You have asked about my business affairs and tax arrangements. Specifically do I have any company or other arrangements constructed to enable me to pay less tax and do I, as has been claimed by the Labour Mayoral candidate and the Opposition Leader, have the same arrangements as Labour’s Mayoral candidate.
The answer is simple and unequivocal in both cases. No.
My salary as Mayor is taxed as an employee of the GLA. In the same way as when I was an MP my salary was taxed as an employee. Any other income that I have received from outside endeavours has been received on a self-employed basis, to me as an individual (no company or other structure has been involved). No income earned by me has ever been paid to a “service” company, through which a person or person’s freelance earnings can be channeled so that they pay corporation rather than income tax.
To suggest otherwise is a complete and utter fabrication.
Of course the real point is not about my tax arrangements. It is about the hypocrisy of a man who for years has railed against those who use special arrangements to reduce their tax and who has then been caught – bang to rights – doing the very same thing himself.
Boris JohnsonI understand that Boris also took Ken to one side after a hustings debate, after Ken had repeated the same claim, to say its not true explaining the position as above and asked Ken not to say it again. Following the repeating of the allegation on LBC which he knows to be completely false I can understand why Boris reacted with such anger. After all as he currently pays income tax as fifty percent he could be paying just short of £200k a year in income tax. Ken Livingstone hasn't paid anywhere near that and by switching his earning to a company he avoided £50k in income tax.
Ken knowingly lied about Boris' tax affairs yesterday, what else did he knowingly lie about? He knew his claim on social housing was false. He claimed that in his last year as mayor he built 44% of social housing the actual figure was 34%. He claimed he wont introduce a £25 congestion charge but last year he knows that he did promise to introduce a £25 congestion charge. He claimed he wont extend the western extension zone but he promised the Labour party during the nomination election he would extend the western extension zone.
Ken also claimed he would bring back EMA for London, which he'd fund by making universities, colleges and local authorities pay for it. But legally he can not compel them to do so and most have said they will not do so. Ken claimed that current police numbers are 31,128. But the Metropolitan Police confirm there are over 32,000 warranted police officers and there will be 32,468 warranted officers so 1,340 more than Ken claimed and the Met's figures are in the public domain so Ken must of known what they are.
Ken also made a number of claims but the two that stuck out for me were "my expenses were miniscule" well he must know that he actually claimed over £66,000 in expenses while mayor. Including over £6,000 on alcohol. £6,404 on first class flights. £256 for a pair of shoes. £466 for dinner with a Cuban translator. So if Mr Livingstone believes that amount is "miniscule" he clearly needs to get back to the real world. He also claimed to of only had "4 lunches a year as mayor". Now that is a whooper he actually had 47 lunches and dinners in his last four years as mayor. And as he attended surely he should of known that.
Ken has shown that he knowingly lies. What can Londoners trust him on? After all he lies about his record which is easily checkable. He lies about his opponent's tax affairs when he already knows the truth. He lies about his own pledges when independent people have said he can't do it. He lies and scaremongers to frighten people into voting for him. He can't be trusted and saying last night he wants to "clean up politics" is the biggest lie of the lot he has spent his career smearing and mudslinging against opponents. Londoners simply can't believe a word Ken says.