Taxing questions for candidates

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They say “two ‘eds are better than one”, but I’m not sure on which planet ‘Two Eds Labour’ lives.

Tax laws are cunningly devised, written and signed off entirely by our politicians. They alone create (planned or unintentionally) loop-holes which allow lawful tax avoidance: the tax-man is obliged by law to advise of lawful tax avoidance, which includes ISAs. Yet as Gordon Brown (and his two Eds ‘Special Advisers’) introduced ISAs in 1999, Labour insists these are not ‘Tax avoidance’ because they were ‘designed to avoid tax’ due on interest earned. Confused? Even ‘Tolleys’ (the ‘Bible’ on tax matters) doubled in size to 800 odd pages to interpret Gordon Brown’s taxes!

Labour insists on fair taxation for all. Here are four plausible scenarios which could have existed under Labour:

A, self-employed, hard working, willingly works 60hrs a week deservedly earning £149,999 p/a, thus avoiding Labour’s 50% tax. He rewards himself with a new TV (20% VAT) and saves into a taxable Building Society Account.

B works 16hrs/wk on the minimum wage and gets every state benefit going. He would need to earn £350/wk to be better off. He buys a second-hand TV, VAT-free.

C risks £2 from his tax-free earned income of £6,100 (paying 11% NI) and wins £1 million on the lottery and £1 million on an old nag in the 2.30, tax-free. He invests in tax-free ISAs, ERNIE, UK Government bonds, living off tax-free interest and capital-gains (on the £2), never working again. He buys second-hand, holidays in Switzerland, has a declared Swiss bank account and will get a tax-free UK pension.

D runs a franchised food shop in Britain, making minimal profit and lawfully buying goods (at lower VAT) from the franchise holder lawfully based in Luxembourg under EU rules which pays lower corporate taxes to Luxembourg.

Our PPCs should easily be able to answer without filibustering, blaming the others or collecting £200 as they pass ‘Go’:

Q.1: Who is lawfully avoiding paying their fair tax?

Q.2: Who is the mug? A, B, C or D...?

Over to our PPCs!

Barry M Jones

Bixley Lane, Beckley