Tuesday, 26 June 2007

There will be Blue Skies over

Unsurprisingly, given the big hits his CPS papers have landed on the Labour government's record, Brett Charles Elphicke (on the right, of course) has been chosen to recover the seat of Dover for the cause. Charlie won't be put off by the 5,000 Labour majority, as he can expect a few campaign visits from the TaxCutter to dig out key votes from my fellow Men of Kent. Especially, given Charlie's stated desire to pull the UK out of the EU

Lets just hope that the party gets behind Charlie and the others in Kent trying to dislodge Labour MPs and please does not make the normal party mistake of wasting efforts in safe seats! The TaxCutter also recommends to Charlie to have a weekly eMail emphasising his work on local issues, to get on good terms with the KM and KentonSunday, to build up your Constituency Association, to avoid being long-winded but most of all work bloody hard.

When the new PM murmurs "And so I say honestly: I am a conviction politician."

.... then just dig into the Big Red Book to check how honest a guy Gordon is
The TaxCutter hopes you enjoy his contributions

Now that Quentin Davies has left the Tory Party

The TaxCutter wonders if David Cameron will ask him to stand as the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London?

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Some sense into the Private Equity Debate

Not since the last time I watched Platoon have the letters "VC" been so disliked. There's been a lot of fuss about the 10% rate, so lets inject some sense into proceedings:

  • PE Houses make money, in general, by buying groups and selling them between 2 and 5 years later. They look to get a higher price than they initially paid, generally by more innovative financing but superincentivising management and staff. The "Slash and Burn" story is something of a myth, they only slash what needs it, there's no logic in destroying value in something you want to sell to an educated buyer
  • Most PE money comes from the US, and often tax exempts. So most of the gains aren't even taxed in the UK
  • The debt financing for PE funds is already subject to anti-avoidance legislation to prevent overgearing
  • The underlying investments on which the gains arise have already been subject to corporation tax anyway
  • Tax the VC managers too much and they will respond with 1 of 2 answers - either they move offshore, or they don't invest in the UK in the first place
  • Many staff and ordinary workers in successful PE deals have got large bonuses / rewards on such exits. Many management who did superwell, and certainly the ones the TaxCutter has met worked 24/7 . Why tax success just because someone had the innovation and bottle most of us lack. Lets face it, business is only successful when it gives the consumer, something the consumer wants
  • Too many big groups are over-bureaucratic and political. PE owned groups tend to be smaller and more business and customer focussed

Just remind me - who invented the 10% Business Asset Taper Relief rate? And who removed the tax credit on dividends so PE investment gives a higher post-tax return than investing in bog standard UK plcs? Lets see ... all these changes happened since 1997 .......

But as the "Private Equity funds taxed less than cleaners" quote says - shouldn't the real questions be why are low paid workers now caught up in Labour's income tax net - and what logic is there for taxing capital gains in the first place?

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Missing Report: Approach with care

If anyone has seen the proposed Consultation Document on the Taxation of Overseas Profits can they please return it to Mr G Brown, at HM Treasury, Whitehall.
The reward if found maybe the removal of the tax rules introduced by the owner which have harmed UK competitiveness over the last decade

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Gordon gets the tax argument wrong.... again

Gordon Brown, and some his mates, have recently vented their against the premise that Private Equity executives pay less tax than cleaners. The TaxCutter considers that rather than firing broadsides at those bringing investment into the UK, such ire would be better aimed at ending the disgraceful situation whereby low-paid workers such as cleaners have to pay income tax in the first place
The TaxCutter would like the government to urgently reconsider the wisdom of doubling the starting rate of income tax from 10% to 20% in his last Budget, and hence doubling the marginal tax rate for those with least income.

Monday, 4 June 2007


Saturday saw the huge success that was the 2nd Bonkersfest. Camberwell Green was alive with the musicians, poets, dancers, drummers and others gathered to celebrate the creativity of those with mental health problems. The Taxcutter was exceedingly pleased that the place was packed and SRO and would like to send his hearty congratulations to the driven organisers for a fantastic days out.

Particular treats were the Madverts, especially the one outling the parlous state of many mental health instituitons in the UK and the poetry of The PooLord, and his great couplets like

"Send your earwax to Planet Chintz
With some complimentary mints"

Although have to say that the finale poem of
"You are a young working professional and you live in Poo-Poo Land"
maybe was from a very different perspective to mine. But on reflection ............
I can't find the PooLord or his work anywhere on the web. This talent must not lay hidden!

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Who Dares Wins

The Grammargate debate has shown not just the benefits of the establishments such as those The TaxCutter was educated in. Its shown that Dave hasn't got a hope in hell of winning a General Election.

Nevermind the odd + or - when it comes to how boundaries are drawn up. Dave has shown an uncanny knack of picking the wrong fight with the wrong people.

So lets assess Project Cameron.

Policy decisions, he hasn't made any. Nevermind the Tax Reform Commission, one of the biggest, and best policy papers, produced anywhere by an Opposition party - some have suggested that Dave hasn't got the guts to endorse it. That may only be a part truth. The guy stumped on Budget Day simply doesn't get economic policy, how often has Dave talked. Point 1 for Dave - the electorate want a government, not an opposition, Policies don't become votewinners overnight or even overyear

Party morale, get screwed. Dave, as you never appear to have met the party faithful, let me just remind you that we don't do celebrity, and we definitely don't do Greg Dyke and Polly Toynbee. Remind me again what happened to the A list. Point 2 - the Country wants someone to sort out the crisis in the Public Sector, not the next Liz Hurley

An effective HQ? Are the best agents being taken out of safe seats and put in key marginals, its not reached the TaxCutter's ears? Andy Coulson may have been sacked by News of the World, but one page of political comment stuck, probably untouched by Coulson, buried behind the latest Sven/BB/Beckham story does not make the Editor the next Karl Rove. Point 3 - nevermind they didn't go to Eton, put the best people in the best jobs. There's some very good right wing minds out there, e.g. Haldenby, Lea, Heath, so use them

Dave's record on putting the right people in the right job. The only truly effective performer is David Davis, the main person that the Cameroons wanted to get rid of. And Dave himself has made precious little ground on Labour in fundamental areas, like Health, Education and the Economy. The green stuff is ok, but there needs to be more evidence of concentrating on the things that really bother good governments. Point 4 - Schools and hospitals will win more votes than bikes and windmills

Its been a poor 18 months. A few glib speeches aside, The Cameroons have not built a long-term base to rival the still very effective political machine that is The Labour Party. Rightwingers win elections, not by being liked, but by being respected and being consistent and predictable on the key issues, not banging on about chocolate oranges and trips to Lapland. What scares me most is that I am not seeing any sign of improvement, paraphrasing Sir Alan Sugar a few weeks ago, its not that Dave is too young, I just don't think he is any good. Its about time he heard the phrase "You're fired" but who dares loads the gun?