Hodge the dodge

In a PAC hearing on Wednesday about the BBC’s property estate and the issues raised in the recent National Audit Office report into how the corporation has managed it, Hodge asked director general, Tony Hall, trustee Nicholas Prettejohn and managing director of finance and operations, Anne Bulford, “what on earth” the BBC had done signing up to a property deal with something that she claimed was “clearly a tax avoidance scheme”.

Television Centre was sold to a consortium of developers and investors called Whitewood, including Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan UK and Alberta Investment Management Corporation, for about £200m in 2012.

Hodge said about 10 companies were involved and she was shocked that a public service institution such as the BBC had gone about the disposal of a publicly funded asset in such a way.

Sigh.

There’s two sides to every deal. Imagine that this really was tax avoidance (I have no idea if it was myself). Of that extra profit made by dodging tax some of it will flow through into the BBC’s coffers in the form of the tax dodgers offering a higher price for the asset. So, the reason is that the BBC got more money this way.

9 thoughts on “Hodge the dodge”

  1. Is this all the PAC does now?

    Wheeling countless people that Hodge doesn’t like in front of it so that she can scream “Tax avoidance!!” at them?

    Bit of an expensive ego trip, even for an MP.

    In passing, you should note of course, that if Hodge’s accountants practiced the opposite of tax avoidance, i.e. made her pay more tax than was required by law, she would, quite rightly, sue the pants off them (or her).

  2. So Much for Subtlety

    I don’t know. This is a tough one. Should the BBC be praised or condemned for saving money?

    Do I want more of my money to go to BBC TV programmes or to, say, Lesbian bereavement counsellors for Gay badgers or whatever? You know, I think the Brocks of the Rainbow Nation might well win out there. At least they only harm themselves.

  3. The BBC is obliged to get the best deal for licence payers, not the revenue. I doubt it does, but that is not the point.

    Why don’t the people who get dragged before this committee just tell her to go and fuck herself with a wire brush?

  4. Er, how can a body funded by tax avoid tax? That doesn’t even make sense. Any “tax” “paid” by the BBC is an accounting fiction, same as the income tax “paid” by state employees or the national insurance “paid” by people claiming benefits.

  5. she was shocked that a public service institution such as the BBC had gone about the disposal of a publicly funded asset in such a way.

    She doesn’t know much about how state bodies treat “public” property, does she?

  6. We are moving towards a climate where unless you organise your affairs so as to pay the mosy amount ox tax you possibly could, you will be accused of doing something underhand.

  7. bloke (not) in spain

    Jeez, Are they bringing in an ox tax now? Bit previous in our All Green – Back-To-The-Past -future transport agenda.
    Based on number of legs or greenhouse gas emissions?

  8. This reminds me of the offshore deal when Gordon Brown did a sale and leaseback deal on the Treasury building. Can they call him before the committee as well?

  9. So Much for Subtlety: “Do I want more of my money to go to BBC TV programmes or to, say, Lesbian bereavement counsellors for Gay badgers or whatever? You know, I think the Brocks of the Rainbow Nation might well win out there. At least they only harm themselves.”

    I reckon that I am too old to fantasise. So when SMFS goes on a fantasy trip, I stand aside and observe.

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