Thursday, 29 October 2009

The New Conservatism - Tax Lawyers for All!

Hopi Sen (pictured) the extremely well written "Blog From the Backroom" I feature on my blogroll, today takes to pieces the Dover and Deal Conservative candidate Charlie Elphicke's attempt at explaining Conservative economic policy. It prompted me to have a look at Charlie's website.

It has a wonderful juxtaposition to welcome you. The second paragraph says:

"As the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Dover & Deal, Charlie works hard for us to get our fair share so we can all be better off."

the third paragraph starts by telling us that

"Charlie is a tax lawyer"

Now there is a contradiction here. Do you know any of your friends who use a tax lawyer? No? Me neither. I know some local small businesspeople who use accountants, but a tax lawyer that's for serious shedloads of money. We're talking city bonus types amongst others.

The aim of people like Charlie is to ensure that rich people and large organisations pay less tax, so that the vast majority of us pay more. So what he really should say if he is being honest with his electorate is

"As the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Dover & Deal, Charlie has worked hard for the better off to get them a bigger share, so the rest of us are worse off."

Go to Charlie's article on the Centre Right blog and he wants people to forget about his past saying:

"In the Financial Times world, they allow the richest to fill their boots with massive, unjustified bonuses."

Well Charlie, what about the role of tax lawyers in maximising those bonuses?

He goes on

"The doorsteps of places like Dover and Deal people are incoherent with rage. Unlike the FT, they are patriots with a powerful sense of nation. They feel the excess of the bankers and the Labour Government have seriously harmed Britain."

Well Charlie, I did a quick survey of people I know in Dover and Deal. I know this is unrepresentative and biased, but I could find nobody incoherent with rage, they all managed to talk. Maybe people get incoherent with rage in Dover and Deal when they are visited by a tax lawyer who claims he wants to give them more money, when he has spent a career of doing the opposite - just a thought? Charlie is right though that they feel bankers have harmed Britain. The people of Dover and Deal also think tax lawyers have harmed Britain too, none of them could think of any ways in which tax lawyers had helped them, they knew though that tax lawyers meant more money for the few and less for hard working families. Perhaps Charlie could explain how in the excesses of the bankers, tax lawyers helped ordinary people?

He will not be able to, because tax lawyers like Charlie Elphicke have been working hand in glove with hedge funds, city bankers and the like to minimise their tax and as a consequence to maximise it for the rest of us.

Charlie's taking the mickey in his article though because he claims:

"And George Osborne is absolutely right to point out that rewards should be linked to longer term performance."

Except of course tax lawyers like Charlie Elphicke get annual bonuses. They get them because they use whatever short term wheeze they can come up with which helps their clients pay less tax. That's what their job is all about. No long term performance assessment for tax lawyers.

Indeed one of the features of the last two decades has been that tax lawyers have done very well as the economy has done well, so I would imagine Charlie Elphicke is a rather wealthy man.

Then Charlie jokes with us that

"Most of all, Charlie cares about our community, serving our people and the nation."

When Charlie had the chance of serving people and the community by choosing a career as a police officer, a shopkeeper, a teacher, a soldier, a nurse or a cleaner, Charlie said no, I am going to look after a few very wealthy people and ensure they get even wealthier, there can be no finer way to serve the community than to be lawyer!

Charlie Elphicke the tax lawyer to the wealthy, who makes ordinary people in Deal and Dover go incoherent with rage and doesn't understand why.


  1. I was chatting to a chap yesterday who bought a software package (£15) which does his Corporation Tax Return for him.

    Charlie may be seeing that a change of career might be circumspect ?

    We know that Maggie Thatcher (protector of public sector jobs) was advised that the whole tax and benefits system could be handled on one computer system meaning all the benefits clerks could be laid off. She turned that idea down. We know that Maggie was advised that the future would require an electrical distribution system able to sustain large intermittent loading and that it was suggested this be advance designed intergral to railway electrification systems (Anticipating the day of the electric car and the battery technology which could take rapid charging) Maggie rejected that (after all there might be a few more years in oil and petrol)

    Maggie was advised that the future might lay with hydrogen based and eco fuel so keep the mines open (coal and household waste combined to make eco fuel). She rejected that.

    She was advised before and during the Falklands War of the in service unreliability of equipment supplied to the Royal Navy. She knew she went to war in which she would be obliged to break her rules of engagement to try to get a Pearl Harbour type blow on the Argentine Navy outside the EZ. But look at the RN. Ships unable to detect incoming Exocets. HMS Sheffield when hit by an Exocet which failed to explode, still sank. Fires started by the missile got a ship whose auxiliary power and fire fighting systems were duff.

    So it ill befits the tories now to criticise Labour (albeit rightly) for sending troops inadequately armed and kitted to the middle east.

    Vote Popular Alliance.

  2. if the laws and rules were in place everyone would pay the right amount of tax. By bending the rules and getting away with it people like Charlie Elphicke are keeping this country poor. I would be pleased to be earning enough money to pay huge amounts of tax. But I am disappointed that tax payers money is paid back to people earning over 40 grand a year in the form of tax credits. I have never been fortunate enough to have tax credits I bought my family up on a lot less than 800 pounds a week.

  3. No class envy at all eh, Cllr Nottingham? Labour is surely responsible for the tax and benefit mess that exists today. As for maximising tax, Labour's done that with the low paid like me by doubling income tax. Tax lawyers are required for businesses trying to get their head round the paperwork. Lets not forget those MPs struggling to sort out their expense claims and their tax contributions in relation to them... There does seem to be a genuine need for tax lawyers.

    This article is a sad sign of Labour's attacking Tories strategy for the next 8 months. Its about how bad the Conservatives are rather than promoting what Labour has done. This election will be very, very dirty, and this is just one example of how they will go about warned readers.

  4. Don I agree with you and would raise the bands no tax is paid on to 8,000 or even 10,000 accepting those earning more than that would have to pay more. I would like to see National Insurance paid by those earning over 60,000 unlike now.

    James where to start. The Labour government has seen people steadily move out of absolute poverty (as opposed to relative poverty). Most people like a tax/benefit syste that encourages unemployed people to get into work, you don't?

    Noone disputes the need for tax lawyers but lets not pretend they are for the likes of you or me James. I'm on the side of ordinary people, you back the millionaires, we'll have to agree to differ.

    Dirty election? Labour isn't funded by non-tax paying people like Lord Ashcroft. A little bird tells me he uses tax lawyers so he can donate even more money to the Conservative Party.

    His article is a comniation of hypocrisy and nonsense, you are loyal to defend it but I note you cannot dispute any facts in my post.

  5. James please explain yourself, I have spoken to a senior Inland Revenue officer and they advise me that nobody has had their income tax doubled. That's a pretty serious misrepresentation by you, especially in view of your further misrepresentations.

  6. So the removal of the lower income tax band didnt double the income tax on those who were in there previously?

    If not then the IR owes me some...

  7. James as you know other allowances were changed at the same time so when you say your taxes were doubled you are providing misinformation. I suggest you publish 2 payslips on your blog, one before the alleged "doubling" and one after. I think we both know that you cannot do this, so I trust you will withdraw your comment.

  8. From Charlie Elphicke's page on Hunton & Williams website (the law firm where he is a partner)

    "Represented a household name retailer in its successful defence of a claim by Customs & Excise for several million pounds of VAT"

    Probably enough money to fund a few operations or some teachers or some decent home care for OAPs

    Dover deserves a better MP than a tax laywer who helps his clients pay less tax...

  9. I live in Deal and what matters to me is getting the highspeed trains to stop there. Charlie Elphicke says it's one of his priorities and yet failed to turn up to the Kent Rail summit to fight for his constituents.