Socialist Worker

Labour’s £1.6 million tax-free ‘gift’ leaves nasty Tory stain

Issue No. 2357

Prince Philip going down

The Labour Party shot itself in the foot in spectacular fashion last week as it was revealed that it received donations in forms that deliberately avoided tax. 

John Mills handed over £1.65 million worth of shares in his JML company to the party earlier this year.

In a stunning admission, the shopping channel owner said he came up with the “tax efficient” idea after talks with Labour officials.

Tax experts estimate that if he had made the donation in cash, Mills would first have to have earned £3.1 million and paid £1.46 million in tax.

But, with JML’s array of useful products, such as the Maxi Noodle Duck dog teaser and the Doktor Power cleaning kit, raking in the cash, Mills isn’t short of a bob or two.

The ensuing row over the donation has been a gift to the Tories.

They had become used to jibes at the tax affairs of their former party treasurer, Baron Ashcroft, who likes to stash his gains in the Belize tax haven.

Guffawing MPs are now able to mock Ed Miliband’s recent attacks on them—and upon multinationals, including Google—for avoiding tax.

The opposition  are “hypocrites,” they cried.

Before anyone gets too carried away, take a glance at the website of the Conservative Party Foundation website­—motto: Your Legacy, Your Party, Your Country.

Tucked away on it potential donors can find an array of ways in which they can avoid paying tax.

 In the section on leaving a gift after death, for example, party fundraisers boast they can help the wealthy few bring “the total value of the estate closer to the threshold so that any tax due can be reduced or even removed completely”.

With both parties up to their necks in filthy rich people’s money, perhaps JML’s 

Stainz R Out kit should be ordered immediately.

Fat cat funders

  1. Michael Spencer, owner of City investment firm, IPGL, has given the Tories over £806,000 over five years
  2. US hedge fund owner Louis Bacon found the Tories an extra £250,000
  3. Convicted fraudster Michael Brown gave the Lib Dems £2.4 million
  4. Dominoes Pizza boss Rumi Verjee loves the Lib Dems. He gave them £775,000
  5. Property tycoon Andrew Rosenfeld lent Labour £1 million

The beautiful game

Top footballer Lee Barnard is truly a “man of the people”.

After buying a 14-bed Essex mansion, he quickly fired off eviction notices to existing tenants to quit before his wedding.

The sick and disabled were not spared as Barnard threatened to cut off the power.

But his dream wedding came unstuck as lawyers insisted tenants could stay until after the big day. Shame.

Surrey's 142nd golf course

Marx famously described the ruling class as a “band of warring brothers”. But recent goings on in leafy Surrey reveal a new low.

Plans to build the county’s 142nd golf course on the estate of Lord Beaverbrook are creating near civil war. 

Apparently, developers expect “foreigners” to use the course.

Cuts hurting NHS? Nah, it’s women!

the thoroughly modern Conservative Party says it prides itself on being pro-women.

Unfortunately, the message doesn’t seem to have reached junior health minister, Anna Soubry.

She spoke out for equality last week by declaring the strains on the NHS are the “unintended consequences of a good number of women training to be doctors”.

Soubry was seconding comments made by fellow Tory MP Anne McIntosh, who called female doctors who had children “a tremendous burden”.

What a load of Tory (McIn)Tosh!

BBC 'cures' Clare Balding

Last week was  good for all sorts of  unbridled prejudice.

The BBC had to apologise for a radio “comedy” skit which talked of “curing” sports presenter Clare Balding of being a lesbian.

The Radio 5 Fighting Talk show featured an aptly named section entitled “Defend the indefensible”. It then featured a debate on whether Balding should “present the Derby topless”.

The masters of the ­universe hit Watford

Cars with blacked-out windows sped through gates at the Grove Hotel, near Watford, in Hertfordshire for the secretive meeting of the Bilderberg Group last week.

It was a gathering of the rich, the rotten and the powerful.

For years the subject of speculation and conspiracy theories, the organisers blinked into the light a little and issued a list of those attending. 

They included George Osborne, Ed Balls and Ken Clarke, who also sits on the group’s steering committee.

Also there were Lord Mandelson, Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google, and Peter Sutherland, the chairman of Goldman Sachs.

A late addition to the guest list was David Cameron who joined in on Friday though he hadn’t been on the list—perhaps he had to cancel a country supper to attend?

Don’t think of dying. You can’t afford it 

Everyone knows the cost of living is spiralling upwards while wages are being cut.

But new figures show that many of us are simply too poor to die.

Cremation fees can be as high as £3,464 in the City of London and £1,655 in Merseyside.

Fees have risen by between as much as 10 percent over the last year.

Surely that’s another reason why we all deserve a living wage?

Say ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to healthy food

Those meddling European Union (EU) bureaucrats are at it again—this time forcing the Germans to get rid of their longest word.

The word Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz has been with us since 1999, but it is now no more.

It referred to the testing of cows for disease in abattoirs before slaughter­.

Reassuringly, the EU hasn’t simply abolished the word.

It has scrapped the safety test too.

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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 11 Jun 2013, 17:35 BST
Issue No. 2357
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