Monday, January 03, 2011

New Year's Resolution 2011: Targeting Tax Thieves

I'm back from New Year in Wales.  What about those New Year's Resolutions then?  From UK Uncut  "Philip Green is a multi-billionaire businessman, who runs some of the biggest names on British high streets. His retail empire includes brands such as Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Miss Selfridge and British Home Stores.

Philip Green is not a non-dom. He lives in the UK. He works in the UK. He pays tax on his salary in the UK. All seems to be in order. Until you realise that Philip Green does not actually own any of the Arcadia group that he spends every day running. Instead, it is in the name of his wife who has not done a single day’s work for the company. Mrs Green lives in Monaco, where she pays not a penny of income tax.

In 2005 Philip Green awarded himself £1.2bn, the biggest paycheck in British corporate history. But this dividend payout was channeled through a network of offshore accounts, via tax havens in Jersey and eventually to Green’s wife’s Monaco bank account. The dodge saved Green, and cost the tax payer, close to £300m. This tax arrangement remains in place. Any time it takes his fancy, Green can pay himself huge sums of money without having to pay any tax.

Before the election, the Lib Dems liked to talk tough on tax avoiders. But as soon as they entered the coalition, this pre-election bluster became just another inconvenient promise they quietly forgot. In August David Cameron appointed the country’s most notorious serial-tax avoider to advise the government on how best to slash public spending. Not a single Lib Dem minister uttered a word of complaint. A Guardian editorial denounced this as “shameful”.

Philip Green’s £285m tax dodge could pay for: The full, hiked up £9,000 fees for almost 32,000 students. Pay the salaries of 20,000 NHS nurses.

And if that’s not reason enough to take action against Sir Philip, it is worth noting that he has built his £5bn fortune on the back of sweatshop labour, using Mauritius sweatshops where Sri Lankans, Indians and Bangladeshis toil 12 hours a day, six days a week, for minimal pay".  Hat-tip SERTUC


Anjona Roy said...

anyone reading this in Northamptonshire take note

Anonymous said...

Why do you call Mr Green a tax thief?. What do you call Mayor Sir Robin Wales squandering £120million on Building 1000?. Has n't be taxen money from our pockets?

So what if Mr Green, decides to find ways to save tax, at least he will use the money productively to create new businesses rather then squandering on pomp and luxuries for Building 1000.

Entrepreneurs like Mr Green should pay 0% tax on condition they re-invest the money to create new wealth, business and jobs.

But the rich always have accountants to stay one-step ahead of the tax man.

I am not against the rich paying tax, but the true wealth creators like our entrepreneurs should be excluded from tax.

So bankers and managing director of companies who simply have high salaries should pay high tax rate, but not entrpreneurs.

John Gray said...

Hi Anon

Don’t believe the nonsense and politically motivated rubbish about Building 1000.

How do you know Green is reinvesting this money? Or is he spending it on pop stars appearing at his parties? Is it right that he pays less tax as a % of income than the workers who clean his office get? This is moral and a political problem. Who decides if someone is a entrepreneur? Most Bankers and MD’s would call themselves this?

If you deliberately don’t pay your way according to your means you are a thief stealing from the poor and vulnerable