Its time we all faced up to a few truths.
The first and most important truth is that we need to get rid of accountants because they are clearly responsible for all financial crimes. Remember Ken Dodd being acquitted back in 1989. He was acquitted of tax evasion after he blamed it all on his accountant. (I’d give you a link to the news story, but it was in the days before the internet!)
Then just a few weeks ago the dishonest, untrustworthy football Manager Harry Redknapp was acquitted of tax offences after blaming his accountant ( or was it his dog Rosie?) Redknapp managed to persuade a jury that despite his going to Monaco to open a bank account, he knew nothing about monies in it. He blamed it all on his accountant and claimed he (Redknapp) was too stupid to understand finances.
Now, the latest person to blame his accountant is Ken
Liarstone Livingstone the Labour candidate to be Mayor of London. Crooked Ken is so popular that Labour Lord, entrepreneur and TV Star Lord Sugar has taken to Twitter to encourage Londoners to vote for anyone but Ken.
Livingstone is an incredibly hypocritical politician who is happy to use tax payers money to fund his lifestyle and when previously mayor he employed his partner and other cronies in non jobs at top salaries. He also has made public pronouncements about how disgraceful it is that some people avoid paying tax by for example setting up limited companies rather than being paid directly. (Remember tax avoidance is legal) So in recent weeks, it has come back to haunt him that he has set up a limited company to avoid paying income tax whilst he has been out of office.
Mr Livingstone, who has called tax avoiders “rich b******s” who should “not be allowed to vote,” has struggled to fend off charges of hypocrisy after The Sunday Telegraph revealed that he has avoided at least £50,000 in tax by channelling his earnings through a personal company, Silveta Ltd and paying corporation tax at 20 or 21 per cent rather than income tax at up to 50 per cent
This story has been in the media for weeks now and as the Mayoral elections are on 3rd May, this is a problem for Livingstone. He gave an interview to the London Evening Standard which was published on 19th April in which he is trying to play down the story. I just want to highlight one or two things said in that article.
Ken Livingstone today insisted he was simply clueless about his financial affairs — as he promised to publish his income every year to show he is not a tax-dodger.
In a bid to draw a line under the tax affair that has dogged his campaign to be Mayor of London, Labour’s candidate said he only hired an accountant because he “would have just screwed it up” himself.
Mr Livingstone has been accused of setting up a private company, Silveta Ltd, which allowed him to avoid paying at least £75,000 in tax. Today he claimed he was forced to employ the accountant following his defeat to Tory rival Boris Johnson in 2008 because he was touring the world advising mayors in South America, China and Africa — and could not manage all the different payments.
So, Livingstone is unable to manage handling payments from 3 sources? He is by his own worlds clueless about finances and would have screwed it up.
Hmm interesting claims by a man who expects the public to vote him into a role where he will be responsible for a budget of £14BILLION per annum! The amazing thing is that despite his own admissions, people are still even considering voting for him.
If you were in any doubt about Livingstone and finances, then this next quote will do nothing to reassure you.
In addition, he said he does not know how much his wife Emma Beal earns from their joint company
Livingstone is I understand a director of this company which effectively is made up of his and his wife’s earnings. To claim he does not know how much his partner earns is possibly an admission that he is not doing his role as a director in accordance with his legal duties.
Other claims by Livingstone are designed to appeal to people’s greed and stupidity. He says he will immediately cut fares on London Transport by 7% and thereafter freeze the fares. There is no explanation of where this money will come from. He claims there is a pot of money sitting there to enable him to do this, but has not explained what this pot of money is. There is a suggestion from some that this pot of money is the money that is funding the modernisation and improvement of the transport system. Sadly many people are greedy and like the idea of a 7% cut in fares. They are also too narrow minded to realise or care where this cut in fares will come from. A 7% cut in fares means a 7% reduction in income for TfL (Transport for London). This means either reduced money for TfL to pay wages or improvements or an increase in subsidy needed – i.e. an increase in council tax.
It may well be that it is appropriate for an increased subsidy and increased council tax to fund this, but Livingstone is not saying this. Sadly, the media are not challenging him over this and the issue is not properly debated.
The fact that Livingstone is still a realistic candidate for the Mayoral roles and that Ken Dodd and Harry Redknapp were acquitted of their tax charges goes to show how gullible people are much of the time. We have stories in the media that people react to after only reading the headlines and they fail to consider the papers/ TV/ media may have spun the story.
The moral is that in this day and age, the truth is irrelevant as long as you have good sound bites