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Anorak | Ken Livingstone is the 1% standing with the 99%

Ken Livingstone is the 1% standing with the 99%

by | 27th, February 2012

KEN Livingstone wants to be London mayor. And he wants all elected officials to pay all taxes due. As he says:

“THESE rich bastards just don’t get it…No one should be allowed to vote in a British election, let alone sit in our Parliament, unless they are paying their full share of tax.”

Adding:

“[We should] sweep away tax scams and everybody should pay tax at the same rate on earnings and other income.”

Ken wants to show the electorate that he is not like his rival, Boris Johnson, who earns £250,000-a-year as a Telegraph columnist. Says Ken:

“I live a normal life, I have a normal home,” Mr Livingstone said at a debate last week. If you can’t live on £140,000 [the mayoral salary], you must have a very interesting lifestyle.”

The Telegraph has a look at Ken Livingstone and his wife, Emma Beal’s, personal company, Company Silveta Ltd.

Andrew Gilligan writes:

Accountants shown the documents by The Sunday Telegraph say the move appears designed to ensure that Mr Livingstone paid corporation tax at 20 or 21 per cent, rather than income tax at up to 40 per cent — a loophole the former mayor has himself attacked as “Robin Hood in reverse”.

We have no idea how Ken spends or invests his money. But the Telegraph is backing Boris. Furthermore:

Mr Livingstone’s latest accounts, for 2010, show he has almost £320,000 in cash in his company, Silveta Ltd, with earnings of £284,000 invoiced in that year alone. By leaving his earnings in his company, a shareholder can avoid large amounts of income tax.

Richard Murphy, an accountant and expert in tax avoidance, said: “Mr Livingstone chose not to pay out this profit to himself and his partner and, as such, the profits would only have been subject to corporation tax at 21 or 20 per cent in the company. Higher taxes would very likely have been paid on this income if it had been paid to the shareholders in 2009.”

Mr Livingstone said: “The company has paid [corporation] tax and when it pays me you pay an amount that is effectively the same rate as you would have done on income tax.”

Nothing illegal in this. It’s just that if you going to stand on a soap box and bang on about the injustice of tax rules and loop holes (and they don’t happen by accident), don’t you need to be an example to all of the ‘right’ way to behave? Still, the 99% could always do with another apparent 1%-er  to fight their corner



Posted: 27th, February 2012 | In: Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink