Tomorrow’s People are a Tory business front ~ The Void

Posted on June 7, 2012 by johnny void | 17 Comments

The welfare to work ‘charity’ responsible for sending unemployed workers to sleep under a bridge during the Queen’s Jubilee have strong links with the Tory Party and have long operated as a charitable front for the political aims of the business sector.

Tomorrow’s People was established by booze giant Grand Metropolitan PLC – now Diageo – way back in 1984 with the aim of becoming an ‘expert intermediary between government, businesses and job-seekers.’

Whilst the charity has remained technically independent, it has still derived much of it’s funds from Diageo and still retains a  former Diageo director on it’s board.

The Chief Executive of tax-dodging bastards Diageo is Paul Walsh, who recently paid a considerable sum for dinner at Chequers with David Cameron, something the Tories apparently attempted to hush up.

Tomorrow’s People’s chairman, David Stewart, spent much of his career at accountancy firm Deloittes where he was a former board member.  Deloittes recently teamed up with Ingeus to become one of the largest welfare to work companies in the UK and prime contractors for the Government’s flagship ‘Work Programme’ scheme.

The charity’s Chief Executive, Baroness Debbie Scott, is a Tory life peer.  She was once Chief Executive of Iain Duncan Smith’s think tank, the Centre for Social Justice, a right wing bunch of loons who are believed to be among the chief  architects of the Government’s shambolic welfare reforms.

It is therefore unlikely that the DWP will take any action against the charity, who have several lucrative sub-contracts for the Work Programme and other Government backed workfare schemes.

Tomorrow’s People have been involved in workfare since before Blair’s New Deal in the late 90s and have long championed the idea of unpaid work.  They were involved in John Major’s doomed ‘Project Work’, a workfare scheme which was trialled in the dying days of the Major Government.

The charity, which also has a string of former bankers and CEO’s on it’s board, has helped to give charitable cred to increasingly exploitative workfare schemes.  With the deep pockets of Diageo behind it, it has been one of the drivers of a culture which has ended with even homelessness and disability charities becoming involved in forced labour and administering benefit sanctions.

It is therefore no surprise to find this bunch of wolves in sheep’s clothing behind the latest workfare scandal to rock the Government.  They really are all in it together and will push just as hard as they think they can get away with to destroy what’s left of the Welfare State.

The Void

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  • JJ June 8, 2012 at 4:25 am

    Tax gap reporting team
    The Guardian, Monday 2 February 2009
    Diageo plc has its headquarters in Henrietta Place, central London, and its £3.6m-a-year chief executive, Paul Walsh, lives in Sussex. The drinks giant has 6,500 workers in Britain, mostly making and selling scotch. Their famous Johnnie Walker brand, blended in Kilmarnock, is exported all over the world.

    But this British firm has been paying very little UK corporation tax, relatively speaking. Despite average annual profits of almost £2bn over the last decade, its accounts disclose a mere £43m a year in average UK corporation tax charges. This is little more than 2% of its profits.

    The tax bill would be nearer £144m a year if it reflected Diageo’s actual physical UK presence rather than the present system of taxing only those financial profits said to arise in this country. Some 30% of Diageo’s production is located in Britain.

    Leaving aside legitimate allowances against profits, such a difference could be said to represent a notional “tax gap” of more than £100m a year. It takes 20,000 ordinary British households paying income tax to fill such a gap.

    The vast bulk of Diageo’s profits are declared to arise overseas, where what taxes they pay go to foreign authorities. The firm owns Guinness in Ireland and Smirnoff vodka in the US, for example.

    But those overseas taxes are also remarkably low. Diageo’s global “tax rate” has been only 18% since 1999, according to average figures we have calculated from its own accounts. These record the tax actually paid each year over that period.

    The bulk of Diageo’s production outside the UK is in North America, where 26% of its production sites are located. There, the standard corporation tax was even higher than in Britain over the same period – between 35% and 45%. So this figure of 18% represents a major achievement by Diageo’s tax department.

    What is Diageo’s secret? The company won’t comment, and little hint is given in its published glossy annual reports.

    But it is possible to unearth some of the facts in the obscure filings of a network of Dutch subsidiaries created in the last few years. Diageo has managed to use these Dutch structures to transfer billions of pounds worth of its businesses out of the UK, on paper at any rate.

    The legal ownership of many famous trademarks has been transferred, including Johnnie Walker scotch, J & B Rare, and Gilbey’s gin – brands worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

    Along with the brands has gone the ownership of the entire whisky businesses, leaving Scotland’s distilleries as hollowed-out sub-contractors.

    We have traced Johnnie Walker and J& B operations vested in a Dutch central entity, Diageo Brands BV in Amsterdam. There is no sign in the accounts that Diageo paid UK capital gains tax on the profits when the Dutch entity purchased these hugely valuable operations.

    Revenue sources say that the Netherlands will normally give tax relief to a subsidiary for the full value of all the business it has brought into the country. So, according to the records, the Johnnie Walker profits stacked up in the Netherlands following the move, virtually tax-free. But British tax authorities have lost a major source of revenue.

    Subsequent UK investigations into Diageo’s tactics involved a trip to the Netherlands by an HM Revenue & Customs team, led by Ian Valentine, deputy director of the department’s large business service, and supervised by Britain’s top taxman, Dave Hartnett, according to Whitehall sources.

    The drinks company hired David Cruikshank, a partner at accountants Deloitte, to negotiate on its behalf. Sources say that by the end of November a confidential deal was clinched, involving some extra payments. It was considered so generous to the company that sources close to Deloitte say the firm cracked open champagne to celebrate.

    As with all such deals, even the very existence of a tax dispute and settlement was kept secret. Issues involving hundreds of millions of pounds have been settled without any public oversight, behind the veil of secrecy laws.

    The methods Diageo used to spirit the legal title to its whisky business across the North Sea were far from straightforward. The technique is known in tax circles as “outward domestication”.

    In 2000, trademark registers show ownership of the Johnnie Walker brand was shifted from a Diageo subsidiary in Edinburgh to a second company called UDV [SJ] Ltd. The initials stand for a predecessor organisation, United Distillers Vintners, and for Saint James’s Gate [SJ] where Guinness headquarters were located.

    The Johnnie Walker business, worth almost £6bn, was now, it was recorded, to be “carried on through a branch located in the Netherlands”. Next, this “Netherlands branch” was incorporated and turned into a Dutch subsidiary company with an almost identical title: UDV [SJ] BV. [“BV” is the Dutch equivalent of “Ltd”.] A British tax concession allows such incorporation of existing foreign branches without the normal capital gains bill for selling the valuable asset overseas.

    Ownership of the business was then rapidly transferred into another Dutch company, Guinness UDV BV, soon to be re-named Diageo Brands BV. By this means, Johnnie Walker became “Dutch”.

    The Kilmarnock blending plant which made the actual whisky continued to operate just the same as always. But much of the profit went abroad.

    Diageo continued its process of brand-shifting until Diageo Brands BV held many of its lucrative drinks trademarks. In 2006, J&B followed Johnnie Walker abroad, via an even more intricate manoeuvre.

    Justerini & Brooks, a Diageo subsidiary, placed its J&B whisky business in an entity called J&B Scotland Ltd, on 1 November 2005. Then too, they said the whisky business, worth £1bn, was being operated by a “branch in the Netherlands”. Shortly afterwards, on 18 January 2006, J&B Scotland was sold on to UDV [SJ] Ltd.

    On the same day the status of the Dutch entity, UDV [SJ] BV, was altered. It ceased to be a direct subsidiary of UDV [SJ] Ltd, and instead became a subsidiary of J&B Scotland Ltd.

    This enabled the entire whisky business to be transferred into the Dutch subsidiary a few days later, on 1 February 2006. J&B finally ended up alongside the other whisky brands, as part of Diageo Brands BV. Once again, no capital gains tax appears to have been paid.

    Diageo has decided not to comment on the Guardian’s disclosures. A spokesman said today: “We don’t want to comment on the article. I don’t see what we would gain by doing so.”

  • JJ June 8, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Tory treasurer Fink left off donor list
    Lord Fink one of three donors omitted from list of Chequers guests, alongside GlaxoSmithKline chair and Diageo CEO
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    Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent
    guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 27 March 2012 22.04 BST

    Lord Fink was one of three names left off a list of donors the PM entertained at Chequers. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
    Lord Fink, who resumed his position as Tory party treasurer over the weekend after the resignation of Peter Cruddas, was dubbed a “forgotten donor” on Tuesday night after his name was left off a list of donors invited to Chequers by David Cameron.

    The hedge fund manager was one of three Conservative donors entertained by the prime minister at his official country residence whose names were not included on a list issued on Monday by the Conservative party. The other donors were Sir Christopher Gent, the chairman of GlaxoSmithKline, and Paul Walsh, the chief executive of Diageo.

    Feldman was listed in the Conservative party list on Monday as having visited Chequers on “several occasions”, unlike Fink, Gent and Walsh.

    Jon Trickett, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, said: “David Cameron has already had to be dragged kicking and screaming to release the details of his meetings with wealthy donors at No 10 and Chequers. Now we know the lists he published yesterday were incomplete – and that donors who gave over £2.4m had been casually omitted.”

    Some blame for the debacle has been levelled at Lord Feldman of Elstree, the Tory co-chairman who approved the appointment of Cruddas, who quit when the Sunday Times published a video in which he suggested there was a tariff of donations which could lead to varying levels of access to the prime minister.

    Feldman is one of the prime minister’s closest friends since their days on the May Ball committee at Brasenose College in the mid 1980s. One senior Tory figure said: “There is only one reason why Feldman is chairman of our party. He is Dave’s old mate from Oxford and has for years played tennis with him. That clearly is not a good enough qualification to be chairman of the Conservative party and he is being found out. But nothing will change because everything is so cosy in the Dave circle.”

    Conservative sources said there was no mystery why the three donors were not on the Chequers list, which covered meals paid for by the Conservative party. The three donors were invited as leading businessmen to government events paid for out of public funds. Their names were published on a previous cabinet office list of government guests invited to Chequers.

  • JJ June 8, 2012 at 4:28 am

    A veritable cesspit of “crony capitalism”!

  • DAVID A SHAW June 8, 2012 at 6:38 am

    When Cam-moron said ‘ we are all in this together’ he meant himself and his racketeering chums, in the light of the evidence this is the only valid interpretation of this statement.

  • Humanity2012 June 8, 2012 at 11:32 am

    This is Disgusting just like all the Money Wasted upon the ” queen’s ” Diamond Jubilee
    and the ” royal ” Family in General

    Better that Buckingham Palace was Used to House the Homeless than People having
    to Sleep under a Bridge

  • jeffrey davies June 8, 2012 at 11:55 am

    yes but it all stems down to pure greed and old maggies way of selling our crown jewels so we then dont own them thus pushing prices up and wages and greed is the way of the tory party with its snout in the trough of big companys vining and dinning them just to fill thier war chest . when will it end labour are now little torys and do not look after the sick and disabled blaires policy get rid of them go back to looking after thepeople who vote you in not tory voters jeff3

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