Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The left and tax avoidance.

Well, we sort of knew this anyway, But we have had it confirmed in the Telegraph that 148 BBC performers may have avoided paying their "fair share" of tax, it says :

"In evidence to the Public Accounts Committee, the BBC admitted that 148 of its 467 “on screen” presenters were paid through “personal service” firms rather than as ordinary employees.
Being paid in this fashion allows the employee to be taxed in part at the corporation tax rate of 21 per cent rather than pay as much as 50 per cent in income tax."

The first thing i will say and point out is that at no stage is anyone claiming that they have done anything illegal. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal.

The second point i would like to make is this whole "fair share" non-debate. From what i see their is no "fair share" defined in law, There is only a amount that you are required to pay by law. Do you pay £1000 when the law says you only have to pay £600? Of course not! You pay what the law says.David Cameron
may say that tax avoidance is "morally wrong " but it is not illegal.

Back to the Telegraph piece and it quotes Mrs Hodge as saying:

 “The BBC is funded through the taxpayer, through the licence fee, and that makes a completely different set of circumstances. It is utterly unacceptable for anybody to be on a contract that avoids tax.”

Nice logic, Now are not Members of Parliament funded through the taxpayer, I wonder what words of advice Mrs Hodge has for David Miliband and Ed Miliband :

"There a cracking story in Andrew Pierce's column in the Daily Mail this morning (hat tip Guido Fawkes) about a tax avoidance scheme apparently set up by David Miliband. In order to minimise the amount of tax he pays, he's said to have established a company called 'The Office of David Miliband Limited' through which he channels his non-Parliamentary earnings. That way, when he receives a fee of £25,000 for a public speaking engagement, as he did recently in Abu Dhabi, he only has to pay 20% in corporation tax, rather than the standard 40% in income tax he'd have to pay as a high-rate taxpayer.
As regular readers of this blog will know, I don't think there's anything wrong with tax avoidance. I would no more condemn David Miliband's alleged efforts to pay less tax, than I would the scheme he and his brother cooked up to avoid paying more than they had to in inheritance tax when their Marxist father, Ralph Miliband, bequeathed them a £1.5 million house in Primrose Hill."

Ed Miliband said in this piece :

"I'm not in favour of tax avoidance obviously, but I don't think it is for politicians to lecture people about morality.I think what the politicians need to do is - if the wrong thing is happening - change the law to prevent that tax avoidance happening and I think that is the right course the Government should take."

Ed says he is not in favour of tax avoidance, yet both he and his brother benefited from it.

I now fully expect Uk Uncut to be protesting outside the BBC and outside Labour HQ with immediate effect!

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