Private Eye on the Tax Avoiders in Cameron’s ‘Business Council’

I mentioned in the last post on the Daily Mail’s hypocrisy in demanding that Kraft foods stop avoiding paying British taxes, while its owner, Lord Rothermere, is another tax dodger using the non-dom status inherited from his father. The right-wing press was outraged this week by Ed Miliband’s statement on Wednesday that he was going to end the non-dom tax loophole that allows Rothermere, and others like him, to avoid paying tax. They claimed that it would drive senior businessmen out of the country.

Way back in their issue for the 15th – 29th October 2010 Private Eye published a brief article on the numbers of businessmen avoiding taxes through offshore companies and the like. They were a refutation of Cameron’s continued refrain that ‘we are all in it together’, and that everyone was suffering equally during the recession. They had also benefitted personally from Cameron by being selected for his business council.

David “We’re all in this together” Cameron has chosen a patriotic bunch to sit on his “business council”.

One of them, Martin Sorrell, has already moved his company, advertising group WPP, offshore to avoid tax; while Paul Walsh, of drinks company Diageo, has threatened to do the same.

His company already diverts most of its profits out of the taxman’s grasp, having “offshored” ownership of British drinks brands such as Johnnie Walker. A similar ruse helps drugs giants GlaxoSmithKline avoid millions of pounds of tax, but that hasn’t stopped its chief executive, Andrew Witty, from joining Cameron’s council as well.

Also among the business sages is the man behind a great deal of such dodging over a decade at the top of one of Britain’s biggest beancounters, KPMG, Sir Mike Rake.

The captains of industry will no doubt have been pleased to note the shift in rhetoric on tax dodging from chancellor George Osborne in his party conference speech. Gone was the “immorality” of (legal) tax avoidance that his Lib Dem deputy Danny Alexander had condemned the week before. In a carefully worded speech, Osborne’s ire was conspicuously directed only at illegal “tax evasion”. This gives Britain’s top businessmen – not to mentioned the hedge fund managers and beancounters who have funded the Tories so generously over the last year – plenty of room to squirrel a few billion away while remaining on the right side of Nos 10 and 11 Downing Street.

The attack on the tax evaders is pretty much an attack on Tory donors. It shows that Ed Miliband himself is independent of at least some of the corporate interest that New Labour also competed with the Tories for. and it also shows the deep, self-interest of the Tory party and their mouthpieces in the British press in moaning about the potential loss of income for these extremely rich men.

As Mike has shown again and again on his articles on some of the prize specimens of Tory MPs, many of them, from Jacob Rees-Mogg to education minister Nicky Morgan and the Wicked Witch of the Wirral, Esther McLie, vigorously demand tax cuts for the rich, and the transferal of the tax burden to the poor through VAT.

It’s not enough that the rich should get richer. They want the poor to get poorer. It’s one of the reasons why they should be voted out next May.

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6 Responses to “Private Eye on the Tax Avoiders in Cameron’s ‘Business Council’”

  1. jeffrey davies Says:

    when the 99percent who aint rich pay their taxes then those whi don’t should be shown the door sorry either pay your taxes or live else were jeff3

    • beastrabban Says:

      Yep. And I remember any number of rich people saying that they’d leave Britain if Labour got in because they feared a tax rise. And when Labour did get in, they stayed put.

  2. sdbast Says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  3. patricknelson750 Says:

    Reblogged this on patricknelson750.

  4. Chris Says:

    Firms quite legally avoid billions in taxes every year, far more than any of the minority super rich.

    The Salary Sacrifice System drags the working poor below the Lower Earnings Level.

    This means the working poor do not get the automatic National Insurance credits.

    So fall out of the welfare state and will get
    NIL STATE PENSION.
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    The working poor in the majority of new jobs
    that are low waged part time or low income self employed
    will suffer the same permanent sanctions
    coming with Universal Credit.

    Hardship Payments will become recoverable loans against future benefit or wages by direct deductions by court action.

    Universal Credit will sanction part time workers for failing to do the impossible of gaining full time hours.

    IF YOU WANT TO GET RID OF TORIES
    HERE ARE EXAMPLES HOW SMALL PARTIES
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    If you want rid of IAIN DUNCAN SMITH
    Chingford and Wood Green (London)

    Tories won with 22,734 votes in 2010

    21,725 did not vote in 2010

    9,780 votes wasted on Labour in 2010
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    VOTE CLASS WAR

    Liza McKenzie

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    NOW THAT HAS GOT TO BE A MUST, PLEASE …… !!

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  5. A6er Says:

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

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