages making £12,500 in 2020 compared to 2010 will see nearly a 100% improvement in their net take home pay…

(Thanks to bean-counting co-conspirator Q97 for help with the sums.)

Tax Rabbit Saves Dave's Conference

Guido has never seen a tax cut that he does not like so Cameron’s speech today was certainly lively. The hall loved it and Dave hit their sweet spots in a way he has not since before the last election. Personal allowance up, the threshold for 40% rate up from £41,000 to £50,000. More money kept in the pockets of millions of voters, but… 

Having said that, whatever happened to that last tax rabbit that the Tories plucked from a hat when in a tight spot? Inheritance tax threshold up to a million? 2007? Ring any bells? Guido will believe it when he sees it… 

It may unravel and billions in cuts will have to be found to pay for it all, but in terms of strategy it’s exactly what the Tories needed to do. After last week’s eighty minute snoozefest from Ed Miliband, it’s tough to see how Labour can avoid responding to these pledges directly. UKIP and the LibDems will moan that their ideas have been lifted, which will further please the blues. Over to you Ed…

 

UKIP Launch "Theresa May Tax"

A crass attempt at token Labour-vote stealing communism announced at UKIP conference today. A 25% tax on luxury goods such as £200 shoes, £1,000 handbags and £50,000 cars. UKIP sources are calling it the ‘Theresa May tax’. Claws out for the kitten heels…

Labour Yesterday Pledged to Use Mansion Tax to Reduce Deficit …Yet Today Miliband Says Money Raised Will Fund NHS

Both the BBC and Channel 4 News last night reported that Labour will pledge to pay for an increase in NHS funding with a ‘mansion tax’ on higher value homes. Last year Ed Miliband committed to spending the revenue raised from a mansion tax on the return of the 10p tax rate. And the 10p tax rate isn’t the only thing they have pledged to spend the mansion tax money on.

Just yesterday, Rachel Reeves told the Daily Politics that the money raised would go towards paying down the deficit. Fast forward to 1:30:

AN: “You’re inheriting a deficit of £75 billion.”

RR: “Child benefit is not the only thing that we’ve announced. The tax on properties worth more than two million pounds, repeating the bank bonus tax, increasing the top rate of tax back up to 50p, the winter fuel allowance not going to the richest pensioners, you add all those up, that adds up to several billion.”

Labour have now pledged to spend the mansion tax cash three times already. It’s the bankers’ bonus tax all over again…

Dave: Being a Conservative is About Tax and Spend

Discussing the fact that Britain’s poorly costed second aircraft carrier will see active service after all, Dave told the Commons earlier:

“In a nutshell really, that’s the difference between a socialist and a conservative. They dream about having money, where we raise it and spend it.”

Really, Prime Minister? Being a conservative is about raising tax and spending? Think that line might need a little work…

Chuka's Taxing Spin

Chuka Umunna is spinning hard in the Times this morning over Guido’s revelations about his tax avoidance adviser donor. A spokesman for two-faced Chuka says with a straight face:

“There’s no link [between Mr Umunna and Signature Tax]; there are Labour supporters in all walks of life who share the values of the party and donations do not influence policy. The donation has been made and declared in the normal way, in accordance with the rules.”

“No link between Mr Umunna and Signature Tax”, apart from the £2,500 they gave him. Chuka’s spinner says of the donor: “there are Labour supporters in all walks of life who share the values of the party”, Guido wonders if this refers to their penchant for offshore tax arrangements.

Incidentally, Signature Tax itself has a rather odd whiff about it too. No one answers when you call their phone number and their website could have been designed in five minutes by anyone with a laptop. Yet they found £2,500 to bung to Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary…

Chuka Takes Donation From Tax Avoidance Firm

Chuka Umunna has received a £2,500 donation from a firm which advises its clients on how to swerve HMRC rules to help them avoid tax. Signature Tax paid the sum two weeks ago, with the money “received through the Labour Party to support the office of Chuka Umunna”.

According to their website, Signature Tax specialise in “non-DOTAS tax schemes”, structures designed to avoid HMRC’s Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes regulations, which require those using tax avoidance schemes to inform the taxman. Accountancy Age explains how non-DOTAS schemes offered by Chuka’s donor bend the rules:

“Some of the (tax avoidance) promoters who used DOTAS numbers as tacit approval from HMRC initially, are now promoting schemes outside the DOTAS system. Some promoters are looking hard at their product lines and designing versions that escape the rules. Those rules have become so prescriptive, advisers say, that the longer they become, the easier they are to find holes in. For example, class action group Rebus claims to know of at least two promoters looking for non-DOTAS versions of old products.”

Signature Tax’s website also offers advice on “off shore” tax arrangements. Chuka has been a staunch opponent of such schemes, famously grilling former Barclay’s boss Bob Diamond over his bank’s offshore subsidiaries and urging him to close them down.

And who can forget when he called “on the chancellor to close in on tax avoidance, close in on tax loopholes and deliver greater tax justice.” Adding that: “It is time to close in on tax avoiders, recoup public money and ensure everyone in society pays their fair share.”

In light of this new information about his donor, will Chuka give the money back to avoid any allegations of massive hypocrisy?

Government Front Group Hires Lobbyist to Lobby Government

Save the Children is an organisation that gets 53% of its money from the government. You probably think of it is as a charity, yet it’s funding structure looks more like a quango that does a little fundraising on the side.

The group, that is dependent on handouts from the government, is looking to recruit somebody with a lavish salary and pension to lobby the same very government.

Round and round the money goes…

Premier League Already Pays £1.3 Billion in Tax Per Year

ed

Labour’s latest proposed tax on fun is a 5% compulsory levy on Premier League football TV revenues, announced by Harriet Harman this morning. The Premier League tell Guido that they already contribute £1.3 billion in tax revenues to the government annually, so it is inevitable that the cost will be passed on to fans. The cheapest season ticket at Arsenal for the coming year is £1,014, already a 3% hike on last year, while a Sky Sports TV package sets you back another £552 a year. Under Labour you would likely end up paying more. What cost of living crisis?

BBC Justifies Telly Poll Tax By Claiming Poor Watch More TV

The BBC claims that the licence fee poll tax is justified because poor people watch more television than better off households. With Director General Tony Hall appearing in front of the DCMS select committee this week, the Beeb’s Director of Policy James Heath blogged that a flat rate licence fee is fair on the poor because they watch so much TV:

“The argument for a uniform fee is that there is a direct link between the level of the service received by everyone, and the level of the charge made on everyone. While the licence fee does constitute a higher proportion of lower households’ expenditure, these households also consume more BBC TV than richer households.  As a proportion of household spending, the licence fee is lower than expenditure on many other household items, including transport services, communications, and fuel. Over the last five years the cost of many household items has gone up significantly in real terms while the cost of the licence fee has declined. The licence free represents a very small percentage of household expenditure – even for the lowest income decile, on average, the licence fee is around 1 percent of household spending.”

Dismissing people on a low incomes as a bunch of idle, square-eyed couch potatoes hardly seems in keeping with the liberal, progressive values of Aunty Beeb. If a right-winger patronised less well-off people by telling them a flat tax was value for money because they spend so much time in front of the telly, the Today programme would be in uproar…

The Death of the ‘Squeezed Middle’Miliband Ambushed By More Harman Comments

The last PMQs before the summer break is one of the most important of the year, as it leaves a lasting impression about the leaders before MPs disappear off for the summer to stew. Poor Ed.

[jwplatform src=”http://content.jwplatform.com/players/YaNDFA1M-mCjhiWMJ.js”]

Miliband was just ambushed by Cameron on Harriet Harman’s comments to LBC that she thinks middle income earners should pay more tax. She’s having a great week…

Unsurprisingly, the audio is now being pushed out:

[gigya src=”https://abfiles.s3.amazonaws.com/swf/default_player_10.swf” style=”background-color:transparent; display:block; box-shadow:0 0 1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.15); min-width:349px; max-width:700px;” flashvars=”image_option=none&imgURL=&link_color=steelblue&mp3Author=mresb&mp3Duration=5017.64&mp3LinkURL=https%3A%2F%2Faudioboo.fm%2Fboos%2F2329629-harman-raise-taxes-on-middle-classes&mp3Time=10.59am+16+Jul+2014&mp3Title=Harman%3A+Raise+taxes+on+middle+classes+&mp3URL=https%3A%2F%2Faudioboo.fm%2Fboos%2F2329629-harman-raise-taxes-on-middle-classes.mp3%3Fsource%3Dwordpress&player_theme=light&rootID=boo_player_1&show_title=true&waveimgURL=https%3A%2F%2Fd15mj6e6qmt1na.cloudfront.net%2Fi%2Fw%2F834031″ width=”480″ height=”150″ allowFullScreen=”true” wmode=”transparent”]

‘Yes I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes’

According to Ed, pointing this out the death of the ‘squeeze middle’ line is ‘desperate’. Expect to hear this line a lot more. Nightmare last outing before the long, hot summer…

UPDATE: The in-house journal of the Labour Party are not impressed:

Nor is the Tory press:

Bigmouth Strikes Again: Classic Hodge PwC Dodge

Question-dodging Margaret Hodge chaired a panel discussion in parliament this morning on tax transparency, wasting no time in piling into the ‘Big Four’ professional services companies for failing to use “copper bottom schemes” to prevent tax avoidance. Awkward then, that sitting two seats along from Hodge the Dodge on the panel is Shadow Exchequer Secretary Shabana Mahmood, who has just hired a new technical support analyst paid for by Big Four firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers. Indeed, a grand total of three Labour Shadow Treasury ministers have just brought in PwC staffers, paid for by the company, to help them with the Finance Bill. Not to mention Ed Balls, Chuka Umunna and a host of other Shadow ministers hiring from PwC in the past. The same Pricewaterhouse, of course, that Hodge herself used to work for. She really isn’t very good at this whole tax-y moralise-y thing, is she…

Cost of Taxation Crisis

Over the course of a year, the average British household pays more in tax than it spends on food, clothing, housing, fuel and power. As illustrated by this chart from the Taxpayers’ Alliance:

Click to enlarge.

Forget the cost of living crisis, Britain is facing a cost of taxation crisis…

WATCH: Gary and Dave in Happier Times

[jwplatform src=”http://content.jwplatform.com/players/m7IMQIUY-McbYz3Wd.js”]

“It does help having an internationally renowned pop star with you, I must remember to take one with me everywhere I go.”

“Got your lipstick mark still on my coffee cup…”[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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