Branson tells North-East charity bosses to "get off their a*** and prove themselves"

Sir Richard Branson at Virgin Money's offices in Newcastle

Sir Richard Branson at Virgin Money's offices in Newcastle

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

SIR Richard Branson has issued a blunt message to the people running the North-East’s biggest charity, saying: “They have to get off their arse and prove themselves.”

During a visit to Virgin Money’s offices in Newcastle the world’s most famous entrepreneur unveiled details of a rescue plan for the under-threat Northern Rock Foundation.

Sir Richard pointed to the 11 companies in the region with larger turnover than Virgin Money as potential donors. 

The idea met with a cool response from some of the region’s biggest businesses.

Nissan, Northumbrian Water and Vertu Motors said they would rather continue to support their own successful charity efforts than back Virgin’s plan.  

If it fails, Sir Richard has pledged to set aside £1m-a-year for good causes in the North-East, to be managed by his Virgin Unite charity.

The Northern Echo understands that details of Virgin’s proposal were sent to Ed Miliband over the weekend, following comments the Labour Leader made on a visit to the region on Friday, before bosses at the foundation were told about it on Monday morning by email.

Comments (27)

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9:07pm Mon 12 May 14

LUSTARD says...

if the dogs trust can take over 1 million every week then thgey need more than getting of off thier srse ,, they need booting up it.
if the dogs trust can take over 1 million every week then thgey need more than getting of off thier srse ,, they need booting up it. LUSTARD
  • Score: 20

7:39am Tue 13 May 14

Yemen says...

LUSTARD wrote:
if the dogs trust can take over 1 million every week then thgey need more than getting of off thier srse ,, they need booting up it.
either that or people need to start donating money to humans and not animals :/
[quote][p][bold]LUSTARD[/bold] wrote: if the dogs trust can take over 1 million every week then thgey need more than getting of off thier srse ,, they need booting up it.[/p][/quote]either that or people need to start donating money to humans and not animals :/ Yemen
  • Score: 1

8:53am Tue 13 May 14

Mr A says...

Animals don't spend the money on gambling, booze, fags and drugs. They don't have flat screen TV's or cars to run.

I would rather give to humans than animals but animals use the money wisely. The money raised goes to food, warmth, shelter and welfare.
Animals don't spend the money on gambling, booze, fags and drugs. They don't have flat screen TV's or cars to run. I would rather give to humans than animals but animals use the money wisely. The money raised goes to food, warmth, shelter and welfare. Mr A
  • Score: 11

9:15am Tue 13 May 14

Hunty1 says...

Excellent at least Mr Branson has the right idea... you just need to look at the panel of people on these panels, look at the so called projects they support. These charities spend too much money on big fat dinner parties to show off who they know ... you don't see the dog's trust doing that!!
Excellent at least Mr Branson has the right idea... you just need to look at the panel of people on these panels, look at the so called projects they support. These charities spend too much money on big fat dinner parties to show off who they know ... you don't see the dog's trust doing that!! Hunty1
  • Score: 17

10:15am Tue 13 May 14

David Lacey says...

Get off your ars*s could apply to a swathe of people in the North East, not just charities. But we would rather go on and on about the bl**dy miners strike and nasty Maggie than look forward to a brighter future then do something about it. The region gets what it deserves. Nowt.
Get off your ars*s could apply to a swathe of people in the North East, not just charities. But we would rather go on and on about the bl**dy miners strike and nasty Maggie than look forward to a brighter future then do something about it. The region gets what it deserves. Nowt. David Lacey
  • Score: 10

11:19am Tue 13 May 14

Ally F says...

Well said Sir Richard.

I recall the then leader of the 'New Labour' opposition Mr Tony Blair MP stating that "people need a hand up not a hand out". Fast forward nearly 20 years and what a hollow ring that soundbite resonates with - I still see great swathes of people in the North East expecting to be propped up by the State or by Charity as though they have some God given right to a life of hand-outs. We've failed to tackle the culture or create the upward mobility and self-esteem needed to crack this one.

We are civilised county - people in genuine need deserve genuine help - personal realtionships and families do break down for a multitude of reasons. Charity and the Welfare State should help people through difficult times until they get back on their feet again.

We should be weaning people off a legacy of dependency on easy access State benefits handed out for nothing in return, but you have to substitute the benefit with a genuine opportunity and incentive of employment, training and upskilling, to create the motivation and desire.
Well said Sir Richard. I recall the then leader of the 'New Labour' opposition Mr Tony Blair MP stating that "people need a hand up not a hand out". Fast forward nearly 20 years and what a hollow ring that soundbite resonates with - I still see great swathes of people in the North East expecting to be propped up by the State or by Charity as though they have some God given right to a life of hand-outs. We've failed to tackle the culture or create the upward mobility and self-esteem needed to crack this one. We are civilised county - people in genuine need deserve genuine help - personal realtionships and families do break down for a multitude of reasons. Charity and the Welfare State should help people through difficult times until they get back on their feet again. We should be weaning people off a legacy of dependency on easy access State benefits handed out for nothing in return, but you have to substitute the benefit with a genuine opportunity and incentive of employment, training and upskilling, to create the motivation and desire. Ally F
  • Score: 7

12:01pm Tue 13 May 14

laboursfoe says...

Ally F wrote:
Well said Sir Richard.

I recall the then leader of the 'New Labour' opposition Mr Tony Blair MP stating that "people need a hand up not a hand out". Fast forward nearly 20 years and what a hollow ring that soundbite resonates with - I still see great swathes of people in the North East expecting to be propped up by the State or by Charity as though they have some God given right to a life of hand-outs. We've failed to tackle the culture or create the upward mobility and self-esteem needed to crack this one.

We are civilised county - people in genuine need deserve genuine help - personal realtionships and families do break down for a multitude of reasons. Charity and the Welfare State should help people through difficult times until they get back on their feet again.

We should be weaning people off a legacy of dependency on easy access State benefits handed out for nothing in return, but you have to substitute the benefit with a genuine opportunity and incentive of employment, training and upskilling, to create the motivation and desire.
I see some people don't like your remarks. I personally think they are spot on.

There is a dependency culture in this area, in their eyes the only answer is to be given more money for equal effort. In the real world the way to get more money is to put in more effort.
[quote][p][bold]Ally F[/bold] wrote: Well said Sir Richard. I recall the then leader of the 'New Labour' opposition Mr Tony Blair MP stating that "people need a hand up not a hand out". Fast forward nearly 20 years and what a hollow ring that soundbite resonates with - I still see great swathes of people in the North East expecting to be propped up by the State or by Charity as though they have some God given right to a life of hand-outs. We've failed to tackle the culture or create the upward mobility and self-esteem needed to crack this one. We are civilised county - people in genuine need deserve genuine help - personal realtionships and families do break down for a multitude of reasons. Charity and the Welfare State should help people through difficult times until they get back on their feet again. We should be weaning people off a legacy of dependency on easy access State benefits handed out for nothing in return, but you have to substitute the benefit with a genuine opportunity and incentive of employment, training and upskilling, to create the motivation and desire.[/p][/quote]I see some people don't like your remarks. I personally think they are spot on. There is a dependency culture in this area, in their eyes the only answer is to be given more money for equal effort. In the real world the way to get more money is to put in more effort. laboursfoe
  • Score: 6

5:40pm Tue 13 May 14

Mod says...

Despondency, despair, and dependency the Northeast's legacy from 100 years of Labour rule.
Despondency, despair, and dependency the Northeast's legacy from 100 years of Labour rule. Mod
  • Score: 9

8:57pm Tue 13 May 14

Border Terrier says...

Labours policy was/is Benefits = Votes. Client state!
Labours policy was/is Benefits = Votes. Client state! Border Terrier
  • Score: 6

4:02pm Wed 14 May 14

David Lacey says...

Perfectly summed up gents.
Perfectly summed up gents. David Lacey
  • Score: 9

8:18am Thu 15 May 14

MartinMo says...

"We should be weaning people off a legacy of dependency on easy access State benefits handed out for nothing in return, but you have to substitute the benefit with a genuine opportunity and incentive of employment, training and upskilling, to create the motivation and desire."

Ally F, you are too kind. I think this nation has gone way past trying to wean people of benefits through training and employment incentives as for many this is a lifestyle of choice now. If you want to motivate these people into getting off their back sides and start earning their way through life then benefits paid to them need severed. They will be forced to earn a living or find out for the first time what living in poverty actually means.
"We should be weaning people off a legacy of dependency on easy access State benefits handed out for nothing in return, but you have to substitute the benefit with a genuine opportunity and incentive of employment, training and upskilling, to create the motivation and desire." Ally F, you are too kind. I think this nation has gone way past trying to wean people of benefits through training and employment incentives as for many this is a lifestyle of choice now. If you want to motivate these people into getting off their back sides and start earning their way through life then benefits paid to them need severed. They will be forced to earn a living or find out for the first time what living in poverty actually means. MartinMo
  • Score: 6

8:25am Thu 15 May 14

MartinMo says...

Mr A wrote:
Animals don't spend the money on gambling, booze, fags and drugs. They don't have flat screen TV's or cars to run.

I would rather give to humans than animals but animals use the money wisely. The money raised goes to food, warmth, shelter and welfare.
Afraid you will never be able to chamge human nature and for that reason animals will always come up trumps when I look for a charity to donate too.

It would also appear though that charity bosses which run charities for human causes always seem to have bigger overheads (big houses, fancy cars and expensive dinner parties) which leaves very little of donated money for the actual cause.
[quote][p][bold]Mr A[/bold] wrote: Animals don't spend the money on gambling, booze, fags and drugs. They don't have flat screen TV's or cars to run. I would rather give to humans than animals but animals use the money wisely. The money raised goes to food, warmth, shelter and welfare.[/p][/quote]Afraid you will never be able to chamge human nature and for that reason animals will always come up trumps when I look for a charity to donate too. It would also appear though that charity bosses which run charities for human causes always seem to have bigger overheads (big houses, fancy cars and expensive dinner parties) which leaves very little of donated money for the actual cause. MartinMo
  • Score: 12

11:06am Thu 15 May 14

John Durham says...

Its very true that some people have become almost accepting of the charitable nature of this country.
Take Richard Branson for example. That nice charitable George Osborne sold him Northern Rock at the knock down price of £750 million a couple of years ago when it was valued at £1.4 billion - despite complaints from even Tory MPs that the government was throwing away taxpayers money. Not only that, but Branson only had to take on the good bit of the bank - the toxic debt stayed with the taxpayer.
Now Branson wants to float the bank for £2 billion pounds.
Not a bad little gift for a couple of years.
Then charitable George sold off Royal Mail massively under-valued and allowed some of his friends to make a small fortune in a matter of weeks.
Despite talking tough on tax avoidance it seems the government has been completely underhand about how much it really has done - and 1,000s of millionaires still manage to escape paying the correct amount of tax through clever scams.
HMRC has also done deal after deal with businesses which owed millions in tax but have only had to pay very small sums. The exchequer being over £30 billion down on those 'charitable' deals.
Of course, we don't want this culture of gift giving to get out of hand and spread to ordinary working people. No siree - the good folks above have had enough of that sort of charity. For the government however, charity really does begin at home - as long as that home is a mansion.
Its very true that some people have become almost accepting of the charitable nature of this country. Take Richard Branson for example. That nice charitable George Osborne sold him Northern Rock at the knock down price of £750 million a couple of years ago when it was valued at £1.4 billion - despite complaints from even Tory MPs that the government was throwing away taxpayers money. Not only that, but Branson only had to take on the good bit of the bank - the toxic debt stayed with the taxpayer. Now Branson wants to float the bank for £2 billion pounds. Not a bad little gift for a couple of years. Then charitable George sold off Royal Mail massively under-valued and allowed some of his friends to make a small fortune in a matter of weeks. Despite talking tough on tax avoidance it seems the government has been completely underhand about how much it really has done - and 1,000s of millionaires still manage to escape paying the correct amount of tax through clever scams. HMRC has also done deal after deal with businesses which owed millions in tax but have only had to pay very small sums. The exchequer being over £30 billion down on those 'charitable' deals. Of course, we don't want this culture of gift giving to get out of hand and spread to ordinary working people. No siree - the good folks above have had enough of that sort of charity. For the government however, charity really does begin at home - as long as that home is a mansion. John Durham
  • Score: -3

3:01pm Thu 15 May 14

studio says...

Mr A wrote:
Animals don't spend the money on gambling, booze, fags and drugs. They don't have flat screen TV's or cars to run. I would rather give to humans than animals but animals use the money wisely. The money raised goes to food, warmth, shelter and welfare.
" Animals use the money wisely "

Sorry i had to laugh! Maybe a high yielding ISA???
[quote][p][bold]Mr A[/bold] wrote: Animals don't spend the money on gambling, booze, fags and drugs. They don't have flat screen TV's or cars to run. I would rather give to humans than animals but animals use the money wisely. The money raised goes to food, warmth, shelter and welfare.[/p][/quote]" Animals use the money wisely " Sorry i had to laugh! Maybe a high yielding ISA??? studio
  • Score: 6

3:01pm Thu 15 May 14

MartinMo says...

"Of course, we don't want this culture of gift giving to get out of hand and spread to ordinary working people. No siree - the good folks above have had enough of that sort of charity."

How wrong you are, this country does not do any where enough for the ordinary WORKING PEOPLE, whilst being over charitable to the non working element. I would love to see the working element receive a lot more, even at the expense of the failing benefit system and claimants.

I always find it rather amusing when people attempt to blame the economic crisis on the wealthy and working class without realising they are not the ones draining the countries finances. Even if someone manages to get away with tax avoidance they are still paying something to the country. What does out of work yob, his out of work wife and five kids do for the future and betterment of the country.
"Of course, we don't want this culture of gift giving to get out of hand and spread to ordinary working people. No siree - the good folks above have had enough of that sort of charity." How wrong you are, this country does not do any where enough for the ordinary WORKING PEOPLE, whilst being over charitable to the non working element. I would love to see the working element receive a lot more, even at the expense of the failing benefit system and claimants. I always find it rather amusing when people attempt to blame the economic crisis on the wealthy and working class without realising they are not the ones draining the countries finances. Even if someone manages to get away with tax avoidance they are still paying something to the country. What does out of work yob, his out of work wife and five kids do for the future and betterment of the country. MartinMo
  • Score: 5

3:52pm Thu 15 May 14

David Lacey says...

You tell it as it is Martin. And the North East has its fair share of thieves masquerading as too sick to work or simply avoiding that filthy 4 letter word. It is time for the Government to put the squeeze on them - big time.
You tell it as it is Martin. And the North East has its fair share of thieves masquerading as too sick to work or simply avoiding that filthy 4 letter word. It is time for the Government to put the squeeze on them - big time. David Lacey
  • Score: 4

5:59pm Thu 15 May 14

John Durham says...

MartinMo wrote:
"Of course, we don't want this culture of gift giving to get out of hand and spread to ordinary working people. No siree - the good folks above have had enough of that sort of charity."

How wrong you are, this country does not do any where enough for the ordinary WORKING PEOPLE, whilst being over charitable to the non working element. I would love to see the working element receive a lot more, even at the expense of the failing benefit system and claimants.

I always find it rather amusing when people attempt to blame the economic crisis on the wealthy and working class without realising they are not the ones draining the countries finances. Even if someone manages to get away with tax avoidance they are still paying something to the country. What does out of work yob, his out of work wife and five kids do for the future and betterment of the country.
I'm not sure if you read my comment Martin before quoting it. I did not mention benefit recipients at all - in fact the part you quoted mentioned 'ordinary working people'.
Ordinary working people who paying tax are having to pay a greater share in making up the lost revenue from Osborne's cheap give-aways and letting big business and others get away with tax than in the total amount paid in out-of-work benefits. Yet the latter bothers you and the former doesn't.
I just find that incomprehensible as a working tax-payer.
[quote][p][bold]MartinMo[/bold] wrote: "Of course, we don't want this culture of gift giving to get out of hand and spread to ordinary working people. No siree - the good folks above have had enough of that sort of charity." How wrong you are, this country does not do any where enough for the ordinary WORKING PEOPLE, whilst being over charitable to the non working element. I would love to see the working element receive a lot more, even at the expense of the failing benefit system and claimants. I always find it rather amusing when people attempt to blame the economic crisis on the wealthy and working class without realising they are not the ones draining the countries finances. Even if someone manages to get away with tax avoidance they are still paying something to the country. What does out of work yob, his out of work wife and five kids do for the future and betterment of the country.[/p][/quote]I'm not sure if you read my comment Martin before quoting it. I did not mention benefit recipients at all - in fact the part you quoted mentioned 'ordinary working people'. Ordinary working people who paying tax are having to pay a greater share in making up the lost revenue from Osborne's cheap give-aways and letting big business and others get away with tax than in the total amount paid in out-of-work benefits. Yet the latter bothers you and the former doesn't. I just find that incomprehensible as a working tax-payer. John Durham
  • Score: 4

9:13am Fri 16 May 14

MartinMo says...

If people manage to wangle the system and avoid paying taxes which I see as the biggest form of theft from the wealthy and the ordinary working class taxpayer then good going, I only wish as a working taxpayer I could do the same.

Why should out of work people benefit from at the expense of the wealthy and the ordinary working class. Why should working class be "FORCED" to pay the for those less fortunate or just plain lazy, why are we not given a choice as the wether or not to pay taxes (inevitably charity for the out of work) or at least given the choice as to where are tax pounds are used.

I always believed that money gained through taxation was to be used for the betterment of the country, I have now worked and paid taxes for over 26 years and have seen no evidence pointing towards my money being used in any manner which improves the lives of all those whom pay taxes.
In stead it is squandered on corrupt government officials, a really poor health system which does not differentiate between those whom pay for healthcare (through taxes) and those whom don't, I don't think its wrong to expect better treatment when paying for something than someone whom receives it for free. Then the other major drain on expense, the multiple plethora of different state benefits, allowing those out of work or never been in work to live lives better than many hard working taxpayers.
If people manage to wangle the system and avoid paying taxes which I see as the biggest form of theft from the wealthy and the ordinary working class taxpayer then good going, I only wish as a working taxpayer I could do the same. Why should out of work people benefit from at the expense of the wealthy and the ordinary working class. Why should working class be "FORCED" to pay the for those less fortunate or just plain lazy, why are we not given a choice as the wether or not to pay taxes (inevitably charity for the out of work) or at least given the choice as to where are tax pounds are used. I always believed that money gained through taxation was to be used for the betterment of the country, I have now worked and paid taxes for over 26 years and have seen no evidence pointing towards my money being used in any manner which improves the lives of all those whom pay taxes. In stead it is squandered on corrupt government officials, a really poor health system which does not differentiate between those whom pay for healthcare (through taxes) and those whom don't, I don't think its wrong to expect better treatment when paying for something than someone whom receives it for free. Then the other major drain on expense, the multiple plethora of different state benefits, allowing those out of work or never been in work to live lives better than many hard working taxpayers. MartinMo
  • Score: 0

9:19am Fri 16 May 14

David Lacey says...

Spot on Martin.
Spot on Martin. David Lacey
  • Score: 0

10:48am Fri 16 May 14

John Durham says...

MartinMo wrote:
If people manage to wangle the system and avoid paying taxes which I see as the biggest form of theft from the wealthy and the ordinary working class taxpayer then good going, I only wish as a working taxpayer I could do the same.

Why should out of work people benefit from at the expense of the wealthy and the ordinary working class. Why should working class be "FORCED" to pay the for those less fortunate or just plain lazy, why are we not given a choice as the wether or not to pay taxes (inevitably charity for the out of work) or at least given the choice as to where are tax pounds are used.

I always believed that money gained through taxation was to be used for the betterment of the country, I have now worked and paid taxes for over 26 years and have seen no evidence pointing towards my money being used in any manner which improves the lives of all those whom pay taxes.
In stead it is squandered on corrupt government officials, a really poor health system which does not differentiate between those whom pay for healthcare (through taxes) and those whom don't, I don't think its wrong to expect better treatment when paying for something than someone whom receives it for free. Then the other major drain on expense, the multiple plethora of different state benefits, allowing those out of work or never been in work to live lives better than many hard working taxpayers.
I have no problem agreeing with you that anyone who cheats the system by using the benefit system to avoid contributing to the country should be tackled directly by the government.
But you seem to not mind those who cheat even more than them robbing you of even more of your tax. So be it - it strikes me as a strange position but its your opinion to hold. I would like both benefit cheats and wealthy tax cheats to be tackled by governments of whatever party.
Good discussion - I'll leave it there for now.
[quote][p][bold]MartinMo[/bold] wrote: If people manage to wangle the system and avoid paying taxes which I see as the biggest form of theft from the wealthy and the ordinary working class taxpayer then good going, I only wish as a working taxpayer I could do the same. Why should out of work people benefit from at the expense of the wealthy and the ordinary working class. Why should working class be "FORCED" to pay the for those less fortunate or just plain lazy, why are we not given a choice as the wether or not to pay taxes (inevitably charity for the out of work) or at least given the choice as to where are tax pounds are used. I always believed that money gained through taxation was to be used for the betterment of the country, I have now worked and paid taxes for over 26 years and have seen no evidence pointing towards my money being used in any manner which improves the lives of all those whom pay taxes. In stead it is squandered on corrupt government officials, a really poor health system which does not differentiate between those whom pay for healthcare (through taxes) and those whom don't, I don't think its wrong to expect better treatment when paying for something than someone whom receives it for free. Then the other major drain on expense, the multiple plethora of different state benefits, allowing those out of work or never been in work to live lives better than many hard working taxpayers.[/p][/quote]I have no problem agreeing with you that anyone who cheats the system by using the benefit system to avoid contributing to the country should be tackled directly by the government. But you seem to not mind those who cheat even more than them robbing you of even more of your tax. So be it - it strikes me as a strange position but its your opinion to hold. I would like both benefit cheats and wealthy tax cheats to be tackled by governments of whatever party. Good discussion - I'll leave it there for now. John Durham
  • Score: 5

12:01am Sat 17 May 14

theWorkerScum says...

John Durham wrote:
MartinMo wrote:
If people manage to wangle the system and avoid paying taxes which I see as the biggest form of theft from the wealthy and the ordinary working class taxpayer then good going, I only wish as a working taxpayer I could do the same.

Why should out of work people benefit from at the expense of the wealthy and the ordinary working class. Why should working class be "FORCED" to pay the for those less fortunate or just plain lazy, why are we not given a choice as the wether or not to pay taxes (inevitably charity for the out of work) or at least given the choice as to where are tax pounds are used.

I always believed that money gained through taxation was to be used for the betterment of the country, I have now worked and paid taxes for over 26 years and have seen no evidence pointing towards my money being used in any manner which improves the lives of all those whom pay taxes.
In stead it is squandered on corrupt government officials, a really poor health system which does not differentiate between those whom pay for healthcare (through taxes) and those whom don't, I don't think its wrong to expect better treatment when paying for something than someone whom receives it for free. Then the other major drain on expense, the multiple plethora of different state benefits, allowing those out of work or never been in work to live lives better than many hard working taxpayers.
I have no problem agreeing with you that anyone who cheats the system by using the benefit system to avoid contributing to the country should be tackled directly by the government.
But you seem to not mind those who cheat even more than them robbing you of even more of your tax. So be it - it strikes me as a strange position but its your opinion to hold. I would like both benefit cheats and wealthy tax cheats to be tackled by governments of whatever party.
Good discussion - I'll leave it there for now.
Funny when people mention about tax cheats (or more accurately tax avoidance) like starbucks but the biggest cheats are footballers, it amazes me how they manage to avoid paying the 50% tax rate when the are contracted to work in Britain. Take beloved Wayne Rooney, earns approx 15 million per year and still won't pay his fair share. Doesn't stop everyone kissing his arse, especially the media.
[quote][p][bold]John Durham[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MartinMo[/bold] wrote: If people manage to wangle the system and avoid paying taxes which I see as the biggest form of theft from the wealthy and the ordinary working class taxpayer then good going, I only wish as a working taxpayer I could do the same. Why should out of work people benefit from at the expense of the wealthy and the ordinary working class. Why should working class be "FORCED" to pay the for those less fortunate or just plain lazy, why are we not given a choice as the wether or not to pay taxes (inevitably charity for the out of work) or at least given the choice as to where are tax pounds are used. I always believed that money gained through taxation was to be used for the betterment of the country, I have now worked and paid taxes for over 26 years and have seen no evidence pointing towards my money being used in any manner which improves the lives of all those whom pay taxes. In stead it is squandered on corrupt government officials, a really poor health system which does not differentiate between those whom pay for healthcare (through taxes) and those whom don't, I don't think its wrong to expect better treatment when paying for something than someone whom receives it for free. Then the other major drain on expense, the multiple plethora of different state benefits, allowing those out of work or never been in work to live lives better than many hard working taxpayers.[/p][/quote]I have no problem agreeing with you that anyone who cheats the system by using the benefit system to avoid contributing to the country should be tackled directly by the government. But you seem to not mind those who cheat even more than them robbing you of even more of your tax. So be it - it strikes me as a strange position but its your opinion to hold. I would like both benefit cheats and wealthy tax cheats to be tackled by governments of whatever party. Good discussion - I'll leave it there for now.[/p][/quote]Funny when people mention about tax cheats (or more accurately tax avoidance) like starbucks but the biggest cheats are footballers, it amazes me how they manage to avoid paying the 50% tax rate when the are contracted to work in Britain. Take beloved Wayne Rooney, earns approx 15 million per year and still won't pay his fair share. Doesn't stop everyone kissing his arse, especially the media. theWorkerScum
  • Score: 3

10:29am Sat 17 May 14

Jacko60 says...

David Lacey wrote:
You tell it as it is Martin. And the North East has its fair share of thieves masquerading as too sick to work or simply avoiding that filthy 4 letter word. It is time for the Government to put the squeeze on them - big time.
Who are these people though? How is it that one minute you are claiming that EU migrants are taking people's jobs and the next that people in the NE without jobs are avoiding work? Which is it exactly?
[quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: You tell it as it is Martin. And the North East has its fair share of thieves masquerading as too sick to work or simply avoiding that filthy 4 letter word. It is time for the Government to put the squeeze on them - big time.[/p][/quote]Who are these people though? How is it that one minute you are claiming that EU migrants are taking people's jobs and the next that people in the NE without jobs are avoiding work? Which is it exactly? Jacko60
  • Score: 3

4:58pm Sat 17 May 14

David Lacey says...

Both.
Both. David Lacey
  • Score: -5

6:32pm Sun 18 May 14

bambara says...

The UK government estimates that total fraud across the whole of the economy amounts to £73 billion a year. UK government figures for 2012 estimate benefits overpaid due to fraud is £1.2 billion and tax credit fraud is £380 million. So just under £1.6 billion in total; less than 1% of the overall benefits and tax credits expenditure and less than benefits underpaid and overpaid due to error.

To get some perspective, benefit fraud represents 2% of the estimated total annual fraud in the UK. Public sector fraud, which includes benefit fraud, is £20.3 billion a year, so within this category it accounts for just under 8%. The majority of this £20 billion is tax fraud which costs the economy £14 billion annually, or 69%. So we can see that both in absolute and percentage terms tax fraud is a much bigger issue than benefit fraud. In fact, out of all the categories of fraud calculated by the UK Government, benefit fraud is the second lowest. Only identity fraud which costs individuals £1.4billion a year comes below it.

So that is £14 billion of fully fledged fraud, when you add in the dodgy tax avoidance and evasion that figure goes up to an estimated £95 billion.

Just Bernie Ecclestone alone with the reported avoidance of a £1.2billion tax bill for a sum of £10million paid (a saving of £1.19 billion) is approximately equal to the annual benefits fraud cost.

So having seen today that the richest 1000 people in the UK have seen their wealth rise by 15% this year alone, and seeing as we can from the official figures quoted above that the annual cost of tax fraud and tax evasion is enough to pay for the entire 4 year Tory cuts programme we can see that we are not "all in this together", we are paying for the folly of the reckless bankers whilst the rich profit.

The Tories are funding the champaigne lifestyle of their friends and cronies by cuts to the services used by the 95%, and by turning a blind eye to their tax avoidance.
The UK government estimates that total fraud across the whole of the economy amounts to £73 billion a year. UK government figures for 2012 estimate benefits overpaid due to fraud is £1.2 billion and tax credit fraud is £380 million. So just under £1.6 billion in total; less than 1% of the overall benefits and tax credits expenditure and less than benefits underpaid and overpaid due to error. To get some perspective, benefit fraud represents 2% of the estimated total annual fraud in the UK. Public sector fraud, which includes benefit fraud, is £20.3 billion a year, so within this category it accounts for just under 8%. The majority of this £20 billion is tax fraud which costs the economy £14 billion annually, or 69%. So we can see that both in absolute and percentage terms tax fraud is a much bigger issue than benefit fraud. In fact, out of all the categories of fraud calculated by the UK Government, benefit fraud is the second lowest. Only identity fraud which costs individuals £1.4billion a year comes below it. So that is £14 billion of fully fledged fraud, when you add in the dodgy tax avoidance and evasion that figure goes up to an estimated £95 billion. Just Bernie Ecclestone alone with the reported avoidance of a £1.2billion tax bill for a sum of £10million paid (a saving of £1.19 billion) is approximately equal to the annual benefits fraud cost. So having seen today that the richest 1000 people in the UK have seen their wealth rise by 15% this year alone, and seeing as we can from the official figures quoted above that the annual cost of tax fraud and tax evasion is enough to pay for the entire 4 year Tory cuts programme we can see that we are not "all in this together", we are paying for the folly of the reckless bankers whilst the rich profit. The Tories are funding the champaigne lifestyle of their friends and cronies by cuts to the services used by the 95%, and by turning a blind eye to their tax avoidance. bambara
  • Score: -3

8:47am Mon 19 May 14

laboursfoe says...

bambara wrote:
The UK government estimates that total fraud across the whole of the economy amounts to £73 billion a year. UK government figures for 2012 estimate benefits overpaid due to fraud is £1.2 billion and tax credit fraud is £380 million. So just under £1.6 billion in total; less than 1% of the overall benefits and tax credits expenditure and less than benefits underpaid and overpaid due to error.

To get some perspective, benefit fraud represents 2% of the estimated total annual fraud in the UK. Public sector fraud, which includes benefit fraud, is £20.3 billion a year, so within this category it accounts for just under 8%. The majority of this £20 billion is tax fraud which costs the economy £14 billion annually, or 69%. So we can see that both in absolute and percentage terms tax fraud is a much bigger issue than benefit fraud. In fact, out of all the categories of fraud calculated by the UK Government, benefit fraud is the second lowest. Only identity fraud which costs individuals £1.4billion a year comes below it.

So that is £14 billion of fully fledged fraud, when you add in the dodgy tax avoidance and evasion that figure goes up to an estimated £95 billion.

Just Bernie Ecclestone alone with the reported avoidance of a £1.2billion tax bill for a sum of £10million paid (a saving of £1.19 billion) is approximately equal to the annual benefits fraud cost.

So having seen today that the richest 1000 people in the UK have seen their wealth rise by 15% this year alone, and seeing as we can from the official figures quoted above that the annual cost of tax fraud and tax evasion is enough to pay for the entire 4 year Tory cuts programme we can see that we are not "all in this together", we are paying for the folly of the reckless bankers whilst the rich profit.

The Tories are funding the champaigne lifestyle of their friends and cronies by cuts to the services used by the 95%, and by turning a blind eye to their tax avoidance.
This is from the Gardian 'it is claimed that HMRC investigated the Ecclestone family's tax affairs for nine years before offering to settle for a £10m payment from the family trusts in 2008.'
Can you remind me who was in power then please, and had'n't the country just bought Northern Rock.

You're right though, it is not right for governments to turn a blind eye to dubious tax avoidance.
Here is a little quote from The Times in July last year, 'Labour paid no corporation tax last year despite being in surplus for its sixth year, the party’s annual accounts revealed yesterday.
Three months after Ed Miliband criticised irresponsible tax avoidance, it has emerged that his party reduced its corporation tax bill from £561,000 to zero by offsetting expenses and tax losses held over from 2011.'

Personally, i say go after the fraudsters hard. It is theft from the public purse and it is diverting resources from those that truly deserve it. It needs as much focus as possible, and the people to be named and shamed!!
[quote][p][bold]bambara[/bold] wrote: The UK government estimates that total fraud across the whole of the economy amounts to £73 billion a year. UK government figures for 2012 estimate benefits overpaid due to fraud is £1.2 billion and tax credit fraud is £380 million. So just under £1.6 billion in total; less than 1% of the overall benefits and tax credits expenditure and less than benefits underpaid and overpaid due to error. To get some perspective, benefit fraud represents 2% of the estimated total annual fraud in the UK. Public sector fraud, which includes benefit fraud, is £20.3 billion a year, so within this category it accounts for just under 8%. The majority of this £20 billion is tax fraud which costs the economy £14 billion annually, or 69%. So we can see that both in absolute and percentage terms tax fraud is a much bigger issue than benefit fraud. In fact, out of all the categories of fraud calculated by the UK Government, benefit fraud is the second lowest. Only identity fraud which costs individuals £1.4billion a year comes below it. So that is £14 billion of fully fledged fraud, when you add in the dodgy tax avoidance and evasion that figure goes up to an estimated £95 billion. Just Bernie Ecclestone alone with the reported avoidance of a £1.2billion tax bill for a sum of £10million paid (a saving of £1.19 billion) is approximately equal to the annual benefits fraud cost. So having seen today that the richest 1000 people in the UK have seen their wealth rise by 15% this year alone, and seeing as we can from the official figures quoted above that the annual cost of tax fraud and tax evasion is enough to pay for the entire 4 year Tory cuts programme we can see that we are not "all in this together", we are paying for the folly of the reckless bankers whilst the rich profit. The Tories are funding the champaigne lifestyle of their friends and cronies by cuts to the services used by the 95%, and by turning a blind eye to their tax avoidance.[/p][/quote]This is from the Gardian 'it is claimed that HMRC investigated the Ecclestone family's tax affairs for nine years before offering to settle for a £10m payment from the family trusts in 2008.' Can you remind me who was in power then please, and had'n't the country just bought Northern Rock. You're right though, it is not right for governments to turn a blind eye to dubious tax avoidance. Here is a little quote from The Times in July last year, 'Labour paid no corporation tax last year despite being in surplus for its sixth year, the party’s annual accounts revealed yesterday. Three months after Ed Miliband criticised irresponsible tax avoidance, it has emerged that his party reduced its corporation tax bill from £561,000 to zero by offsetting expenses and tax losses held over from 2011.' Personally, i say go after the fraudsters hard. It is theft from the public purse and it is diverting resources from those that truly deserve it. It needs as much focus as possible, and the people to be named and shamed!! laboursfoe
  • Score: 2

11:52am Mon 19 May 14

David Lacey says...

Can't we all agree that the mission of the HMRC must be to grossly simplify the rules so that avoidance, evasion and fraud are reduced to an acceptable level (zero is not possible). Why is it so hard to create a fair tax regime?
Can't we all agree that the mission of the HMRC must be to grossly simplify the rules so that avoidance, evasion and fraud are reduced to an acceptable level (zero is not possible). Why is it so hard to create a fair tax regime? David Lacey
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Mon 26 May 14

Jan Van-Winkel says...

And they still vote Labour...
And they still vote Labour... Jan Van-Winkel
  • Score: 0

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