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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tax and Teflon

The Daily Mirror's revelation that UKIP Leader Nigel Farage paid a tax adviser to create a trust in the Isle of Man, which he intended to channel funds through should be very damaging. 

The paper consulted a tax expert called Richard Murphy, who said: “There are only two good reasons to set up an Isle of Man trust. One is secrecy, you don’t want someone to know what is in there. The other is tax avoidance. And sometimes, of course, they go together.”

Nigel Farage says it was a mistake and that he did not make any money personally from the venture, but he is nevertheless on record as opposing tax avoidance.

This is difficult territory for any politician, least of all a party leader. The question is what will be the impact of this episode on the UKIP vote? My guess is  very little.

Nigel Farage seems to be one of those politicians to whom normal rules do not apply. He is viewed as an ordinary bloke, the type who you can have a pint with, a bit of a jack-the-lad who unashamedly admits his flaws and tells it as it is.

That is precisely how he has dealt with the issue of this off-shore tax haven and as far as I can see it will serve him well again. He is political Teflon. It will take more than this to dent his popularity in my opinion.
That comment from Douglas Adam's "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" comes to mind: "He's just this guy you know". Or something like that ... so if you can get Farage to drive around in a Citroën 2CV (preferably the Citroën Dyane) ... this might prove "one dent too far" as in "A bridge too far".
did u get my 'dent' joke? Arthur Dent ... cw
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