Tory Lords and donors avoid tax in offshore schemes
Tory peers and a Treasury quango chief are among the latest names investing in tax avoidance schemes.
Last week HMRC published a list of 1,200 investment partnerships saying they could get £7.1 billion of tax.
Investors include Lord Sainsbury, chairman of Sainsbury’s supermarkets from 1969 to 1992.
Lord Sainsbury has been a Tory peer since 1989 and donated £1.2 million to the party in the past decade.
Another, Robin Budenberg became chief of UK Financial Investments after a career in banking. This was set up to manage our stake in Lloyds and RBS.
Lord Edmiston meanwhile made his money importing cars. He is the chairman of Birmingham-based
IM Group. Edmiston has donated £300,000 to the Tories and was given a peerage by David Cameron in 2010. He has founded three academy schools.
Others using different tax avoidance schemes include Sir James Dyson and Sir Ken Morrison.
There is Martin Read who received £27 million as head of the Logica software firm 1993-2007.
Insurance boss Edward Lumley has more than £100 million in Jersey trusts.
Jonathan Rothermere inherited the Daily Mail, through a Jersey trust, and a Bermuda-registered offshore entity. Jonathan is estimated to be worth £760 million.
Of course none of them has done anything wrong.
Isabella Acevedo is being held in Yarl’s Wood detention centre as Socialist Worker goes to press.
She was arrested at her daughter’s wedding last week.
Isabella worked for former immigration minister Mark Harper for seven years. Harper was responsible for the van adverts telling immigrants to ‘go home’. He was reappointed to the government last week.
Prince commits serial coin crime
Stingy royals are refusing to give workers paid breaks.
Prince Charles is currently advertising for a gardener for his Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire.
The prince has personal wealth of over £122 million.
The ad reads, “Core hours are 40 hours per week, worked between 8am and 5pm, with an unpaid meal break, with extra weekend duties required on a rota basis”.
Troublemaker has previously reported on the royal family’s coin scam. A comentrative £5 coin for the first birthday of the lovely prince George is available for a mere £80.
But the latest scam is a severe escalation. They now have a £2 coin which is available for a mere £650.
As the royal mint points out, this is “The Double-Sovereign 2014 Brilliant Uncirculated Coin” and is “a fitting tribute to the young prince”.
MPs grabbed a whopping £13,500 in free Wimbledon tickets from various hospitable donors.
Tory MP Mark Field was given £1,600 of tickets from Imperial Tobacco. Labour’s Harriet Harman, Chris Bryant and Clive Efford got £5,990 of free tickets from the All England Club.
The lights are on but Gove ain’t home
Much has been made of new Tory education secretary Nicky Morgan’s desire to get on better with teachers.
Morgan made her views on unions that fight clear just a few days into her new job.
Asked for an enduring memory from her childhood she replied, “Looking for candles at home in the late 1970s because of the power cuts. Trade unions at their worst.”
It’s not clear whether this was an accurate recollection, since most power cuts took place when Morgan was aged one.
But getting her facts wrong about unions should see her do well the cabinet.
Things went from bad to worse for Michael Gove last week. Days after being sacked as education secretary he got stuck in a toilet on his first full day in his new job as chief whip.
New leader of the Commons William Hague said, “Knowledge of who is in the toilets is a very important piece of information for any chief whip. I take this as evidence that he was carrying out his duties very assiduously.”
Home Office lose secret cop documents
Hundreds of Home Office files on a secret undercover police unit appear to have been lost or destroyed.
Neither Operation Herne, the police investigation into the unit’s activities, or the legal review led by Mark Ellison saw anything from the Home Office.
The Home Office financed the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) directly and its members were trained by MI5.
But an external review to report on the Home Office’s involvement said no papers are available—apparently.
Repeating the mistakes of Free Enterprise
In March 1987 the P&O ferry Herald of Free Enterprise sank outside Zeebrugge resulting in 188 deaths.
An inquiry was held which led to a number of safety improvements.
The Tories want to remove some of these regulations. A consultation document says the changes “may be seen as gold-plating”.
One is that ships need watertight emergency lockers that can be accessed if the ship capsizes. This is for things such as axes and ladders.
Another suggested removal is weighing of cargo to make sure a ship is not overloaded.