Socialist Worker

Tories make tax cuts to save themselves cash

by Tom Walker
Issue No. 2296

It wasn’t just the Tories’ rich chums who pocketed big sums from George Osborne’s tax cuts last week—the cabinet got some extra cash too.

The tax cut means anyone paid more than £150,000 a year will see the top rate fall from 50p in the pound to 45p.

Wealthy chancellor George Osborne denied that he had just handed himself a tax cut.

“My salary is less than the £150,000 threshold,” he claimed when questioned. “I’m not personally affected.”

But questions immediatly arose about how he might have managed that.

Osborne, real name Gideon, is paid £134,565 a year for being a cabinet minister.

He also makes money by renting out a London home—thought to be the house in Notting Hill that his family lived in before they moved into Downing Street.

He has not declared how much this is, but it would be a very low rent for the £3 million home if it did not take his income over the threshold.

And on top of that, he owns 15 percent of his family’s posh £90-a-roll wallpaper firm, Osborne & Little.

The company paid out £1,476,720 in dividends in 2010—so around £221,500 would have gone to Osborne.

However, he would not have paid tax on this if it was ploughed into the offshore trust fund that controls his share of the firm.

This fund makes up much of Osborne’s estimated £4 million wealth.

Osborne said in his budget speech, “I regard tax evasion, and indeed aggressive tax avoidance, as morally repugnant.”

Presumably he feels that his is a more gentle form of tax avoidance.

Cameron's cash

David Cameron gets £142,000 as his base salary for being prime minister—and also rents out a house.

Aides ended up admitting that he does pay the 50p rate and will personally benefit from Osborne’s tax cut.

It’s alright for some.

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Article information

Tue 27 Mar 2012, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2296
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