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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 March 2010

Fast news

Taxing issue

AFTER YEARS of dodging the question, Tory grandee and fundraiser Lord Ashcroft, has revealed that he is indeed a tax-exempt 'non-dom'.

His company Bearwood Corporate Services Limited has been the largest single contributor to the Tories since 2005.

The Tory deputy party chairman's non-domicile status means that he has not paid a penny in tax on his substantial overseas earnings and holdings (estimated at 1.1 billion) as he is registered in the Central American tax haven of Belize. He also is its permanent UN representative.

Ashcroft was given a peerage under Tony Blair's government in 2000. His title was conditional on giving up his Belize residency, something that he has only now agreed to do in anticipation of the release of information on his peerage by the Cabinet Office.

A red-faced David Cameron, all too aware of his narrowing poll lead over Labour, winced: "You have to respect people's privacy and you have to respect the view that someone's tax status is a matter between them and the Revenue."

His lordship declined to comment on paying any back taxes and Cameron declined to say whether he would return Ashcroft's multi-million pound donations to the Tory party.

Lord above

UNFORTUNATELY FOR 'I wouldn't harm a fly' Gordon Brown, the Labour Party is unable to politically capitalise on the Tory Party's misfortune. It turns out that one of Labour's biggest donors, Lord Paul - the country's 88th richest person - is also a non-dom.

Paul attempted to deflect any criticism with the excuse that his donations to Labour had come from his British company, not from him personally.

Last year it was revealed that his lordship had claimed 38,000 in expenses for a flat as his main residence outside London, even though he admitted never having spent a night there.

Asked whether he would consider changing his tax status as Lord Ashcroft has indicated he will do, Lord Paul said: "Let's wait for the law to pass. It is not a question right now." That means "no" then.

NHS demo

On 27 February, 3,000 people marched through Holloway in north London in a noisy demonstration organised by the 'Defend Whittington Hospital campaign'. They were protesting against the threat to close the accident and emergency and maternity units at Whittington Hospital.

A closing rally included speakers from several different workplaces including the local bus garage and from the hospital's Unison union branch. Other speakers included David Lammy the Labour MP for Tottenham and the LibDem leader of Islington council, both of whom hypocritically support this campaign whilst supporting policies of public sector cuts and privatisation that are responsible for this crisis in the NHS.

Socialist Party members sold 90 copies of The Socialist and handed out 1,000 leaflets with the demands: "No to NHS cuts and privatisation" and "build a national movement to defend the NHS."

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In The Socialist 3 March 2010:

Fighting for jobs, services and conditions

PCS: All Out to Defend Jobs and Services

Stop council cuts

Youth fight for jobs

Invest in jobs, education & Training

Cut the working hours, not the jobs!

Portsmouth students and workers unite to fight cuts

Brighton students say: Save our nursery

EMA inadequacy impacts badly on students

International socialist news and analysis

Building action across Europe

Greece - millions take part in general strike

Spain: Thousands join mass demonstrations

Socialist Party news and analysis

The fairytale world of RBS

Nationalise the energy giants

Activists launch socialist challenge

Walsgrave hospital Coventry: Stop the parking charges rip-off

Fast news

Socialist Party workplace news

Where is the BA cabin crew dispute going?

Smash the bosses' construction blacklist!

Leeds lecturers win concessions - but cuts remain to be fought

Workplace news: In brief


Unison general secretary election: Nominate Roger Bannister

Legal ruling exposes hypocrisy of Unison leadership

The Socialist Interview

FBU general secretary speaks to The Socialist

Socialist Party women

Women will be at the fore in the fightback!


Global media monster News International condemned

The hounding of Tommy Sheridan

Savage cuts planned at the Beeb


Supporters should own Pompey, not developers

Socialist Party feature

The worldwide thievery of big business


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