Polly Toynbee’s tax transparency by not being tax transparent – fail
POLLY Toynbee has called for everyone’s tax returns to be public information. To help things along she’s decided to release her own income figures:
Personal statement, to get in early: I have always advocated total tax transparency, and like George Monbiot, I am open about my own earnings: I was even asked about it by a parliamentary select committee so it’s on the record. Last year my Guardian pay was around £115,000. I have never had any kind of company, and I have always paid PAYE as an employee. I would welcome all journalists agreeing to transparency, especially those writing about the earnings of others.
No, sorry, I’m afraid that is something of a fail.
You see, what she’s listed there is her salary. It’s as if we looked at Boris Johnson’s tax affairs and only included his salary as Mayor. Which isn’t, as we know, quite what people have been looking at.
For Polly has other sources of income too. She’s published books which she most certainly has got paid for. She may or may not have been making a lot of money from them but she will most certainly have trousered a cheque or two for them.
She does freelance writing work (I’ve seen her pieces in other places than just The Guardian) and so there’s income from that. And there’s also all that BBC dosh.
Yes, really, you get a little fee every time you appear on the BBC. Not a lot, £50, £75, this sort of number, plus a car to take you to the studio and home again. You know, some poor sod has to pay their TV licence just to get Polly (or me!) onto local radio twice.
None of that income is covered by PAYE so we’ve not in fact been told about Polly’s income nor her taxes.
Then there’s the rate that Tuscan villas get rented out for to consider…..