Socialist Worker

The big tax dodgers that the Tories' list somehow forgot

Issue No. 2317


The government this week published a list of its “most wanted” tax dodgers—a rogues’ gallery of smugglers and VAT fraudsters.

But it seems the Tories accidentally left a few names off their hitlist. But here at Troublemaker we’re happy to lend a helping hand...

Sir Philip Green has an estimated fortune of over £4 billion. He even has a solid gold Monopoly set, each space inscribed with the name of a shop he owns.

But he pays no tax on his empire, because it’s registered in the name of his wife Tina, who lives in tax haven Monaco.

George Osborne, the chancellor, says tax dodging is “morally repugnant”. But most of his £4 million wealth is in an offshore trust.

Lord Ashcroft, the Tories’ bankroller, admitted he lived as a “non-dom” to avoid £100 million in tax.

In fact lots of Tory donors are at it. Michael Hintze’s hedge fund is registered offshore in Jersey. And former Tory treasurer Peter Cruddas lived in Monaco to avoid tax.

Gary Barlow got an OBE for the queen’s jubilee concert. He had money in one of the “Jimmy Carr” style offshore tax avoidance schemes. If the taxman would like any help tracking any of them down, drop us a line.


Sun for some

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband may have jetted off on their holidays for two weeks, but not everyone is so lucky. A survey found that one in four families cannot afford to take a holiday at all this year.


Third time lucky

Royal Mail painted postboxes gold in the hometowns of Olympic medallists. But bosses claimed they had to “limit” this to gold winners only.

So Troublemaker congratulates whoever painted a Lowestoft postbox bronze to celebrate the third place finish of boxer Anthony Ogogo. We went out to paint a few in tribute to socialists, but they were already red.


Tory not so sorry

A Tory councillor has had to apologise for putting a racist joke in a newsletter he edits. Norman Shiel printed a “gag” about dogs claiming benefits because they are “mixed in colour” and don’t speak English.

But he didn’t seem all that sorry. When it comes to not being able to offend, he said, “Sometimes I think things have gone too far.”


Who benefits from high uni fees? Well…

In the student movement of late 2010, the then NUS president Aaron Porter played a disgraceful role. First he condemned “violence” on protests. Then he spoke out against university occupations.

But it seems he still has a fan club, at least in one quarter. He is now an adviser to Pearson College—the first private university to be run by a FTSE 100 firm. The firm lists him as part of the “design panel” for its business degree.

This comes as news breaks that, in no small part thanks to Porter, the total cost of a university degree has soared to up to £53,000. That includes the £9,000 a year fees as well as the cost of accommodation, bills, books and equipment.

Meanwhile “Aaron Ross Porter Consultancy Ltd” is still offering training courses to vice chancellors and other university bosses for up to £8,500 a throw.

Since he’s getting his cut, perhaps students who find themselves penniless this year should ask Porter to chip in.


The luxury world of the Osborne family

Tory chancellor George Osborne’s folks are showing that there’s no austerity for some. His millionaire parents have just splashed out on a new £10 million mansion in West London—complete with “staff accommodation”.

They didn’t even bother to sell their current £15 million 1850s mansion first, even though it’s on the same street. And it’s not the first time 17th Baronet Sir Peter Osborne and Lady Felicity have splashed out.

In an interview earlier this year Peter talked of “unforgettable” holidays on the exclusive Caribbean island of Mustique, a playground for royals and the super-rich. Luckily Osborne junior then gave them a 5 percent tax cut.

If the Osbornes had looked across town to north London, they might have liked the place for sale on super-posh “Millionaries’ Row”. It has ten bathrooms—and CCTV controlled by iPad.


Record number are stuck in part time work

The Tory press has been celebrating that overall unemployment statistics went down slightly last week. But there was a sting in the tail of the figures. Eight million people are now working part time—the highest figure since records began in 1992.

Over a million say they want to work full-time but can’t find a job where they can do so. And the overall dip in unemployment was due to temporary Olympics jobs.


A&E patients told they face six hour wait

An A&E department told patients they couldn’t been seen for six hours, witnesses say. The patients were waiting at the Prince Charles hospital in Merthyr Tydfil at midnight.

They were told over the public address system that there would be no doctors available until 6am due to a shortage of staff. The patients included a man injured in a three-car pile-up. They were told they could go home and see their GP the next day instead.


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The Troublemaker
Tue 21 Aug 2012, 18:12 BST
Issue No. 2317
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