Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Corbyn - Confusion Reigns

Politics Home reports on a bit of grandstanding by Jeremy Corbyn the other day over his tax returns.

The exercise didn't end up too well as the Labour leader (or his advisers) seems confused over how much he earns as Leader the Opposition at Westminster. 

Apparently Mr Corbyn’s tax return stated that his earnings last year were £77,019 from all work, plus another £36,045 from UK pensions and state benefits, £1,200 profit from self-employment and £78 in interest from UK bank and building societies.

Making a grand total of £114,342

But Mr Corbyn (who is 67) was also entitled to an additional £39,272 a year as leader of the opposition on top of his MP’s salary of £74,000.

Now the average salary in the UK is around £25,000 a year, yet Jezza earns £11,000 more than that figure just from his UK pensions and state benefits.

So are Corbyn's real earnings £153,614 (£114,342 + £39,272) or £114,342?

Who knows, although what I don't understand is how the Labour leader can be 'employed' and 'self-employed' at the same time; nor am I clear why Mr Corbyn declared £77,019 for 'all employments' while his basic MP's salary is £74,000.



Labour 'confident' Jeremy Corbyn paid correct tax after salary confusion
By Kevin Schofield and Emilio Casalicchio - Politics Home

Labour has insisted it is “confident” Jeremy Corbyn has paid the right amount of tax after his latest return failed to mention his salary for being leader of the opposition.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sparked confusion last night after he published his tax details
Credit: PA Images

The Labour leader published the form on his website in an apparent attempt to embarrass Chancellor Philip Hammond, who has refused to do make public his own return.

The seven-page form showed Mr Corbyn’s income totalled £114,342 and that he paid £35,298 in tax.

Confusion as Jeremy Corbyn tax return fails to mention income from being opposition leader

Corbyn admits failing to include pension income on tax return

Jeremy Corbyn overstated income on his tax return

Jeremy Corbyn fined £100 for filing tax return late

According to the return, his "payment from all employments" was £77,019. But once his MP's salary and wage for being leader of the opposition from September 2015 onwards is added together, that amount should have been around £100,000.

The rest of his income, according to his tax form, came from a £1,200 "profit from self-employment", £78 bank interest and £36,045 in pensions.

Mr Corbyn's aides were initially unable to explain the apparent discrepancy, insisting the tax return "was prepared by a firm of professional accountants who were supplied with the relevant information".

But in a statement finally published after midnight, Labour said £27,192 listed under "other pensions and annuities" as "public office" on his form is his income for being leader of the opposition.

"We are confident the total income of £114,342 in the tax return is correct, as is the income tax charge of £35,298. Nearly all the tax was paid at source,” a spokesperson said.

"We welcome media and public scrutiny of the Labour leader's tax return. This is a matter of policy, not political point scoring.

"We believe in transparency. Those who seek the highest office, along with the very wealthy and powerful, should publish their tax returns."

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott - one of Mr Corbyn's closest allies - said the Labour leader "couldn’t possibly be intending to deceive anybody", but refused to say she would definitely publish her tax return.

She told the BBC's Westminster Hour last night: "I would always normally follow Jeremy Corbyn’s lead but I think we are going to have to discuss this as a shadow cabinet if we are all going to publish our tax returns.

"But the point is it’s to illustrate the policy that we are putting forward that people that earn over a million – I think – should publish their tax returns. If that’s what we agree to do, certainly I’ll do it”.


One Labour insider said last night: "Jeremy has put up on his own website a tax return which is erroneous. The whole thing is a mess."

It is not the first time that Mr Corbyn has run into trouble because of his tax return.

Last year, he was fined £100 by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs for filing his return nearly a week late.

PoliticsHome also revealed how he overstated his earnings in the same form, meaning he paid more tax than he should have.


Speaking on the Andrew Marr show yesterday, Chancellor Philip Hammond refused to publish his own tax details.

"I have no intention of doing so. Just for the record my tax affairs are all perfectly regular and up to date,” he said.

"But I think this demonstration politics isn't helping the atmosphere in British politics."