Friday, March 5, 2010

Ashcroft or Cashcroft?

I've deliberately steered clear of the whole Lord Ashcroft row, because honestly I don't think the general public care (queue thousands of comments saying I'm wrong). However I think everyone, on both sides of the House has felt a little uncomfortable about Mandelson being the lead attack dog on what he has been calling an issue of integrity and honesty.

Also all parties take money from non-doms and "tax avoiders" it's a matter of life, rich people try to pay the least tax, it's why higher tax rates on the rich don't deliver substantially more money, they'll find ways to avoid it.

I did smile though at this ITV News transcript from yesterday:
TB; ‘You talk about transparency, well we have been asking the Labour Party for some days whether your donors, like Ronnie Cohen, are non-doms or not. We haven’t got an answer, so perhaps you’d like to give us one sitting here.’
Lord M; ‘The Labour Party should give the information about its donors in the way that–’
TB; ‘It hasn’t.’
Lord M; ‘In the way that it is required to do and in response to legitimate questions.’
TB; ‘Let me ask you; is that a legitimate question? Be fair. Is it legitimate for us, given all this, to ask whether your donors are paying full tax on their worldwide income?’
Lord M; ‘I think it is perfectly legitimate.’
TB; ‘What’s the answer?’
Lord M; ‘How do I know what the answer is?’
And later:
TB; ‘Are you saying that all labour party donors should be full tax payers; ie, paying tax on their worldwide income in this country? And if they aren’t, should the Labour Party pay the money back?’
Lord M; ‘What I’m saying is that Labour Party donors should be clear and upfront about what they are donating, what their domicile or tax status is, or whatever, just as donors who give money to the Conservative Party should be.’
It seems that ITV News have  since asked the Labour Party to confirm which of their donors are non-doms and have once again received no answer.

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