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Take That

Panacea comment for financial advisers

13 May 2014

Who’s been a naughty boy then? 

Gary Barlow is the latest potential gong returnee joining an ever lengthening line of celebrity ‘victims’ being hung out to dry for ‘sins various’, all determined by a baying social media fuelled mob and on this occasion under the direction of one Margaret Hodge MP, that self proclaimed leader of the tax paying great and the good.

Yes, that same multi-millionaire former Labour minister Margaret Hodge, who faced questions in November 2010 over the limited tax paid by Stemcor, the steel trading company of which she is a shareholder and which was founded by her father and is run by her brother.

Analysis of Stemcor's accounts by the Daily Telegraph in their edition of 10th November 2012 reported that the business paid tax of just £163,000 on revenues of more than £2.1billion in 2011.

There is a growing trend in UKplc for the so-called ‘vulnerable’ and dispossessed social minority to exert undemocratic control over the enfranchised majority. It would seem that to get your voice heard and action taken today you should belong to a minority group of some sort, preferably with questionable ethnic, religious or ethical agendas ideally funded with government grants.

What did Gary do?

He and other bandmates invested in 2012, it is alleged, at least £26 million in what was referred to as an ‘aggressive tax avoidance scheme’, putting money into two partnerships, run by Icebreaker Management, styled as music-industry investment schemes, according to reports.

Judge Bishopp, in a High Court ruling, declared that the partnerships set up by Icebreaker Management were to secure tax relief for members, and HMRC is now expected to demand repayment.

Take That's lawyers insisted the band mates believed the investments were legitimate enterprises and that all four named paid "significant tax".

Most wealthy individuals got to be just that with a little talent, some good luck and an awful lot of specialist professional support looking for the best ways to secure and grow their wealth, no matter how it was obtained.

Mr. Barlow is, I suspect, only guilty of taking financial advice to best invest his millions and avoidance, no matter how aggressive is not illegal. 

Let’s keep an eye on FSCS defaults in the coming months if his financial adviser finds him or herself in the firing line from Mr. B’s legal team.

I think there are plenty of others who should be higher up the ‘Return your gong’ list; perhaps you would like to suggest some.

Shall we start with Sir Hector?

What goes around as they say……...

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Comments (5)

Hodge was appointed MBE in 1978. However, the end of her period at Islington, before taking up her parliamentary career, was marred by the emergence of serious child abuse allegations concerning the children's homes in Islington.

In my view this utterly discredits her despite what she does on the select committee.

callomon1   14/05/2014   09:46
Earn the money and pay the tax.

If the tax breaks in a particular scheme seem too good to be true ... then they probably are.

At age 58 and 59, my wife and I have been relieved of nearly £200,000 of state pension income in order to refund the national debt, which was largely created by Gordon Brown.

I would have to confess to relatively little concern for the plight of a bunch of celebrities who should have known better, in taking up a scheme that was obviously too good to be true, and who will probably sue the financial profession who advised them into it in the first place, for which I will probably pay for through my regulatory fees and compensation scheme levies, when them have declared themselves insolvent.

Trevor Harrington   14/05/2014   10:04
If his Chartered Accountant said ok, he was entitled to take that advice. If it subsequently proved to be wrong, why pillory the man?

Richard Brown   14/05/2014   19:53
remember this... Hector Santz retired without notice before RDR was live, he was then begged by the chancellor to come back and finish the job. Ohhhhhh OK then buit whats in it for me?>??

Thereby does one receive the gong. Then he left again, also early. Talk about having the chancellor around ones little finger!! Not even Alan Sugar can do that!

callomon1   14/05/2014   20:38
On a previous post I objected to the label of Communist when referring to mortgage regulation, but in this case I think it's entirely appropriate. (Maybe Fascist fits too?)

Mr Barlow was guilty of nothing - tax avoidance is perfectly legal - or at least was - until our Government's decided they were unable or couldn't be bothered to frame decent legislation and then resorted to GAR rules and wishy washy 'effics' or finger pointing.
If Mr Barlow had any sense he would tell them all to get stuffed and move himself and all his assets to Switzerland, Andorra or Malta. (Just as they did in the days of Dennis Healey). Is all this aggro worth a silly gong?

Odd isn’t it that our Government encourages tax evasion and money laundering if it benefits them – why else do the Oligarchs come here? Look at the cost of immediate residency for anyone with the cash!

Harry Katz   20/05/2014   18:23


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