Labour team offered free advice from top accountants

Well, yes.

Nine members of Ed Miliband’s opposition team have received free help from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the accountancy giant that helps its clients avoid millions of pounds worth of tax a year.


Richard Murphy, an accountant who has campaigned against the use of tax havens by multinational companies, said that he was aware that PwC’s advice to politicians extended well beyond tax advice.

“This is about helping to formulate party policy, being a sounding board,” he said “The reason MPs do this is they have such small research budgets and they call in PwC to help fill the void. The danger, of course, is that you get party policy heavily influenced by PwC’s agenda.

“I am aware of occasions where PwC has even offered to write amendments to parliamentary bills on a politician’s behalf.”

But why don\’t they use Ritchie instead?

Because Ritchie charges for his reports of course…..


8 thoughts on “Labour team offered free advice from top accountants”

  1. Is that the only reason the Labour Party don’t use Ritchie’s advice ?

    You don’t think it is because the likes of Balls have spent ten years in the Treasury surrounded by clever and well-informed civil servants who have pointed out to Balls the errors in much of the Downham Market accountant’s research.

  2. Free help from PwC, eh?

    Labour have been down this route before when Arthur Andersen formulated policy for them prior to ’97. And slipped into cozy government contracts after the election. Revenge for Maggie banning them from government contracts after their failure over deLorean.

    Now what have PwC done to start smooching with Labour this time round?

  3. You may recall a section from one of Michael Moore’s films, in which he exposes how many US politicians hadn’t actually read the US PATRIOT Act, even though they were about to vote on it. I’m afraid UK tax law is pretty similar. It’s so voluminous and so complex, and our politicians simply don’t have time to read it all. No, even those whose job it is to sit on committees to review legislation are heavily reliant on volunteers, such as the Big 4, sprofessional bodies

  4. Sorry, phone splurged out a response before I was ready (how’s about a mobile friendly site, eh, Tim?)

    Anyway, we should thank pwc for helping make our tax laws better instead of beating them up again. No politician could reasonably be expected to read, comprehend and improve tax law alone.

  5. PwC provide pro bono tax and general advisory work to all 3 major parties in the UK. I am very sure of that.

  6. I believe that MPs are the only people allowed to claim tax relief on accountancy services obtained for the purposes of minimising ones tax bill. Because they voted for it, of course.

  7. Tim #6.

    Any business can deduct the cost of tax advice in arriving at their taxable profit. MPs are charging the advice to their office rather than to themselves personally.

  8. “I’m afraid UK tax law is pretty similar. It’s so voluminous and so complex, and our politicians simply don’t have time to read it all.”

    Tolly’s needs 14,000 pages to try and cover it. Can’t imagine any single person has actually read every single page and understood every single point.

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