Amber Rudd used her ‘magic money tree’ slogan to attack Labour during the BBC debate so often that viewers began a drinking game in her honour. But it turns out the Home Secretary knows quite a lot about spiriting money away. Particularly to tax havens in the Bahamas.
The tax haven Home Secretary
In a largely overlooked investigation in 2016, The Guardian revealed:
Her involvement with two companies in an offshore tax haven, and another where her co-director was jailed for fraud.
A fresh leak of tax haven data names the home secretary as having been a director of two companies in the Bahamas – a fact she did not refer to earlier this year when defending David Cameron over his father’s investment fund in the same country.
The home secretary’s name appears in a cache of company data from the Bahamas, a Caribbean tax haven that imposes no income, corporate or wealth taxes on individuals investing in offshore companies.
The data, leaked to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, constitutes a list of directors of 175,000 Bahamas registered companies.
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At the time, a spokesperson for Rudd said:
It is a matter of public record that Amber had a career in business before entering politics.
But like former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, former venture capitalist Rudd has benefited personally from such tax avoidance schemes.
From the Bahamas to Downing Street
There is a reason this is important to reflect upon now. Because it informs Conservative views and decisions on public spending and tax. Labour’s fully-costed manifesto pledges cost only a little over half the annual corporate welfare bill the taxpayer currently spends. Each year, the government gives away £93bn in tax breaks and subsidies to big business. Labour’s plan is not to create money out of thin air, but to transfer some of it from the corporate welfare state to the public welfare state. And to use that money to build hospitals and fund the NHS, to build houses that people can afford to live in, and to put police back on the streets after Conservative cuts left 20,000 officers lose their jobs.
These services might not mean much to Rudd and a party composed of millionaires with their wealth stashed offshore. But it is life and death to parents, carers, public sector workers, small business owners, and families across the UK. So they all have the chance to stand up and be counted on 8 June, at the general election.
Judging by the audience reaction to Rudd on 31 May, this election might not be the cake walk the Conservatives imagined:
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) May 31, 2017
– Get out there and vote on 8 June. And encourage others to do the same.
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
– Also, read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.
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