Tag Archives: billionaire

New Tory law to sanction Russians actually lets them off the hook

Boris Johnson and Alexander Temerko: You can imagine the conversation – “Don’t worry Alex, the fix is in so you can keep donating hundreds of thousands of quid to us via Aquind Ltd.

A law to harden and quicken UK sanctions against allies of Vladimir Putin that was fast-tracked through the House of Commons contains a clause to get them all off the hook.

The Economic Crime Bill intends to end anonymity for foreign billionaires who own land and other assets in the UK, making it harder for them to launder money into the country. Apparently they’ll be named on a register and that will stop them.

But Section 18 of the Economic Crime Bill, “Exemptions”, states:

“The Secretary of State may, by giving written notice to a person, exempt the person under this section if satisfied that to do so is necessary – (a) in the interests of national security; (b) in the interests of the economic wellbeing of the United Kingdom; (c) for the purposes of preventing or detecting serious crime.”

The Secretary of State, at the moment, is Priti Patel.

You see the problem?

The Bill makes it entirely possible for Russian oligarchs with close connections to members of the government like, perhaps, Boris Johnson to persuade them that transparency would force them to remove their assets from the UK and therefore harm the economy, and that it is in the UK’s economic interest for their identities to remain confidential.

This encourages This Writer to reason that the government has never intended to sanction Russians with close connections to it; we know no sanctions have been imposed on Russians who have donated money to the Conservative Party or any of its MPs, and now we see that the new clampdown Bill is designed to exempt them from any penalties.

This is more evidence that although the Johnson government says it supports Ukraine, it is in fact on the side of the Russians who pay their drinks bills.

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Johnson’s sanctions hesitation lets Russians make $423 million AFTER invasion of Ukraine

Let the money flow, says Johnson: it’s all going into the pockets of his Russian friends – at a time when Western governments are supposed to be cutting off the flow of money into Russia.

File this under: evidence that Boris Johnson is an asset of the Russian government.

Four Russian-born oligarchs have raked in $423 million in dividends on shares in Russian companies on the UK stock exchange, after the UK imposed sanctions on Russian firms.

How were Roman Abramovich, Alexander Abramov, Aleksandr Frolov and Alexander Nesis able to have the payouts from Evraz and Polymetal? Simple.

Those firms weren’t on Boris Johnson’s list of those to be sanctioned.

In total, the four named billionaires have received $4.5billion (£3.4billion) in payouts from the FTSE100-listed Russian commodities giants since the Tory government of the day failed to act decisively on them after Russia annexed the Crimea in 2014.

None of the four billionaires have been sanctioned either.

It seems Boris Johnson – and his government – deliberately pretended to be imposing heavy sanctions while doing nothing of the sort… wouldn’t you agree?

Source: Oligarchs take £3bn in dividends from Britain | This is Money

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More than 600,000 jobs lost – so 45 fat cats can increase their wealth by £25 billion?

Loadsamoney: and Boris Johnson has been spaffing it up the wall on furlough schemes so his big business pals can make a killing from Covid-19, it seems.

Covid-19 has had remarkably divergent effects on people, depending on their status in our society.

At the bottom, more than 600,000 people have lost their jobs:

The number of paid employees in the UK fell by 449,000 between March and April 2020 and early estimates suggest that a further 163,000 people lost their jobs in April.

It is believed that this number would have been much higher if not for the Government’s furlough scheme, and other support measures introduced to help businesses.

But with this scheme due to be wound down from August, it is feared that the UK could yet see a second spike in job losses and a subsequent rise in unemployment.

The data also shows a significant drop in median pay and recent wage growth has been reversed. Early estimates for May suggest that median monthly pay fell by 1.8% to £1,778 and the rate of growth in median pay became negative in April, falling to minus 0.75%.

So more people are unemployed and those who have kept their jobs have endured a drop in pay.

Meanwhile, at the top:

Britain’s billionaires have seen their fortunes soar by £25bn during the coronavirus lockdown – while some are criticised for using millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash to pay wages of the staff in their companies.

New analysis shows 45 of the richest in the UK have seen their Covid-19 pandemic wealth snowballing by 20%.

Analysis shows the collective wealth of Britain’s richest since five days before the coronavirus lockdown at the end of March has risen from £121.57bn to £146.61bn.

It comes as Britain’s economy shrank by a record 20.4% in April as the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown triggered an economic crash three times greater than the 2008 financial crisis.

It seems the secret of their success is to have multiple business interests – and to take advantage of the government’s furlough scheme to get taxpayers to subsidise their payrolls.

The biggest winner, according to a study of Forbes data tracking billionaire wealth, is James Ratcliffe. He’s founder, chairman and majority owner of chemical giant Ineos, with wide North Sea energy interests.

Mr Ratcliffe’s net worth has risen from £8.75bn to £13.83bn. He has taken advantage of the government scheme to furlough almost 800 members of staff from his luxury hotel groups Home Grown and Lime Wood.

Under the scheme the State covers up to 80 per cent of the salaries of staff if companies keep them on the payroll. The payments are capped at £2,500 a month for each employee.

So he continues coining it from his energy firm, with lower outgoings because public money is funding his hotel staff.

Was this the intention?

It’s a valid question.

We were told the furlough scheme was to protect businesses and jobs, and that they would go to the wall without it.

But we see that the people behind the biggest businesses – who are therefore taking the most advantage of the furlough scheme – are raking in astronomical amounts of money.

Meanwhile the rest of us go without, and the national Treasury is emptied, meaning the poorest of us (again) will be told to pay more for the services the richest of us have received.

It’s wrong.

Nobody should be profiting from a pandemic that has killed nearly 70,000 people.

Perhaps Marcus Rashford should start campaigning for a windfall tax on the UK’s super-rich?

Source: Over 600,000 jobs lost to COVID-19 as Labour calls for an urgent ‘Back To Work’ budget – Welfare Weekly

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Protesters clash with police on march against austerity

[Picture: Huffington Post]

[Picture: Huffington Post]

Violence marred the Million Mask March in London – with the clashes apparently started by British police.

But you should not expect to see the spectacle reported on the news as the BBC and other right-wing media seem to have put their heads in the (proverbial) sand and, once again, failed to report anything that might indicate the British people are not happy with their government.

Thousands of people took to the streets, many wearing what is now seen as the symbol of protest against austerity cuts imposed by the rich – the Guy Fawkes mask made famous by the graphic novel ‘V for Vendetta’.

[Picture: Million Mask March London Facebook page]

[Picture: Million Mask March London Facebook page]

Comedian Russell Brand, who has called for non-violent revolution, was spotted at the London protest.

Inevitably, someone had to spoil it and it seems the police were the aggressors.

According to the Huffington Post, an eyewitness said: “They [the police] started shouting move back, move back, but we had nowhere to go. The police started pushing us, screaming ‘move back, move back’. There was a fire on the right hand side of the monument [the Victoria Memorial near Buckingham Palace] and people started throwing things.”

The HuffPost reported: “The event is part of a Million Mask March, with similar protests being held in cities around the world. A Facebook page promoting the protest called for Anonymous, WikiLeaks, the Pirate Party, and Occupy to “defend humanity”.

“‘Remember who your enemies are: Billionaires who own banks and corporations who corrupt politicians who enslave the people in injustice,’ it read.”

If any Vox Political readers were at the march – or at any of the many others around the world – please tell us about it. Let us know what the mainstream news reporters aren’t telling us.