Corrupt English Ex PM Tony Blair Dodged Tax Collectors of Millions of Pounds
A company established by Tony Blair to oversee his business activities paid just £315,000 in tax last year on an income of more than £12 million, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
According to the report, official accounts show the former premier earned huge sums through his multiple business activities since resigning the government in June 2007 and channeled millions of pounds through a complicated web of companies, but paid just a fraction in tax.
Tony Blair Associates, is a business consultancy, which has deals with the governments of Kuwait and Kazakhstan among others and is a paid adviser to JP Morgan, an American investment bank, and to Zurich International, a global insurance company based in Switzerland, the documents showed.
The former premier also makes a further £100,000 a time from speeches and lectures while also presiding over a number of charities including a faith foundation, the report said.
Blair’s management company has had in the two years until March 31 last year, a total turnover of more than £20 million and paid tax of about £470,000, according to the documents.
The scale of Blair’s finances are shown in accounts lodged by Windrush Ventures Limited, just one of a myriad of companies and partnerships set up by the former prime minister.
Windrush Ventures Ltd’s “principal activity” is the “provision of management services” to Blair’s various other interests.
The accounts for the 12 months to March 31 were lodged with Companies House in the week between Christmas and New Year and made publicly available for the first time last week.
Previously the accounts have contained almost no information because Windrush was classified as a small company. This time auditors appear to have been obliged to divulge more information because of the amount of money being handled.
The accounts show a turnover of £12.005 million and administrative expenses of £10.919 million, leaving Windrush Ventures with a profit of just over £1 million, on which Blair paid tax of £315,000. The tax was paid at the corporate tax rate of 28 per cent.
Of those expenses, £2.285 million went on paying 26 employees at an average salary of almost £88,000. Windrush Ventures also pays £550,000 a year to rent Blair’s offices in Grosvenor Square, a stone’s throw from the US embassy in Mayfair in central London and a further sum of about £300,000 on office equipment and furniture. But those costs amount to a little more than £3 million, meaning almost £8 million of “administrative expenditure” is unexplained in the accounts.
It is not known from the accounts what happened to that huge sum.
Tax specialists who have studied the accounts have told The Sunday Telegraph that the tax paid in 2010 of £154,000 and £315,000 in 2011 appears low because costs have been offset against the administrative costs, which remain largely unexplained.
“It is very difficult to see what these administrative costs could be. It is a very large amount for a business like this. I am sure it is legitimate but it is certainly surprising”, said one City accountant, who did not wish to be named.
“The tax bill of £315,000 is explained by the large administrative costs that are being treated as tax allowable.”
Richard Murphy is another charted accountant who runs Tax Research LLP and has studied Blair’s company accounts.
“There is about £8 million which we don’t know where it goes. That money is unexplained. There is no indication at all why the administration costs are so high. What has happened to about £8 million which is being offset against tax?”, he said.