Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’

Private Eye on Daily Mail’s Hypocrisy over Tax Avoidance

April 10, 2015

Ed Miliband this week announced he was to abolish the non-dom tax bracket, that allows businessmen and others to avoid paying taxes in this country on the grounds they are living abroad. One of the most notorious beneficiaries of this arrangement has been Lord Rothermere, the owner of the Daily Mail. Rothermere inherited his non-dom status from his father, who lived for most of his life in France. The current Lord Rothermere, however, shows every evidence of living in Britain, even building what amounts to his own stately home.

I put up Private Eye’s article on how Rothermere was using his non-dom status to avoid paying tax on his millions. And on Wednesday, the day that Miliband announced his policy, it was by far and away the most popular article on this blog.

It’s almost needless to say that Miliband’s policy was much less popular with the right-wing press, who all harrumphed about how this was going to harm Britain by driving all the non-domiciled rich titans of industry and Lord Rothermere away. Yet Rothermere’s mighty organ, the Daily Mail, has also shown the immense hypocrisy it’s known for by attacking other companies for avoiding UK tax.

In 2010 it launched a campaign against Kraft foods, which Private Eye reported and criticised in a brief article in its issue for the 23rd December.

“If you won’t pay our taxes, we won’t eat your cheese, Kraft.” So runs the Mail on Sunday’s campaign against the US firm that has taken over Cadbury and is transferring ownership of some of Britain’s favourite brands to Switzerland to avoid tax.

Another internationally tax-efficient company of course is the Daily Mail and General Trust, owned through a Bermudan company and a series of offshore trusts so that the principal beneficiary, the “non-domiciled” Lord Rothermere, can avoid tax on his income from the group.

“If you won’t pay our taxes, we won’t buy your paper, Rother5s”, runs nobody’s campaign at all…

The Mail was absolutely right in that Kraft should pay taxes in Britain for profits raised through its British firms. As should the Daily Mail, who, after running this campaign, should keep resolutely silent about Miliband’s campaign to end the non-dom tax breaks.