Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's still one law for them...

... and another for us, as MPs exempt themselves from the latest laws on tax avoidance. [A tip of the horns to Samizdata.]
MPs have had specific provisions made for them regarding tax avoidance rules introduced in the Finance Bill, Accountancy Age has learned.

Legislation to prevent the practice of disguised remuneration, which uses trusts to provide non-repayable tax free loans and offshore pension schemes to avoid tax, was included in the Finance Bill.

However, section 554E (8) says the legislation "does not apply by reason of a relevant step taken by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) in relation to a member of the House of Commons".

Lest we forget, MPs are still exempt from the laws surrounding benefits in kind too.

It seems that our Lords and Masters simply will not learn—until, that is, they are adorning 646 good-looking lamp-posts.

Then they might just begin to work it out...

UPDATE: following his comment, I am reminded that one of those who would escape the air tap-dance is DK mascot, Steve Baker MP—who declares himself furious, over at ConservativeHome.
I am furious. Who could possibly think that special tax treatment for MPs is a good idea? Who could possibly think that MPs would get away with it if they tried it?

But wait. Who drafts Government bills? Not back-bench Members of Parliament... In whose interests is it to keep Members of Parliament up to their armpits in the brown stuff? I smell a rat.

The implication seems to be that IPSA might have some advantage in making MPs look like self-serving shysters: I would suggest that one could actually ascribe this motive to the entire Civil Service. Which is why I have always maintained that the first thing that I would do, were I ever Prime Minister, would be to sack—instantly and with immediate effect—at least the top three grades of Civil Servant.
There should be no special treatment for anyone before the law, least of all those who make it.

Unfortunately, as anyone who has read Hannan and Carswell's The Plan will know, this isn't the first example of special treatment for MPs. Beyond the freedom to speak in Parliament with impunity, all legal privilege for MPs must end. We must suffer the same pain and inconvenience as the rest of the people of this country.

Well, I entirely agree with that...
I have written to the Chancellor, asking him to remove this provision. I hope colleagues reading this will do likewise.

Good luck with that...


Anonymous said...

Who has the rope. Who has a lampost. Who will come help supply the labour. The rulers have become shameless in their corruption.

Steve Baker MP said...

MPs don't draft Government bills. I'd encourage you to think about who does and whose interest it is in to keep MPs up to their armpits in the brown stuff. And you notice it emerges during recess.

I have written to the Chancellor, asking him to end all tax privileges for MPs.

john in cheshire said...

Steve Baker, Good luck in your correspondence with Mr Osborne. He is my MP and I have written to him on many occasions; I don't even receive an acknoweledgement. In my opinion, we no longer have a government that is answerable to the electorate. My assertion is not some theoretical assertion because I am experiencing it. What is the point in having an MP, or a local Councillor for that matter, if they pay no heed to their paymasters.

Anonymous said...

Only 646 lampposts????? who are the 4 MPs that don't take advantage of being above the law?

Bruce said...

> Beyond the freedom to speak in
> Parliament with impunity, all
> legal privilege for MPs must
> end.

Why only this privilege? 'Freedom of speech is all well and good but not for the plebs' maybe?

And if one privilege is justified, why not more?

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