Super-rich donors warned the PM that if he taxed their London townhouses and sprawling country estates they would refuse to host dinners to boost the Conservative Party’s coffers
DAVID Cameron personally vetoed plans for a new property tax after donors threatened to ban Tory party fund-raising events from their mansions.
Super-rich donors warned the Prime Minister that if he taxed their London townhouses and sprawling country estates they would refuse to host dinners to boost the Conservative Party’s coffers.
A senior insider revealed: “The message went out – tax our mansions and you can forget us ever holding another black tie event for you at our homes ever again.
“Cameron could not have funded the party without these events so he had no choice.
“It was all highly embarrassing.” The revelation will pump up the pressure on Cameron after the outcry over last week’s autumn statement failing to bring in a wealth tax while poorer people were being hit hard with a tough benefits freeze.
George Osborne had been keen on implementing a new high value property tax.
The Chancellor was talked round to the idea by Liberal Democrats, including Business Secretary Vince Cable, who persuaded him it would raise much-needed cash to repay some of the country’s massive debt. But the PM intervened after the donors delivered their ultimatum.
He is said to have stopped Osborne going any further with a mansion tax or new council tax banding, hitting homes worth millions.
Lavish Tory fund-raising dinners are regularly held in some of the most spectacular piles in Britain.
But an insider said the message from Tory HQ fund-raising officials was that “almost all” big donors who offered their homes as venues for the party dinners were unhappy.
Lib Dem peer Lord Oakeshott accused Cameron and Osborne of “performing a hand-brake turn on donor orders”.
He told the Sunday Mirror: “The Tories are too scared to make their backers pay more than a £26-a-week council tax on their multi-million pound Mayfair mansions.
“That’s not fair, it’s feeble.”
Shameful: £2bn tax dodge strips workers of basic rights
Bosses are claiming that hundreds of thousands of their workers are self-employed to avoid paying National Insurance
Workers are being denied basic rights in a massive £2billion a year tax avoidance scandal.
Bosses are claiming that hundreds of thousands of their workers are self-employed to avoid paying National Insurance.
Staff are also being deprived of sick pay or holiday pay and can be fired at will with no redundancy rights.
Steve Murphy, General Secretary of construction union UCATT, said: “These workers do the same job as employees but have none of the rights.
“A falsely self-employed worker does not receive holiday pay, sick pay, does not have a pension and can be sacked at a moment’s notice. The major winners are the employers who make massive savings.”
Britain has 770,000 “self-employed” construction workers – the highest proportion of any major industrialised country.
A new report by UCATT today claims that up to 433,000 of them should really be on staff.
The Mirror’s Gizza Proper Job campaign is fighting for better protection for workers unfairly declared self-employed by their bosses.
We have found evidence of self-employed cleaners, taxi drivers, couriers, door-to-door sellers and even pilots who work day in, day out for the same boss, often for years on end, but with no employment rights.
Mr Murphy added: “These practices are sadly spreading into other industries, especially those where there is a rapid turnover of temporary workers.”
Workers who are told to go self-employed are often paid through separate payroll companies using loopholes in the law to protect bosses from tax inspectors – and the workers have to pay up to £25 a week from their own pay packets for the service.
UCATT researchers set up a fake family-owned building company, with 15 staff, and contacted a number of payroll companies for advice on saving money.
One wrote: “We can save you money, 20% of your labour costs, by reclassifying PAYE staff.”
An HMRC spokesman said: “False self-employment across all sectors is a recognised risk.
“The Government is determined to tackle both tax avoidance and tax evasion and committed £900 million to enable HMRC to tackle arrangements that seek to minimise or evade taxes.”
Stop this bosses’ rip-off – say Shadow Cabinet Ministers Chuka Umunna and Rachel Reeves
Bogus-self employment is a scandal that needs solving.
Often desperate for a job, workers sign contracts with payroll firms that class them as self-employed, when in reality they are an employee.
With the economy flat-lining and long-term unemployment rising, we need to support people at work, not deny them their legitimate rights.
But what is the Government doing to stamp out this abuse? This year, they halved the number of investigations into this type of tax avoidance.
Labour is investigating as part of our policy review process, not just in construction, but other sectors too.
The Mirror: Why Iain Duncan Smith should look at himself before complaining about people living off the state
Why Iain Duncan Smith should look at himself before complaining about people living off the state
The Work and Pensions Secretary has taken aim at those on benefits but they are not the only ones taxpayers pay for
There is nothing worse than people who live off the state for decades and give nothing back.
Help out the unfortunate when they need it, by all means – but give them hundreds of thousands of pounds because they won’t get off their arse and do a proper job? Shocking.
As Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has rightly pointed out, it is”madness” for the state to subsidise large numbers of children born to parents who do not stop to wonder first if they can afford them.
And it would be fairer to the “vast majority” of responsible, normal, reasonable taxpayers to limit the amount they are made to cough up for these irresponsible breeders, who as soon as anyone suggests they’re being a teensy bit greedy with the far-from bulging public purse start whinging about “fairness”.
After all, IDS has promised to cut another £10billion off the state’s handout bill and it has to be found somewhere. Obviously, the people who take handouts they don’t deserve should be the first to take a cut.
So let’s start by talking about someone who lives off the state and has little experience of the world of work you and I know.
He is 58 years old and has suckled upon the publicly-funded teat for most of his life.
He’s signed on the dole. He’s had four children and received child benefit for all of them. He has put them each through private school, too.
His wife hasn’t worked since they married, except for 15 months in which he got her a job paid by the taxpayer.
He and his colleagues eat and drink food you subsidise in a palace you pay for, he is driven around in a car you own, and when he is too old to ‘work’ any more you will pay for him to have a better pension than you, too.
He started out at the age of 21 with six years of taxpayer-funded military service, during which he acted as bag-carrier to a Major-General.
Then in 1981, aged 27, he left the Army and signed on the dole for several months.
He then began a period of ordinary work based upon the skills he had gained at the taxpayer’s expense, and worked in sales for arms dealer GEC-Marconi.
He then moved on to a property firm, where he was made redundant after six months, and then sold gun-related magazines for Jane’s Information Group.
After 11 years of this all-too brief career he succeeded in once again boarding the publicly-funded gravy train in 1992.
In the intervening 20 years he has been paid by the taxpayer every year more money than most taxpayers earn. He has topped it up, along the way, to more than six figures for a few years here and there by being more pompous than the other pigs.
In 2001 he helped his unemployed wife to have a suckle, arranging for you to pay her £15,000 to be his diary secretary.
These days he is given the grand total of £134,565 a year from the taxpayer.
He lives for free in a £2million Tudor farmhouse on his father-in-law’s ancestral estate in Buckinghamshire.
He has three acres of land, a tennis court, swimming pool and some orchards, which is not bad for a life in the pay of the state.
‘Who is this scumbag?’ you might cry. ‘Tell us his name, let the authorities know his address, let’s get this guzzler out of the cushy life and show him what life is like for the rest of us,earning £7 an hour with a rise once every eight years and a pension consisting entirely of penny sweets if you’re lucky.’
His name is Iain Duncan Smith, and his address is the Palace of Westminster, LondonSW1A 0AA.
It’s not the insistence that the welfare bill needs cutting I object to; it’s that the scissors have been given to people who really can’t be trusted not to stab everyone else in the eye.
As IDS himself says: “Can there not be a limit to the fact that really you need to cut your cloth in accordance with what capabilities and finances you have?”
The trouble is he doesn’t seem to have the capability to cut cloth any more than he has to get himself a proper job that might actually be of use to anyone other than warlords.
I wouldn’t trust him to cut paper, never mind a welfare bill of billions.
The sooner he’s back on the dole the better for all concerned – because then he’ll have to live on £71 a week for 26 weeks and if he doesn’t pull his finger out in that time it’s all over.
If only we could say the same for the gravy train.
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