Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2792

Accounts in a most peculiar way make charity look very different today

Troublemaker looks at the week's news from missing taxes to energy bill scams
Issue 2792
NHS workers call day of action

Clapping for the NHS in south London (Pic: Guy Smallman)

A foundation set up in the name of Captain Sir Tom Moore paid tens of thousands of pounds to companies run by the ­fundraiser’s daughter and her husband.
One of the firms was ­registered only days before the charity was incorporated.

The Captain Tom Foundation was established in 2020 after the former army officer gained national attention with his pandemic fundraising.

It received more than £1 million in donations in its first year. Accounts for the charity published recently reveal that £54,039 has been paid to two companies run by Captain Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, and her husband, Colin. They also show that more money was spent on management costs than was given to charities. The accounts, covering its first year from 5 May 2020 to 31 May 2021, show the foundation handed out four donations to charities worth £40,000 each.

But it spent £209,433 on support costs including £162,336 on “management”.

The Charity Commission watchdog has a live regulatory compliance case—used to look into whether charities are acting in line with legal requirements—on the foundation. Ingram‑Moore was appointed a trustee of the charity on 1 February 2021 but resigned on 15 March, according to accounts.

Her husband, Colin, was appointed a trustee on the same date and remains in post on the board as the family’s representative. People can be paid for providing services to ­charities for which they serve as trustees. But Charity Commission guidance states that “the total number of trustees who are either receiving payment or who are connected to someone receiving payment are in a minority”.

For more than a month while Ingram-Moore was a trustee, she and her husband made up half of the total trustees.


Have the cops been caught in a bank robbery?

Avon and Somerset police force has been forced to refer itself for investigation.  Evidence suggested it connived with Lloyds bank over potential fraud at the firm’s recoveries unit in Bristol.

Documents appear to show that information about a confidential meeting between two senior police officers and alleged fraud victim Kashif Shabir was passed to the bank without his knowledge.

The documents show that Lloyds executives wrote in an internal memo, “They are meeting with Mr Shabir on Monday to tell him that they intend to close their enquiry with no further action intended” before the meeting had taken place.

However, Shabir said that at the meeting, police told him that his evidence was “compelling” and fraud investigators were being instructed.

Avon and Somerset’s police and crime commissioner Mark Shelford recently asked the force to look again at 92 similar allegations of fraud against Lloyds Recoveries.


We pay for failed energy companies

Detailed figures out last week showed that £68 of the average £693 energy price rise in April will be to cover customer credit balances that have been lost at failed energy companies. Everyone, including those who lost cash, pays a levy to compensate for the failures of privatisation.

In a publicly-owned system, energy companies don’t go bust. People don’t lose their credit balances, and 29 million homes do not need to pay £68.


Britain props up Cameroon corruption 

British diplomats believe Cameroon, a central African country with 27 million inhabitants, is run by just five men and that there is “extensive corruption.”

President Biya has ruled for nearly 40 years and governs mostly from a luxury hotel in Switzerland. But Britain conducted six secret counter‑terrorism operations in Cameroon last year, says the Declassified website.

This included British activity at a barracks in Cameroon’s far north, Salak, where Amnesty International says terrorism suspects were tortured. Britain is building training villages in Salak for elite Cameroon units. Those forces are also accused of severe human rights abuses against an English-speaking “Ambazonian” movement.

In response to fresh demands for autonomy from the Francophone central government in 2017, Amnesty says more than 20 peaceful protesters were shot and over 500 arbitrarily detained.


The HMRC tax office failed to collect £35 billion of taxes in  2019-20, according to the most recent data released last week, due to avoidance, evasion, and errors. That is £420 billion over the last 12 years. Instead of providing resources to HMRC to go after those responsible, the government has cut funding and increased taxes for ordinary workers.


Businesses should be allowed to privatise the moon and other parts of space according to a right wing think tank. The Adam Smith Institute says allowing property rights in space would boost the economy on Earth. It wants governments to divide the moon into parcels of land. The countries would then rent out smaller plots to individuals or businesses. In her paper “Space Invaders: Property Rights on the Moon” economic research consultant Rebecca Lowe suggests this issue “can’t and won’t remain a debate for long.”


Steel owners offer to pay tax bill, slowly

Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance is accused in court documents of offering to pay only £500 a month towards an unpaid £20 million British tax bill.Last week tax authorities filed petitions to wind up four of the industrialist’s businesses owing outstanding tax payments of £26.4 million. This could force Gupta’s Liberty Steel subsidiary into insolvency and put more than 2,000 jobs at risk.

The HMRC tax office court filing said that in a phone call in February, one of the entities, Speciality Steel UK (SSUK), which includes plants in Rotherham and Stocksbridge in Yorkshire, offered to pay £500 a month until July when it would know the outcome of a restructuring. The tax authority said in the filing that given the £19.8 million owed by SSUK, HMRC “feels that £500 per month is not a reasonable offer”. GFG has been looking to find funding and repay creditors since the collapse of its main lender, Greensill Capital.


Things they say

‘Brainwashing’

Tory education secretary Nadhim Zahawi claims schools are brainwashing children to be critical of the government

‘A whiff of Munich in the air’

Av-a-go defence secretary Ben Wallace gets overexcited about attacking anyone in war with Russia

‘It’s not the best time for us to offend our partners in the world, reminding them of this act which actually bought war’

Ukraine’s ambassador to the Britain is Vadym Prystaiko less convinced

‘Residents only’

New rules on the use of the Downing Street gardens to cut down on the number of parties

‘Brazen excuses were dreamed up. Day after day the public was asked to believe the unbelievable’

Former Tory prime minister John Major on the current one

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