Tax dodging MP condemns tax dodging celebs

Danny Alexander

Following the Jimmy Carr hoo ha last week treasury minister Danny Alexander took to our screens to lay into tax avoiders labelling them as “morally repugnant”. Lest there is any confusion this is the same Danny Alexander who cheated the Treasury out of a very significant wedge by “flipping” his house during the expenses scandal. The minister registered a London property as his second home in 2005 but declared it his main residence to the taxman. He then claimed over £37,000 of taxpayers’ money doing up property over the following two years. In 2007 he flogged it for £300,000, using a tax loophole to avoid paying the then 40% capital gains tax.

What’s baffling, beyond the obvious hypocrisy, is the contempt for peoples intelligence. Mate, you’re in the public eye. Your tax loop hole jiggery pokery is there spread all over The Google for people to see, like here. I’m almost in admiration of the sheer front involved in pointing to someone’s tax foibles whilst having your own T Rex sized tax skeleton so plainly on view.

Can I suggest that all politicians now stop talking about tax dodging unless you are prepared to seize the current tax regime and do something radical with it, like introduce a fair and transparent flat tax instead of using taxation to bribe various sections of the electorate when it suits you.  There are very few people out there who can open up their accounting affairs and not find some sort of fiddle, a meal here, a taxi receipt there, or a flipped central London flat with home improvements funded by Joe Public, so probably best leave it alone or grow some balls and make the changes that clearly need to be made.  If you show courage the electorate will reward you, why don’t our pygmy political elite get this?

4 replies
  1. Simon
    Simon says:

    I hope someone does have the balls to do this.

    As you say, very few politicians around who can lead this with a clear moral conscience. I Doubt it will be Danny Alexander, but if it is him, and he offers a mea culpa, I will allow him some credit.

  2. The Bloke
    The Bloke says:

    flat tax is the only real logical solution. it wins on so many levels but requires political balls, a trait sadly completely lacking in all our opinion poll led centre left parties.

  3. Kendall Walters
    Kendall Walters says:

    In the Times newspaper, chairman of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Margaret Hodge, wrote that tax avoidance practices which have emerged “wouldn’t look out of place in a banana republic”.

  4. Queen E. Head
    Queen E. Head says:

    Today, in the wake of such disproportionate government attention to the benefits scams of the poor as opposed to the infinitely greedier tax scams of the rich – to say nothing of his government’s overall economic record – Mr Cameron has lost much of the credibility he so painstakingly built up after 2006. His hold over the Tory party’s rightwing, never tight, has also loosened. As a result, Mr Cameron is under attack from the left, from people who think his economic moralising is selective and hypocritical, and from the right, from those who hate taxes and public services and who are outraged that a leader of Lady Thatcher’s party should start attacking a tax avoidance culture which has their unconditional backing. It hardly needs saying that it will be much harder for Mr Cameron to rebuild his credibility on financial fairness in 2012 than it was in 2006. But he is right to try. Now he needs to press forward and not to retreat. There is no more important test facing the Tory party.

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