Alex Hilton, all in it together, association, bill, candidate, cheat, club, Conservative, constituency, cut, Daily Mirror, David Cameron, deal, Downing Street, FCA, Financial Conduct Authority, fine, fund, Generation Rent, George Osborne, Grant Shapps, Hatfield, HM Revenue and Customs, hmrc, Michael Green, Mike Sivier, mikesivier, property, save, Sebastian Fox, secret, tax, Tories, Tory, Vox Political, Welwyn
Here’s a story to get you irritated and annoyed on a hot summer’s day: Your Prime Minister, his Chancellor and the chairman of their political party have all found novel property-based cheats.
According to the Daily Mirror, David Cameron and George Osborne have done a secret deal with the taxman to cut thousands of pounds off the tax they pay while they are living in their famous grace-and-favour homes on Downing Street.
Under the change, which HM Revenue and Customs has buried deep in the small print of its accounts, Cameron is saving a minimum of £1,228 a year, while Osborne’s bill has more than halved, saving him £1,560 a year.
The Mirror points out that this means Osborne is paying just £23 a week and Cameron no more than £35 to live at Britain’s most exclusive address, while the average rent in the UK is £195.
The paper quotes Alex Hilton, director of pressure group Generation Rent, who mocked the top Tories with their election slogan from 2010: “We’re blatantly not all in it together if the residents of Downing Street can wangle themselves a nice bonus while ordinary families are seeing their rent go up by more than wages.”
Meanwhile Grant Shapps, the Tory co-chairman who hid his own shady business deals behind the false names ‘Michael Green’ and ‘Sebastian Fox’ for the first four years of his Parliamentary career, has been receiving campaign funds from a Conservative club that has not submitted a tax return since 2009.
Conservative Club (Hatfield) Ltd has been fined £3,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority for its failure to produce accounts or name its officers. Despite these issues, it seems the club has been entirely able to provide £140,000 to fund Shapps as a candidate in his Welwyn Hatfield constituency.
Shapps has claimed the club is not connected to his local Conservative Association, which is odd – because not only is it based in the same building, paying rent to the association, but its members are all counted as members of the Conservative Party as well.
Was Shapps among the Conservatives who justified last year’s Gagging Act by claiming it was vital that the public had transparency from their MPs?
And didn’t Cameron say his government would be the most transparent ever, in its affairs?
Liars. Pigs with their snouts in the trough, all of them.
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