Another desperate Times headline

by Stephen Tall on September 20, 2007

This is it: ‘Lib Dems accused over donor link to company in offshore tax haven’

The report continues:

The Liberal Democrats have been accused of hypocrisy after The Times discovered that the party’s biggest business donor is controlled by a company in an offshore tax haven.

Alpha Healthcare, a residential homes firm which gave the party £125,000 this year, is ultimately run by Harberry Investments in the British Virgin Islands.

This week the Lib Dem conference suggested a clampdown on the use of offshore companies as part of action on tax loopholes for the super-rich.

So, let me get this straight… The Lib Dems propose a policy which could hit hard one of our biggest donors, and this is somehow regarded as hypocrisy? Surely hypocrisy would be changing the party’s policy because of a big donation – y’know, like the Tories and Labour frequently do.

Would the party have been hypocritical accepting a donation from a higher-rate taxpayer at the last election, given our then policy to increase the top-rate of tax to 50%?

In the weird, distorted world of the right-wing Times, apparently yes.

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It might not be hypocrisy as such, but it would be interesting to see if he still wanted to donate to the party after getting ‘hammered’ by new tax laws. I doubt he would be amused.

by Letters From A Tory on September 20, 2007 at 9:11 am. Reply #

You could pay the tax avoided on the donation voluntarily and that would be consistent.

To oppose the use of tax havens and take money sourced from them is inconsistent at the very least.

(Oh, since you ask, am all for tax havens out of reach of Gordon).

by Guido Fawkes on September 20, 2007 at 9:59 am. Reply #

Sometimes you need to take one of these things on the chin Stephen.

With this and that big imprisoned overseas donor of yours you Lib Dems cannot and must not get all hoity toity about donations.

The suggestion that Labour, and even the Tories, frequently change policy to suit donors needs a bit more rigour. Can you even sensibly back up sometimes? Or once?

Political funding is sordid. Full stop. It needs to be better controlled than it is. But I’m as worried about cash being taken off some small/medium donors as large ones to be honest.

by Chris Paul on September 20, 2007 at 1:19 pm. Reply #

I think Stephen is right and as far as the comments from Guildo Fawkes are concerned it would be pointless for the Liberal Democrats to apply rules to themselves that no one else does, and put themselves at a disadvantage in so doing.
Fundamentally the system of party funding is unfairly biased against the Liberal Democrats anyway, and this is one of these stories that reinforces the need for the Lib Dem policy for state funding of political parties.

by Geoffrey Payne on September 21, 2007 at 5:44 pm. Reply #

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