Thurrock has a say on an EU referendum



The Peoples Pledge are crowing about a 'historic' result in Thurrock.

In a 'referendum about a referendum' the voters were asked if they agreed or disagreed to the question:
Voters should be given a national referendum on whether the UK remains a member of the European Union.

The results are in:
Numbers voting AGREE 13,111 (89.9%)
Numbers voting DISAGREE 1,479 (10.1%)

That looks like a clear result. Thurrock must want an EU referendum. Right?




Well, lets look a little closer. First lets look at the 2010 general election result:

Conservative16,86936.8%
Labour16,77736.6%
Liberal Democrat4,90110.7%
BNP3,6187.9%
UKIP3,3907.4%
Christian Peoples2670.6%
Turnout45,82259.1%

For this ballot:
Ballot size: 47,995
Turnout: 14,590 (30.3%)

Lets adjust the results:
Numbers voting AGREE 13,111 (27.3%)
Numbers voting DISAGREE 1,479 (3.1%)
Numbers who don't care 33,405 (69.9%)

So, only 30% of the people of Thurrock care enough about the EU to express an opinion either way and only 27% want an EU referendum.

But wait a minute. The Thurrock constituency is ~77500 voters.

The ballot was only sent to ~48000 voters. Presumably they were the people most likely to have voted in the May 2010 election.

Lets adjust the results again:
Numbers voting AGREE 13,111 (16.9%)
Numbers voting DISAGREE 1,479 (1.9%)
Numbers who don't care 33,405 (43.1%)
Numbers who were not asked 29505 (38%)

This is one of UKIPs top constituencies (even if they only came 5th) with over double their national average vote share. Presumably it would have been even higher without BNP.

There was nobody campaigning against a referendum. The poll was run by people who want a YES result.

The poll was a postal ballot. People could answer online or via the post, so voters didn't even need to leave their homes.

Even with all that, only 17% of the voters of Thurrock actually said they want an EU referendum.




The people's pledge say:
The result will cause consternation among all the main parties at Westminster who have all tried to ignore the issue.

In Thurrock itself, both the Conservative MP, Jackie Doyle-Price, and her Labour challenger, Polly Billington, have refused to engage with the People’s Pledge.

Actually, it shows that the main parties are closer to the views of the voters of Thurrock than UKIP and the Euro-obsessives at Peoples Pledge.

The main parties got 82% of the votes between them in 2010 without engaging with the Euro-obsessives. By Peoples Pledge's own standard, a result of over 80% is a 'historic result', so in May 2010 the historic result was "We don't care about the EU enough to vote for UKIP".

Today, I think the people of Thurrock have spoken. Their view on an EU referendum is not "yes please" as claimed by the Peoples Pledge, but a resounding "meh".

Ken's three tax avoidance scams



Ken Livingstone has published his personal income tax details.

We know that he paid the following tax:

YearIncomeTax paidEffective rate
2007/08£131,016£44,12233%
2008/09£33,690£6,12418%
2009/10£82,767£28,95335%
2010/11£94,568£34,66137%

Remember, that is just reported income. He actually earned more than that but laundered it through his company, SILVETA LIMITED.

Compare this to Boris who did not launder his income through a company (despite Ken's lies about the issue):

YearIncomeTax paidEffective rate
2010/11£473,280£213,74945%





Lets look at the three scams that he used to avoid paying his fair share of income tax:

(1) The Deferred Earnings Scam

Ken earns money from his own personal work in one year, pays corporation tax at 20 or 21%, then pays himself some of the money in one year and the rest in a later year. He then pays the difference between the corporation tax rate and the income tax rate, but by deferring the income he can apply both years personal tax allowances and avoids paying the higher rate.

(2) The Transferred Earnings Scam

Ken earns money from his own personal work, then pays half to himself and half to his wife. That way they can claim two personal allowances and both benefit from the reduced 20% tax band.

(3) The National Insurance Scam

Ken earns money from his own personal work but pays it into his company to avoid paying National Insurance on it. He pays lower National Insurance payments only on the money that he and his wife take out over a number of years and claims multiple National Insurance personal allowances - see (1) and (2).




We know how much income he claimed in the four years that he gave details for, but unfortunately his company, SILVETA LIMITED, only published a simplified set of accounts without a full profit/loss statement. We do know that the company retained profits of up to £284,000 so he definitely is guilty of scam (1).

We know that the company has two shares, which presumably belong one each to himself and his wife (who is a company director), so we can assume that any dividend income that he shows on his income tax details is also being paid to his wife, so it looks like he is guilty of scam (2).

Ken has not given National Insurance details but he should be paying NI Class 4 on all of his income, so it is very likely that he is guilty of scam (3).

All that the publication of these tax records has done is prove that Ken avoided paying tax and Boris did not. Hardly a 'fair deal' for London tax payers.




I can't calculate how much tax he has avoided without the publication of full company accounts for SILVETA LIMITED and his wife's personal income tax details.

If Ken has nothing to hide and wants a fair deal for London then he should publish all of his tax details, not just some of them.

There is probably a fourth tax scam that I can't prove without the company accounts. It is claimed that Ken made a political donation to the Labour party and claimed it as tax deductible. Political donations are not tax deductible and we don't know what other dubious tax deductions he made because he has not published the full accounts, only a summary.

Ken said that tax avoiders are "rich bastards" who should "not be allowed to vote". I agree. They should not be allowed to stand for elected office either. Please, voters of London, tell Ken if you agree with me.