Today’s Sun front page led on a story about Vince Cable being fined for failing to pay VAT on his media and book earnings – that’s right, a paper run by a man who deliberately avoids billions in UK tax criticising someone for his inadvertent mistake.
Cable has paid back all the tax due, which amounted to “less than £15,000″; contrast that with Murdoch’s prolonged dodging of UK tax – not that you’d ever get the slavish Sun reporting their master’s money-grubbing.
As Left Foot Forward reported earlier this year:
Since the mid-1990s, countries including Britain have allowed the media mogul to pay little corporation tax. As far back as 1995, the Independent reported that in the previous ten years, Murdoch’s News International had paid “virtually no tax”.
While corporation tax was set at 33 per cent, NI paid £11.74m of its £979.4m profit – just 1.2 per cent.
As recently as 2009, News Corporation’s proprietor was being pursued by his homeland’s government after failing to pay the correct rate of corporation tax, both in Australia and the United States.
Earlier this year, Australian Capital Territory (ACT) treasury officials won a legal battle, which awarded them A$77m for avoided taxes and duties. The Guardian reported in 2005 that Murdoch’s family company was moved to Bermuda; the tax bill of A$1.2 billion had the potential to be avoided.
So what reason, then, did the Murdoch Sun have for their attack on the business secretary, cos it sure as Hell can’t have been on the principle of not tax avoiding. Can’t have had anything to do with his declaration of war on Murdoch? Can it??
As Tom Watson, scourge of Murdoch and his minions, tweeted:
“I see News International are exacting their revenge on Vince Cable this morning with a massively overcooked story. Pathetic.”
• Hugh Grant, Ed Miliband and Unite join to bury the Digger for good – Alex Hern, September 27th 2011
• De Piero: High time Labour redefined its relationship with the press – Shamik Das, September 22nd 2011
• Phone hacking: Questions over Coulson’s Murdoch pay-off won’t go away – Sara Ibrahim, August 26th 2011
• Media committee failed to get Murdoch to accept responsibility – Sara Ibrahim, July 21st 2011
• Hypocrite Murdoch tells us how to vote yet avoids billions in tax – Claire French, July 11th 2011