Offshore Umbrella Companies
Offshore Umbrella Companies have now been confirmed as legal by Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor Osborne although they called them morally wrong. However, they are unlikely to upset those who use these schemes. Many of the Tory part donors use them to escape tax as well as members of David Cameron’s very own family. Back at the time when comedian Jimmy Carr was ‘exposed’ as using an offshore scheme called K2 to minimise his tax there was an uproar. Prime Minister Cameron called it morally wrong. However he also said it was legal. He came under fire for not doing anything about these schemes. It wouldn’t make him very popular amongst ‘his own’ if he made offshore umbrella companies illegal.
Users of the schemes are such as his father-in-law Lord Astor and the Conservative Party’s major donor Lord Ashcroft. Indeed Cameron was under pressure because he wouldn’t condemn the schemes used by his rich buddies while issuing soundbites about what Jimmy Carr was doing being morally wrong. Even Cameron’s stockbroker dad is using offshore schemes to avoid paying tax. So, would you think that he would court problems with his father, his father-in-law and the Conservative party’s main donor by banning these schemes? You would have to say ‘not likely’.
Fellow Cabinet members Jeremy Hunt, Philip Hammond and Andrew Mitchell operate offshore schemes. Even Chancellor Osborne has a £4 million offshore trust fund. Their hands wouldn’t be going up in favour of banning offshore umbrella companies and other offshore schemes. The Conservative Party might find themselves with a shortage of donors if they banned these companies and trusts. Visits to his father and father-in-lay might prove a bit more difficult for Cameron.
Lord Ashcroft who has amassed a fortune of over £1 billion, has donated a total of £10m to the Tory Party. One wouldn’t expect him to be so generous if the Government closed off the offshore schemes that helped him amass that fortune. Don’t expect offshore Umbrella Companies or similar offshore schemes to be abolished any time soon. Freelancers, it seems, can rest assured that they are in the same boat as Cameron and Osborne’s rich pals and that the main guys in the Government have declared these offshore schemes legal.
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