Daily Debrief April 11th

The panama paper-chase widens

So far, there has been a broad uniformity of outlook between many of the papers on the Panama story.  Today, however, that quasi-unanimity breaks down.  The Mail, for example, throws Cameron a life-line: “Enough of this madness” – adding “For many, inheritance tax is itself immoral”. It calls on Cameron to make the case for parents’ right to pass wealth on to children – which apparently he intends to do, according to the Telegraph.

The Mirror, by contrast, raises a new issue.  When Cameron cashed his £30,000 stake in his father’s company Blairmore Holdings in 2010, it emerges that he also cashed in other shares worth £72,000.  He has made no statement regarding those shares, and Downing Street insists that he won’t.  “Do you want to see his bank statements when he was eighteen?” they ask.

The Guardian fingers Edward Troup, Head of HMRC.  They say that previously his law firm acted for Blairmore, Cameron Senior’s investment fund, and ask whether there might be a conflict of interests, since HMRC will lead the investigation into the Panama papers.

The Times broadens the issue to the next obvious victim, George Osborne, who is said to be about to publish his own tax returns.  Where does this stop?  Will all MPs publish?  Will there then be pressure on the Downing Street Cat to follow suit?

New Day Headlines “Truth About Tax”.  In the Express, Leo McKinstry makes explicit the link with Brexit: “Why Cameron’s tax crisis makes Brexit more likely”.   Let’s hope he’s right.

Meantime in a thoughtful opinion piece in the Times, Tim Montgomerie argues forcefully that the witch-hunt on politicians’ private affairs is not the solution to a lack of trust in politics, and may have the perverse effect of discouraging good people from entering the public arena.

“UK Muslim Ghettoes”


The Mail headlines “Warning on UK Muslim Ghettoes – Nation within a nation developing warns former head of equalities watchdog”.The warning comes from Trevor Phillips, former Head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and follows a new survey of British Muslim attitudes which will be the basis of a Channel 4 documentary on Wednesday.  Philips says he used to believe that British Muslims would, over time, come to accept Western values, but he now fears that this survey shows otherwise.  Young Muslims largely share the views of their parents on social attitudes.

The research shows attitudes to women, family and relationships that are widely at variance with accepted norms in the West.  Worryingly, there is also more sympathy with extreme views than most of us would like to think.  This story was earlier covered in The Sunday Times. Phillips says that extremist ideas have flourished while politicians claim “only a tiny minority hold dangerous views”, and that an estimated 100,000 British Muslims admit having sympathy with “suicide bombers fighting injustice”.

This of course is not particularly a Brexit Referendum issue.  But the story will do nothing to assuage widespread public concern about immigration, which is a key issue in the referendum campaign, especially in the light of the Paris and Brussels bombings.

“EU wants control of your pension”

The Express runs this alarming headline over a story that the Commission has advanced plans for “a social union” which could control member-states’ pensions.  It quotes David Campbell Bannerman as say that the Commission is holding back a large volume of contentious legislative proposals until after the British Referendum in June.  (As we have repeatedly warned, there is no status quo in the EU – it’s a process that keeps getting worse.  A Remain vote is a vote for staying on the Runaway Train.  I Tweeted recently that Commissioner Sefcovic, in my hearing, had promised “a tsunami of legislation”).

EU costs: fancy another £50 bn?

The Times reports a decision by the European Court of Justice which strikes down tax rules previously passed in Westminster.  This has already required HMRC to return £8bn to companies between 2005 and 2014, and could cost a total of £50 billion in the end.  That’s a massive sum – nearly 2½% of UK GDP, and an enormous loss to the Treasury at a time when we’re struggling with a stubborn deficit, and the public are tiring of austerity.  Put it another way.  If we’re paying £350 million a week to Brussels, that’s nearly three years’ worth of additional contributions.

As the Times helpfully points out, the extra £7.3 billion which HMRC is expected to pay out between 2016 and 2020 would build two more aircraft carriers like HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Aside from the mind-blowing sum, it’s the principle of the thing that is so outrageous.  We elect our MPs to Westminster, and one of their key tasks is to vote a Budget.  Yet a foreign court with foreign judges is able to over-rule our elected parliament, and declare its decisions contrary to EU law.  And we meekly pay up.  Time to fight back.  The only way is Brexit.

Steel: reprieve for Scunthorpe; Port Talbot still in play

The papers report that a deal with investor Grey Bull may be announced today for Scunthorpe, saving 4000 jobs directly and thousands more in the area dependent on the steel plant. This is wonderful news for Scunthorpe, and we wish them well.  Meantime negotiations continue for Tata’s Port Talbot plant, with Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty House in pole position.  However Gupta has said “he could walk away” unless he gets the terms he wants. Reportedly the two key issues are the pension fund, which Gupta is unwilling to take on, and the issue of energy prices.  We in UKIP have repeatedly emphasised that energy prices are a key issue behind the decline of British steel-making.  The blame attaches both to Brussels for its obsessive over-commitment to expensive and intermittent renewables, and to George Osborne for his gold-plating and his Carbon Price Floor  which have made UK energy prices even higher than those on the continent.










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24 Responses to Daily Debrief April 11th

  1. Ex-expat Colin says:

    I’ll publish my tax return when the EU shows all its unaudited accounts and why the annual audited accounts have not been signed off…near 20 years worth?


  2. PJ says:

    Muslim ghetto’s eh Roger? We’ve had them for the last 20 years but ‘the people who should know better’ have never accepted such! We also now have Somalian ghetto’s, Turkish Ghetto’s, Eastern European ghetto’s etc but I suppose it will take these numbnuts another 20/30 years to realise this truth also!

  3. Ex-expat Colin says:

    oops Alert
    “£2billion fiasco as huge recycling plant dumped: Hundreds of workers facing the sack as PFI facility is shut down leaving thousands of tons of waste destined for landfill”


    Probably the safest thing to do as like two near me in the W. Mids – spontaneous ignition and fires for weeks. The composting version!

  4. colin kay says:

    Just a thought,when l return the EU propaganda pamphlet to Dave should l put a stamp on the envelope or should l let him pay,from what l`ve read recently he can afford it better than me?

  5. PJ says:

    2 points here:
    1)… Return all EU bumpf for nothing –> FREEPOST, David Cameron, Waterloo House, 58-60 High Street, Witney, Oxon. OX28 6HJ (if he says it is OK to waste taxpayers money then the very least we can do is to reciprocate!)
    2)… Every household should have a garden ‘Binfire’ (providing they have a garden) which would considerably ease the wastage situation and also do the gardens a power of good! The old ways are still, mostly, the best ways! 🙂

  6. Anyoldiron says:

    My Generation went through a World WAR to prevent foreigners Governing us-YOU Sir, want foreigners to Govern us and are prepared to pay them forever. WHY on earth did you become Prime Minister of this GREAT Country yet prefer to PAY foreigners to do the job YOU Sir should be doing and doing it “According to our very own Common Law Constitution” that so many gave THEIR lives fighting for in that 1939-1945 World War. YES YOU SIR are ready to eagerly to PAY those foreigners to do so, which would of course-BE FOREVER, for there would never ever be another REFERENDUM on an OUT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION.

  7. Shieldsman says:

    I still see people writing that they do not know how to vote in the referendum. This is not surprising as the Prime Ministers (not all the Government) leaflet is one sided, it does nothing to explain the pros and cons of EU membership.
    What is the EU? Put simply it is a grouping of 28 European Countries cooperating together under a Commission (administrative arm), Council (heads of Governments) and a Parliament that traipse’s from Brussels to Strasbourg once a month. That is where all simplicity ends.
    What started as a free trade zone has morphed into what Monnet intended a full blown political union – the EUSSR.

    The ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ campaign team now led by the PM have not explained the workings of the EU, cost and disadvantages such as our Parliaments loss of Sovereignty. To them staying in is statis quo. There is no such thing as statis quo within the EU, just shows how ill informed Stuart Rose, Karren Brady, June Sarpong, all those youngsters jumping up and down in their I’M IN tee shirts, even the PM are. Ask any of them what the future in the EU holds, about the 5 Presidents Report, the Spinelli Group and you will be met with a blank look. Who is Martin Schulz, who is Elmar Bok – never heard of them!!

    The sheer lunacy of Cameron in thinking that he has carved out a separate niche for himself within the EU. The myth that he has reformed the EU and created another world and will guide the 19 Eurozone members away from closer union,Ha Ha.

    The ignorance of MP’s, the Minister of State for Education makes the outlandish claim that visa’s will be required to travel to Europe and reciprocal arrangement for students to study at a European University will be rescinded.

    At least some of the press are coming round. The Daily Mail printing ‘Please, please sack me! by Euro MEP DANIEL HANNAN’
    It received very favourable comments by everyone.
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3530980/Please-sack-Euro-MP-DANIEL-HANNAN-money-perks-gets-Brussels-making-Britons-lives-harder-begging-nation-courage-job.html#ixzz45WL7ZT00

  8. Jane Davies says:

    You say Roger “The Times broadens the issue to the next obvious victim, George Osborne, who is said to be about to publish his own tax returns. Where does this stop? Will all MPs publish? Will there then be pressure on the Downing Street Cat to follow suit?” I say YES…(although the cat can be excused) when pensioners can be bullied by the Inland Revenue and intimidation tactics are used in order to extract a paltry sum, to them, but not to the pensioner, that was NOT owed then yes the mega rich should have their feet held to the fire.
    I will now ask a silly question, is the PM being held to account for not being impartial on this issue?He is failing in his duty as a public servant to put both sides, in an honest and impartial way about whether the UK should remain or leave. In not doing so can he not see that if the vote goes against his biased opinion then he has made his position as PM untenable? Hoisted by his own petard springs to mind.

  9. PJ says:

    PJ says:
    April 11, 2016 at 10:57 am

    2 points here:
    1)… Return all EU bumpf for nothing –> FREEPOST, David Cameron, Waterloo House, 58-60 High Street, Witney, Oxon. OX28 6HJ (if he says it is OK to waste taxpayers money then the very least we can do is to reciprocate!)
    Mission completed as 8 pages = 8 freepost envelopes! Watse of 20 minutes but so what 🙂

    • RobtheFox says:

      That, of course, is assuming that the address has registered for Freepost and you put the registration number on the envelope too.
      If not then it will not be delivered.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        It will and in some other bin. And the RM can suffer that and complain to their union and MPs whatever….Jane gave the Freepost code earlier…or put a freaking stamp on it.

        I also headed the pamphlet in red ink…YOUR RUBBISH? So that cannot be re-used.

  10. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Seems we all have to be frightened of Elton John…..WTF is that?


    • Jane Davies says:

      What a sordid little story about people who should know better. If one wishes not to embarrass ones children then lead a life that will only cause them embarrassment when one gets up onto the dance floor at family weddings.
      If one is famous and therefore fodder for the press then surely the above applies with bells on. Common sense…..a rare commodity these days.

  11. oxter says:

    It now appears the man in charge of HMRC who Cameron has tasked with investigating the revelations into the Blairmore tax dodging operations was himself instrumental in their creation. Edward Troup, executive chair of HMRC since April, is a former partner at Simmons & Simmons, whose clients have included the Panama-registered fund created by David Cameron’s father, Ian.

    The law firm’s name appears on dozens of emails and documents in the Panama Papers in connection with a number of companies registered with Mossack Fonseca, the offshore agent at the centre of the scandal.

    Cameron announced on Saturday that HMRC would be working with the National Crime Agency to lead a “world-class” taskforce to investigate allegations of tax dodging and money laundering brought to light by the leak of 11.5 million files from the Panama law firm. A unit with initial funding of £10m is being set up, which will also bring together specialists from the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Conduct Authority. Officials have already started investigating some 700 current leads with a link to Panama.

  12. John S Churchill Jnr says:

    Did anyone notice that DC stated in the Commons that he had got an international agreement for tax authorities to share date on the off shore tax haven dealings of corporations? The EU was supportive but wanted to include Trusts as well. Cameron told them that the agreement that the UK had achieved would fall if they went down that route. So much for solidarity of EU membership. The UK got a deal, via the EU it would have failed. So much for the UK having more clout in the EU than outside!

  13. John S Churchill Jnr says:

    Just got my propaganda leaflet. Where’s the Imprint?

    • RobtheFox says:

      I think you will find that ıt ıs not required on literature issued prior to the official start of the campaign.

      • John S Churchill Jnr says:

        I’ll ponder on that reply. It’s not what the local police told me. They were Pontius Pilate over it! Thanks!

        I was under the impression that any literature not addressed to an individual needed an imprint?

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