We’re being lectured by Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge, are we?

Vicious:

There’s a “for sale” sign hanging over Britain. The Pandora papers have exposed how secrecy, influence, property and other assets are freely available to the highest bidder. Huge data dumps like this provide an invaluable peek into the secret world of offshore finance and the way it is exploited by the world’s richest people. Yet again, the UK and its tax havens stand at the heart of the world’s tax avoidance and dirty money crises. Britain asks few questions, doesn’t care who you are, and doesn’t mind where your money comes from.

We now know that 35 current or former heads of state have exploited secrecy to avoid paying fair taxes, to hide their wealth from the population, or to launder money they have stolen from their own people into Britain and elsewhere. We’ve also learned that the Conservative party has received millions of pounds in donations from oligarchs in foreign jurisdictions, who used their wealth to gain access to and influence over our government leaders here in Britain.

Hmm, that’s the Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge, connected with Stemcor is it? That one? The Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge, who is the only publicly known and named user of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility over a family trust or summat?

Oh.

All of her actions are and were entirely and wholly legal in every jurisdiction. But then so are most to near all of those in the Pandora Papers.

10 thoughts on “We’re being lectured by Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge, are we?”

  1. My main issue with the off shore world is how ordinary people cannot really access it. Seems to be something that only those with the skills or with enough money can access and benefit from.
    What we really need is a finch company to create an app or service that lowers the barrier of entry so we all can benefit from it.

  2. I do agree with Salamander.

    If the UK is to provide refuge to the huge hordes of grifters that swarm in from the politically correct parts of the world, it might as well get some cash from the ones with money. It certainly needs it to pay for all the rest.

  3. “My main issue with the off shore world is how ordinary people cannot really access it. Seems to be something that only those with the skills or with enough money can access and benefit from.
    What we really need is a finch company to create an app or service that lowers the barrier of entry so we all can benefit from it.”

    That would be all very well, but what happens when Mrs Smith has puts her house into a Panamanian company and it all goes tits up somehow? If David Cameron loses millions in some offshore shenanigans no-one is going to care, but if millions of ordinary folk start losing their small amounts of cash or assets then that equals political pressure to ‘do something’.

  4. That would be all very well, but what happens when Mrs Smith has puts her house into a Panamanian company and it all goes tits up somehow?

    The use of non-UK resident companies as vehicles for holding property was an old stamp duty dodge as I recall, since you transferred the ownership of the shares on the foreign registry which did not trigger a taxable event in the UK. I thought Gideon put the mockers on that by making the transfer into an offshore entity a taxable event at far greater cost than the stamp duty cost making it all a bit moot.

    Might be some grandfathered properties which still benefit, but probably even those transfers are chargeable nowadays. Not having had a mega millions property in The Smoke I was never tempted to do this even before Gideon’s changes.

    Did St. Margaret and Thatcher and Dennis’ retirement home have this dodge? Or at least considered it?

  5. “The use of non-UK resident companies as vehicles for holding property was an old stamp duty dodge as I recall”

    Doesn’t need to be non-UK.

    If a UK company owns a property and you buy the company, you own the property. 0.5% Stamp Duty on the shares rather than whatever obscene amount of SDLT would be charged if you bought the property directly. I suspect that off-shore has more to do with privacy than avoiding the 0.5%.

    Used to be done with high-end residential property a lot but then they introduced ATED. The Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings.

    Whatever they like to pretend about favouring low taxes, the Conservatives have since 2010 brought in huge rafts of tax legislation to squeeze more tax from the wealthy. Most of it the sort of spite based policies I’d expect from Labour as it doesn’t bring in much tax in the grand scheme of things

  6. Tim, you should have copyrighted the phrase “Do as I say, not as I do” – it must be worth a small fortune

  7. How did it become surprising news that kings and dictators of impoverished third world countries pile up hoards of cash and other assets outside of their home countries?

  8. Ordinary people can do this sort of thing, but often won;’t benefit because they already have a special exception. For example, you could buy and sell your house via shell company, and that would save stamp duty, but when you sold at a profit (and house prices seem to rise quite fast) you would pay capital gains tax on the profit, which your main residence is exempt from. It’s only when you’re rich enough to be buying and selling extra properties as well as your home that you are exposed to tax and need to avoid it. Yes, it really is one law for the rich and another for the poor – just not the usualy way around that people think of it.

  9. Lady Hodge?
    A very successful business owner once commented to me that “I can trust a poor socialist – the poor schmuck might even believe all that guff – but I never trust a rich one: they know it’s all crap and lies, but they don’t care.”

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