Entrepreneurs

Respect or jealousy

"The trouble with you Labour lot is you're jealous. Just because people have made a lot of money you want to take it away from them."

If we have heard it once, we have heard it a millions times!

Some of us (yes, socialists and Labour supporters!) have made our money through creating businesses, inventing things, employing people, exporting products and paying our corporate and personal taxes - with not a tax fiddle in sight. (More fool us, say those who claim we are jealous.)

Others choose to do it a different way. The more money they make, the more they spend on trying to avoid paying tax.

Key points

  • We need inventive and creative people - that should be a priority for our education system. We need open-minded, free-thinking young people to generate the wealth for tomorrow.
  • We need the self-employed, we need those who start new busineses, we need enterprise - all of these create the jobs and wealth that enable our society to flourish.
  • We are all in favour of people making money from their businesses, in fact, we encourage it - as long as they and their companies pay their fair share of tax - unlike the examples shown below.
  • New businesses need support - that's why we need a Citizen's Bank to provide funding by way of loans and investment.

The services that provide the things we need as a society - education, medical care, social services etc. - need to be paid for - but in themselves they don't create wealth.

Financial services were developed to provide the capital that enables businesses to generate wealth - but in themselves they don't create wealth.

Financial services can generate cash, sometimes lots of it, for those who use the wealth of others to gamble in the market - but that's a reason for strong financial regulation and a Financial Transaction Tax - to control the gamblers and to ensure long term investment.

The gamblers brought the world to financial disaster in 2008 - they must be held in check and they must be made accountable to all of us. It's worth remembering that for every gambler who wins, there are those who lose - and that may be your pension fund!

So, the Labour Party supports entrepreneurship, we believe that creative people, and those who generate jobs and wealth, should enjoy the rewards of their efforts. We also believe they should contribute their fair share to the common good - via taxation. If you make £10 million and you pay £4 million in tax you still have £6 million in your pocket to do with as you wish.

Tax avoiding scams

Many of those who make most think they have a right to avoid paying tax - they are happy for "the little people" to pay tax but they have a god-given right to keep every penny they make - as if the average person doesn't have such a right!

There is a level of arrogance and naked greed that creeps in when they make money - they become singularly unpleasant people.

Take a look at the Companies House records for Inside Track Productions LLP (or any other "Inside Track" company). LLPs are Limited Liability Partnerships, they don't have shareholders, they have partners. In this case, lots of them - Inside Track Productions has 144, Inside Track 1 has 277, Inside track 2 has 341, Inside Track 3 has 204 and so it goes on.

These are tax avoiding scams used by "celebrities" (like the Beckhams) and the rich. Unfortunately for them, HMRC recognised the scams for what they are, schemes set up with the deliberate intention of avoiding tax. They used a scheme to support the UK film industry to take advantage of tax loses to reduce their overall tax liability.

It seems that greed knows no bounds - especially for those who are already rich.

We want people to do well, we want people to make money, we want people to enjoy the fruits of their labours (by all means buy a yacht and a mansion) as long as they fulfil their social responsibilities through taxation - like the rest of us. If you are a UK citizen you should pay your UK tax - wherever your money is earned and wherever you live.

If you don't like it you are free to settle your tax affairs with HMRC, give up your UK passport and UK citizenship, leave the country and take up citizenship in any other country that will have you.

A few entrepreneurs

SULM: Singularly Unpleasant Little Man

Not all wealthy people turn out to be SULMs but most of them develop a level of arrogance and self-importance that puts them very close.

Many who have been born with a silver spoon in their mouths can be quite pleasant - until their way of life is threatened.

By "little" we mean little in mind, not necessarily little in physical stature - after all, Donald Trump is the ultimate incarnation of the SULM!

SULMs are what gives the Tory party its other name - "the nasty party".

"Man"? We are not being sexist but almost all of them are men.

Note: we have done our best to dig through records at Companies House and elsewhere and it is always possible that we have made errors. We are happy to change anything that is factually incorrect.

Both Richard Branson and James Dyson are revered by the media as fine examples of British entrepreneurship.

Anthony Bamford is less revered though he owns a hugely successful business - JCB based in Rocester.

Richard Branson

To find the truth behind Richard Branson we recommend "Branson" by Tom Bower and "Branson: behind the mask" by Tom Bower.

Richard Branson described the first book as: "What I have read has offended me on every single level..... It is a foul, foul piece of work from the first words to the last - really rotten, nasty stuff." - if that doesn't make it worth reading, nothing does.

The public history of The Blessed Richard (we stick to "Richard" because he has always been one to "get down with the youth") is too well known to repeat here - you can find it all on Wikipedia. Richard is the perfect used car salesman (endless stunts and bragging about what a rebel he is) and his success has always been about taking other people's ideas (he rarely has inventive ideas of his own), running with them and "building the brand."

Richard seldom invests his own money (as Bower's books make clear) and these days he can sit back on his private island while businesses fall over themselves offering millions just to use the Virgin brand name.

Ah, "the island". Yes, Richard owns Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). At one time Richard claimed that he moved there for his health but it seems that pretence has been done away with now. The BVI is a tax haven and Richard knows all about avoiding tax - well, he may not know all about it, but he employs experts who do!

Let's take one of "his" companies, Virgin Care, that is grabbing more and more contracts with the NHS - i.e. taking more and more of taxpayers' money. We will go through the process of finding out who runs it and who owns it.

Dead end

There is no record at Companies House for Virgin Group Investments Limited. However, there are loads of other Virgin this, that and the other - but they don't seem to be the one we want.

This is often a sure sign that the company referred to is not registered in the UK so the trail has come to a dead end.

We did a little more digging and, much to our surprise, found:

Note: VGIL is described as a "subsidiary" so we still haven't got to the end of the trail and, as yet, there has been no mention at all of The Blessed Richard.

You can run but you can't hide - one more dig found:

This page at Companies House will tell you a little more about Josh Bayliss, CEO of Virgin Group. whose correspondence address is shown as Geneva, Switzerland.

Gosh, what a tangled web, only to arrive at tax havens.

Ah, how the times do change

In 2011 The Daily Mail trumpeted The Blessed Richard as he opened "Virgin's new $209 million space terminal" in the New Mexico desert. Richard was up to his usual tricks, investing nothing and abseiling down one of the new buildings.

At this time Virgin Galactic was the new and trendy thing, promising flights into space for those with very deep pockets.

How sad that things didn't go to plan as the local area and the State lost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Richard is never one to miss an opportunity when things begin to look dark - so he sold out almost all of Virgin Galactic to the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi,

Richard is not a SULM - but he is working on it.

James Dyson

Unlike Richard Branson, James Dyson is a genuinely creative person. He took years to perfect his vacuum cleaner design and even more years marketing and selling it before it really took off. He even put his own house on the line to fund the development with a bank loan - you wouldn't catch The Blessed Richard doing that, he would get someone else to put in their money at their risk.

Dyson is a great believer in encouraging creativity as part of research and development and has built up a world-leading engineering team in Wiltshire.

Unfortunately he transferred production to Malaysia in order to compete on price in a global market.

He has retained sole ownership of his business but things start to look a little more complex when examining Companies House records.

  • Dyson Limited is shown as having a single shareholder: Dyson James Ltd.
  • Dyson James Ltd is shown as having a single shareholder: Dyson James Group Ltd.
  • Dyson James Group Ltd is shown as having a single shareholder: Holkam Group Limited.
  • Holkam Group Limited does not appear in Companies House records. However, Holkham Group Limited is shown as being renamed to Weybourne Group Limited.
  • Weybourne Group Limited is shown as having a single shareholder: Cannon Nominees Limited.
  • Cannon Nominees Limited is shown as having a single shareholder: MacFarlanes LLP.
  • ... and there the trail goes cold. (For now.)

James Dyson is a major investor in farmland - he owns over 30,000 acres mainly in Lincolnshire.

  • Beeswax Dyson Farming Limited (previously known as Beeswax Farming (Rainbow) Limited) is owned by Beeswax Farming Limited.
  • Beeswax Farming Limited ceased having a controlling interest in 2016 - details filed in August 2018.
  • The trail returns to Holkham Group Limited (see above).

Presumably there are tax advantages to transferring earnings from one company to another.

There are tax advantages in holding land when it comes to inheritance tax etc.

Of course, farmland attracts grants from the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) - £1.6million in 2016 in the case of Dyson's farms.

Dyson lost a labelling battle with the EU and since then has supported Brexit.

Dyson is definitely not a SULM.

Anthony Bamford

Anthony's father, Joseph Cyril Bamford (JCB), started the company in 1945.

In 1975 Joseph retired to Switzerland to avoid tax and handed the company over to his two sons: Anthony and Mark.

Since then the company and the Bamford brothers have been mired in controversy - in fact Anthony and Mark were at each other's throats for 13 years up until 2010 over the ownership of a company called J.C.B. Research which receives huge amounts of money from JCB for no apparent reason.

Anthony Bamford is a major donor to the Tory party and was about to be made a lord until his tax affairs came to light. This seems to have been resolved (?) as he is now Lord Bamford and listed as the sole shareholder of J.C.B. Research. Presumably his bother Mark has been bought off, or otherwise persuaded to keep a low profile, following the "fraternal misunderstanding".

JCB Limited is owned by Transmissions & Engineering Services Netherlands. One wonders why a company based in Rocester decides to place its ownership in a company registered in Holland?

Anthony Bamford is listed as a director of 58 companies - busy boy - or a very busy tax lawyer!

JCB was fined 39.6 million euros by the EU for anti trust breaches. Since then Bamford has supported Brexit.

Anthony Bamford is most definitely a SULM.

Anthony Bamford has always opposed trade unions in his companies but he was forced to give ground. Despite his alleged wealth of over £3.2 billion he has consistently made his workers pay for any temporary downturn in the market with cuts in wages.

Surely he could have hired some of them to work on his $70,000,000 yacht? Actually, even though Anthony and his wife Carole have been described as "Britain's blingiest couple" the 1991 yacht looks rather old-fashioned in today's super-rich market - more a millionaire's toy than a billionaire's. Maybe Anthony should crack the whip at Rocester and buy a new one?

BTW: Carole Bamford's foodie company, Daylesford Organic Farms Ltd, was originally registered at 80 Broad Street, Monrovia, Republic Of Liberia in West Africa (one wonders why?) but it has now moved to Staffordshire. Possibly another example of tidying up before David Cameron made Anthony Bamford a Lord.

The cost of knighthoods and lordships is going up - Anthony Bamford's cost him several million.

The tax-avoiding media barons

The (right wing) media owners listed below are all implicated in The Paradise Papers published in 2017.

David and Frederick Barclay own The Daily Telegraph while living in their castle on Brecqhou in the tax haven of the Channel Islands. If this is not enough, they are "resident" in Monaco "for tax purposes".

The Barclays are SULMs.

Jonathon Harmsworth, grandson of the famous Lord Rothermere who published "Hurrah for the Blackshirts" in his unquestioning support of Hitler and fascism. is the owner of the Daily Mail but is domiciled in France "for tax purposes" even though he has a luxury estate at Ferne Park (middle photo) in Wiltshire.

The editor of the Daily Mail was, until recently, Paul Dacre who is in receipt of almost £100,000 in taxpayer subsidies for his farm at Wadsworth in West Sussex and his Langwell Estate (bottom photo) near Ullapool in Scotland

Paul Dacre is a SULM.

The Times and The Sun are owned by Rupert Murdoch - his finances are so complex it is impossible to find where the money is buried!