Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/164/7846
BLAIR'S RICH FRIENDS AVOID TAX:
Labour Pampers Its Fat Cats
IN OPPOSITION, New Labour pledged that they would end the massive tax avoidance and corruption by the rich which was rife under the Tories.
Now they're in power Labour are no different; leading members of their party are bending every tax law to protect their millions stashed away in British and offshore accounts.
Former government minister, millionaire Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson, has had two of his luxury apartments in Cannes seized by the French authorities over a claim of £3.6 million unpaid taxes.
Cherie Blair and Gordon Brown have used these luxury apartments as holiday homes. Robinson also found some loose change to buy Peter Mandelson a £373,000 house in Notting Hill.
Multi-millionaire Lord Levy, one of the Labour Party's main fund-raisers, paid only £5,000 tax in 1998/99. This is about the same amount as somebody earning £21,000 a year would be expected to pay.
Levy pulled this off by roughing it for a year, doing 'unpaid' voluntary work. Not too rough mind you, he still maintained his London mansions, Bentleys and other trappings of a millionaire lifestyle.
How did he do this? He received £160,000, as repayment of a loan which he made to a company he owns, thus avoiding tax payment. This is within the law in Britain, but if a person on benefit or low pay tried to supplement their poverty payments by a bit of work on the side they would be prosecuted by this government.
Labour protects the rights of the rich to avoid billions of pounds tax payment a year, while it attacks and cuts the living standards of the low-paid, pensioners and those receiving benefits and disability benefits.
New Labour in government represents the interests of big business and the rich. The Socialist Party says MPs and government ministers should be accountable to working-class people and live on an average workers' wage. Labour look after the rich and ape their lifestyles too.
If the antics of Robinson and Levy sicken you; if you think they're as rotten to the core as the previous Tory administration, join the Socialist Party and fight for a real alternative.
In The Socialist 30 June 2000: