Socialist Worker

Secret Tory dinner donors gain from Osborne’s tax cuts

Issue No. 2440

Some of the prizes on auction at the Tories ball

Some of the prizes on auction at the Tories' ball


A dozen Tory donors are up to £15 million better off thanks to George Osborne’s tax cuts for the wealthy.

The fat cat party funders all benefited from the top rate tax slash of 5 percent. 

Senior Tories prepared to rub shoulders with top funders at the party’s annual Black and White Ball on Monday where tickets cost up to £1,500 a head.

Last year’s event attracted 570 Tory supporters worth £22 billion. 

The elite Leader’s Group of party funders put £50,000 or more a year each into Tory coffers. They are wined and dined by Cameron and his senior ministers.

Many gained more than they donated thanks to the Tories cutting the tax rate of people earning more than £150,000 from 50 percent  to 45 percent.

Hedge fund boss Andrew Law gave the Tories £300,000 last year. He may have saved nearly £5 million in tax from the whopping £97 million share of profits.

It means he could have saved up to £4,858,312 on his income tax thanks to the 5 percent cut, depending on when he was paid the sum. 

Another beneficiary is the family of oil tycoon Ayman Asfari. They could have saved more than £2 million in tax last year.

Income tax on dividend payments—profits dished out by companies—is lower than income tax on earnings. But it still fell by 5 percent for top earners in April 2013 to 37.5 percent.

That put an extra £100 million into the pockets of the richest people in the country. 


Taxing times for Labour researchers 

Finance bosses accused of promoting tax avoidance on an”industrial scale” are raking in multimillion pound salaries. 

Pricewaterhouse- Coopers’ (PwC) executive board shared £21.1 million last year—an average of £1.83 million each.

The accountancy giant was accused by MPs of helping global companies cut tax bills by shifting profits to Luxembourg.

Ikea and Coca-Cola are among the companies said to have taken PwC advice.

Margaret Hodge, Labour chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said, “They made £2 billion out of tax advice-mega-bucks.

“Too much of it is finding devious ways around stopping global companies paying their fair share.”

Which is fair enough, though Labour got some £540,000 in research assistance from PwC last year. 

And once upon a time Hoge used to work for them and still gets a pension from the company.


Care workers on less than the minimum

More than a tenth of UK care workers are being paid less than the national minimum wage of £6.50 an hour.

The Resolution Foundation think tank says about 160,000 people are losing out on an average of £815 each a year.

It said some firms wrongly did not pay staff when they travelled between clients, on training or when “on call”.

The total amount that care staff were missing out on was estimated to be about £130 million a year. 

The study did not take account of illegal deductions to pay which it said was “the most common reason for non?compliance”.


Snow joke for academy students

A primary school in Norfolk banned students from looking at the snow out the window. Blinds were drawn in the classrooms of Stalham Academy and the children were stopped from touching the snow.

In December Reverend Margaret McPhee stunned children attending a carol service at the school by announcing that Father Christmas was not real. Which as an expert on mythical beings she should know.


Ukip dinosaurs

A poll by YouGov shows a nation divided over whether the Natural History Museum should replace its diplodocus with a blue whale.

While 35 percent wanted the whale, 34 percent defended diplodocus and 31 percent just shrugged. 

A breakdown of the poll reveals that people who intend to vote for the Tories and Lib Dems are strongly pro-whale. 

Labour voters are torn, but Ukippers are extremely keen on dinosaurs.


Clegg it, the leader's coming

Panic broke out when it was mooted that Nick Clegg campaign in Hampstead and Kilburn. 

An aide to Maajid Nawaz the Lib Dem candidate wrote to his boss warning that it would hurt his chances. “You being associated with the leadership blunts the progress we are making,” he advised.

Clegg’s name and image have also been left off Lib Dem leaflets in Sheffield Hallam—his own constituency.


So hard to say goodbye

Greedy Tory MP Tim Yeo successfully coined it for 32 years before he was finally deselected by his party.

Salary, bumper expenses and many outside interests in energy industry are not enough.

Yeo has hired his wife Diane as his new assistant. Which means we are paying for her to pack his bags.


Benefits of honesty  

A Tory MP defended benefit sanctions that left an unemployed man starving because he was four minutes late for an appointment.

Mark Spencer said the hated regime of docking payments teaches job hunters about timekeeping.

Labour MP Lisa Nandy said that a constituent with learning difficulties was left with no electric or gas after his benefits were docked.

Spencer said, "It is important that those who are seeking employment learn the discipline of timekeeping, which is an important part of securing and keeping a job."


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