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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 February 2015

Them & Us

Vanilla fudge

Ed Miliband claimed a political victory after Lord Fink retracted his threat to sue the Labour leader who, in a parliamentary bun fight with Prime Minister David Cameron, had accused him of being a "dodgy donor" to the Tories.

Former Tory party treasurer Lord Fink, who gave 3 million to his party, is named on the HSBC tax avoiders list but claimed he had only set it up to 'pay for the groceries' during his stay in Switzerland. Later, Fink's admitted engaging in 'mild' or "vanilla, bland" tax avoidance, as "everyone" does

However, before Miliband gets too smug perhaps he should explain Lord Paul's 500,000 donation and 2 million loan to the Labour party? Once a Labour peer, Lord Paul is also a named client of HSBC's Swiss branch. Does he not qualify as a 'dodgy donor'?

By your friends...

HSBC banking giant is in the doghouse but there's another tax avoidance tale. It's about the cosy relationship between global accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Tories. Oh yes, and Labour.

MPs on the Public Accounts Committee have accused PwC of promoting tax avoidance by multinational companies "on an industrial scale" while enjoying lucrative government contracts.

PwC provided the Tories with staff technical support and professional advice worth 290,000 before the 2010 general election. However, it seems that PwC has hedged its bets by providing researchers to the offices of shadow chancellor Ed Balls and shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna worth a total of 163,000.

Exclusive advice

Speaking of tax avoidance... Cameron's wife, Samantha, works as an 'advisor' to luxury stationers Smythson. This company is owned via a holding company in Luxemburg and linked to a trust fund in Guernsey, both tax havens.

It's all Balls

In the wake of the HMRC scandal Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls says Labour will crack down on tax dodgers. However, the party's track record in office doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

The number of 'non-doms' (typically, super-rich residents who claim 'non-domiciled' status to avoid paying taxes) in the UK exploded under Labour's Tony Blair premiership. They rose from 67,600 to 137,000 between 1997 and 2007. Fellow minister Peter Mandelson said the government was "intensely relaxed about people becoming filthy rich", so long as they paid their taxes.

What we saw

The Chancellor's advice - how to avoid paying taxes!

Tory Chancellor George Osborne back in 2003 on BBC2's Daily Politics show advising viewers to use "clever financial products" to avoid paying inheritance tax and care costs!

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 18 February 2015:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Workers' pay down 2,500... Bosses' pay up 700,000

HSBC tax dodging scandal

How the super-rich get away with it

Them & Us

Socialist Party congress

Preparing the forces to fight capitalist austerity

International socialist news and analysis

Greece: If the Troika does not back down?

"Dogs of war" unleashed against water tax movement

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

"Vote for hope and an alternative"

"I want to tell the truth about the crime of austerity"

Socialist Party election appeal

Socialist Party workplace news

Support the firefighters

Lewisham: striking against 'academisation'

London bus strike suspended - prepare for more action

Protest wins reinstatement of Crossrail worker

Tories' probation disaster

Fighting for a 10 minimum wage

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fighting racism with Solidarity Street

Labour council to deal 'savage blow' to Coventry

Campaign news in brief

May Day greetings with the Socialist

Socialist Party comments and reviews

"Driver, why are you late?"

Decades of disastrous and bloody interventions

Shallow look at racist far right

Individual registration excludes voters...


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