TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Liz Truss chief of staff Mark Fullbrook is paid through his lobbying company so he can evade personal taxes

This stinks. Boris Johnson has been kicked out despite being elected by the people, because he could not be trusted and questions about how he treated number 10 as a personal plaything. Here we go again with the unelected UK prime minister, Liz Truss. Her chief of staff, you know, the one that was interviewed by FBI agents relating to an alleged plot to bribe an American politician, is on the UK government payroll, paid not to him, but to his… company, so he can evade taxes and deduct corporate expenses. While you, while us, while not them, are overtaxed.

The prime minister’s chief of staff is being paid through his lobbying company in a highly unusual arrangement that could allow him to pay less tax.

Mark Fullbrook insists he is not being paid through his company for tax reasons and has obtained no tax benefit from the arrangement. However, he is refusing to explain the agreement that lets him direct government strategy without being directly employed by the government.

Previous holders of the role have been treated like any other special adviser (Spad), appointed on a temporary civil service contract and paid a salary that is made public. Fullbrook is instead a contractor and will receive any payment through Fullbrook Strategies, a private lobbying company he created in April but which he says has suspended commercial activities.

One Whitehall source said it was “unheard of” for a No 10 official of his seniority to be employed in this way although Fullbrook disputed this. It is unclear what the implications of the arrangement are from a financial and transparency perspective.

Between April and June, according to the Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists, Fullbrook’s company contacted the government on behalf of clients including the Libyan House of Representatives, which is opposed by the West and the UN, an energy provider and a PPE firm linked to a fundamentalist Christian sect.

It announced it had “suspended” its commercial activities earlier this month after Fullbrook was appointed by Liz Truss to be her top aide.

However he is continuing to use it as a vehicle to receive his publicly funded salary. The equivalent post under Boris Johnson carried a salary of £140,000.

The arrangement will lead to questions days after No 10 scrapped the so-called IR35 reforms of previous Conservative governments that were designed to stop people paying themselves via a company to avoid tax.

In 2019, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) won a case against BBC presenters who were told to pay back hundreds of thousands of pounds in tax after working via personal service companies when they were employees in all but name.

In 2017 and 2021, the Treasury introduced measures that made employers responsible for determining the tax status of workers who provided their services through a company.

They were required to decide if a person was a freelance contractor, meaning they could pay corporation or dividend tax on any earnings, or whether they were effectively an employee and liable for income tax. Employers who got it wrong were required to pay tax, penalties and interest.

On Friday, Kwasi Kwarteng, the chancellor, said the burden would once again fall on employees to determine their own status, with critics saying the system would become vulnerable to abuse.

Dan Neidle, a tax expert and the founder of Tax Policy Associates, said he could not fathom any reason for Fullbrook’s arrangement. “I don’t understand why someone would do it,” he said. “Before yesterday, responsibility for applying IR35 [rules] — and liability for getting it wrong — would have fallen on the civil service. I’d expect them to take a very conservative view.

“The effect of the budget change is that Fullbrook gets to decide himself. Of course [it is] subject to later HMRC challenge, but it still gives him an ability to take a more aggressive view than the civil service would have permitted.”

Fullbrook is already facing questions after The Sunday Times revealed he had been interviewed by FBI agents in connection with an alleged criminal conspiracy to bribe a US politician and influence the outcome of an election in Puerto Rico.

He has since signed an agreement with US law enforcement and is co-operating as a witness. It is understood that he is not under investigation. He denies any knowledge of the bribe and in a statement says he is “confident” he behaved within the law at all times.

According to the Institute for Government, Spads are appointed as temporary civil servants. They are given contracts and their employment and salary band is published by the Cabinet Office annually. After leaving government they are required to inform the appointments watchdog of any private sector appointments.

A former No 10 insider said some Spads had in the past “topped up” their salaries by receiving extra income from Conservative Party Headquarters as they provided party political, as well as policy, advice.

Edward Lister, previously Johnson’s principal strategic adviser and now Baron Udny-Lister, continued to be paid for consultancy by a property developer while in Downing Street. But the ex-No 10 source also said there was no precedent for Spads being paid for their government work primarily through a consultancy company.

It is unclear whether Fullbrook’s salary will be reported as standard and whether being paid through his company could alter the usual terms of a Spad’s employment in any other way.

A spokesman for Fullbrook said: “This is not an unusual arrangement. It was not put in place for tax purposes and Mr Fullbrook derives no tax benefit from it.”

A government source said: “It is not unusual for a special adviser or civil servant to join government on secondment. Any government employee hired on secondment is subject to the usual special adviser or civil service codes.”


Reference:
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/top-liz-truss-aide-mark-fullbrook-paid-through-his-private-company-b90hdkj5z

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/no-10-chief-of-staff-in-fbi-inquiry-over-election-bribe-in-puerto-rico-rrlrtzkjk

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/no-10-chief-in-fbi-bribery-inquiry-to-stay-in-london-bvhsgpjhc

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×