The Mayoral election campaign hasn’t been going long but already the fight seems to have got dirty.Â Ed Miliband has been forced to come out in defence of Red Kenneth after accusations that the former Labour Mayor operates all sorts of unethical and sly tax-dodging arrangements.
According to the Guardian, Livingstone ‘paid money he received from various media engagements directly into a limited company owned by himself and his wife, Emma Beal, allowed him to avoid paying the full rate of income tax on his earnings.
‘By directing earnings into the company, Silveta Limited, Livingstone is liable for corporation tax of 20% rather than income tax of up to 50%.’
At the same time, Bozza’s office was forced to confirm that the current Mayor doesn’t operate any similar arrangements.Â A spokesperson said: “The mayor pays tax on all earnings and declares his outside interests. The mayor does not use private companies to process payments.”
Of course, Livingstone and Miliband have shrieked loudly that the whole thing is a dirty tricks campaign dreamed up by Bozza’s advisor, but the Labour candidate was forced to defend his actions on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show last weekend.
Particularly telling is Miliband’s claim that ‘Ken Livingstone has paid every pound of tax he is required to by law.’Â If that’s not an admission that the former Mayor uses lots of legal loopholes and schemes to dodge tax, I’m not sure what is…