The Politician, The Newspaper Mogul and the ‘grubby’ tax deal

March 6th, 2012 17 Comments By Thewlis

Most countries try and attract inwards investment from large corporations- after all, why else would the UK, in times where we are trying to maximise tax revenues, reduce the rate of corporation tax? The simple fact is that lower corporation tax rates are more likely to attract businesses, and their associated benefits of employment and economic boost; from 1 April this year the UK main rate of CT will fall to a measly 25%.

Still, this rate isn’t quite low enough for some bottom-feeders, and some countries, possibly including those who don’t actually have full fiscal independence yet, seem willing to plunge the depths in order to reel in a big catch.

If this sounds fishy, you might be right. The Scottish Daily Record is reporting that MSPs are “outraged” at the suggestion that First Minister Alex Salmond has been having private discussions with your friend and ours, Rupert Murdoch, with the aim of tempting News International, and possibly BSkyB, into relocating to Scotland on a promise of a lower corporation tax rate being introduced.

In return for saving millions of pounds in tax, Murdoch would reportedly use his newspapers to campaign for independence or ‘maximum devolution’ which would put the Scottish Government in control of all Scottish tax. Currently, Holyrood only has minimal tax adjusting powers agreed, including the ability to adjust income tax by up to 10% from the main UK rate.

It has been suggested that Mr Salmond is offering a CT rate of between 10% and 15%, possibly less than half the current UK rate. Corporation Tax in the Republic of Ireland now starts at 12.5%, up from the recent  10% rate  at which the UK considered Ireland a ‘tax haven’ for corporation tax purposes.

 The Politician, The Newspaper Mogul and the ‘grubby’ tax deal

But is this all speculation and rumours? How have the Daily Record journalists got hold of this information? have they been privy to private conversations? Of course not.

One major source of the ‘leak’ is the BBC’s journalist Andrew Neil, who interviewed Alex Salmond for the Sunday Politics show. He tweeted that it was “Clear to me that during Salmond-Murdoch summit, Rupe indicated if corporation tax 10per cent in indie Scotland, he could move BSkyB north.” He added, “speaking to Salmond after cameras stopped, got impression his NBF, Rupert Murdoch, dangled moving BSkyB toEdinburgh post-independence.” His tweets further suggest that Murdoch is seeking vengeance on the UK after the phone hacking scandal and thinks breaking up the union is the best way to achieve this.

But not all of Mr Salmond’s fellow Scots seem as keen as Anna Nicole Smith to get into bed with an old man who has lots of money. Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie told the Daily Record: “Salmond is seeking a grubby deal with Murdoch to support splitting Scotland from the rest of the UK. The First Minister has confirmed that he will dine out with the devil to get his way on independence.”

A spokesman for Mr Salmond confirmed the two men had met, saying “The First Minister and Mr Murdoch discussed the potential for further investment within the country. Mr Murdoch was keen to express his view that the current debate on Scotland’s constitutional future continued to make Scotland an attractive place for inward investment.”

Sounds like a done deal.

Comments (17) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Posted by The Real Bob March 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I’m now lost as to which is the bigger prick of the two of them, Salmond or Murdoch.

  2. Posted by Mary Hinge March 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    You all think Murdoch’s a wanker, but you still fire up the old SKY+ box, do you not? Why not stop spouting off, and bin your SKY subscription, you sad little fuckers!

  3. Posted by Mike Hock March 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Give them scotland back. All they do is drink IrnBru. Fucking jock cunts.

  4. Posted by MrRobin March 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    If all our UK plcs would really relocate to an independent Scotland just to reduce their corp tax bill, why haven’t they already left for Ireland?

  5. Posted by Mike Hunt March 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Fuck you Mike you ugly weasel

  6. Posted by Euan March 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    MrRobin -> some already have. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/mar/24/wpp-poised-return-uk which discusses the possibility of WPP relocating back to the UK, but also mentions “But any hopes that the announcement by Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, would lead to a torrent of companies rushing back to Britain were quickly dashed.

    Five companies contacted by the Guardian – Shire Pharmaceuticals, fund managers Henderson, engineers Charter, plumbing supplier Wolseley and credit checker Experian – indicated they would not follow suit”

  7. Posted by The Real Bob March 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Actually Mary, that’s quite a broad assumption, I have Freesat because I refuse to pay that shitewipe for an overpriced sub par service.

  8. Posted by Phil March 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Lets face it Salmond would sell his mother/sister/brother/(Insert other relation here) to be president of Scotland. Hopefully the Scots aren’t stupid enough to believe being independent will magically make them all better off!

  9. Posted by LD March 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Only problem with your article is us Scots have still got to vote for Independence ……

    Not following the Trump tacky ‘World class golf resort’ (sic) v Offshore Wind farm turbine saga, bitterwallet?

    (and for Mike Hock – no wonder we’re wanting away, with an attitude like that)

  10. Posted by Mike Hock March 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    IrnBru and Tennants then.

  11. Posted by Mike Hock March 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Disregard anything I say, I suck cocks

  12. Posted by Boris March 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    This is disgraceful!

    That scummy Murdock should be filling my trough for all the favours I’ve done for him, his nobhead son and his ginger cow.

    Time for a bloody independent London! Tax will be slashed for the city.

    Vote Boris for President viewers!

  13. Posted by Mike Hock March 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Disregard everything I say. I am a cock.

  14. Posted by shoplifter March 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    you are a cock…mike hock….fuck murdoch…never has karma been so good

  15. Posted by Wonky Henry March 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I.
    bum.
    f0xes.

  16. Posted by Frank "Ponch" Poncherello March 8, 2012 at 3:40 am

    @ shoplifter. Did that Georgey Boyish not sing about Karma in the 80′s. I think it comes and goes if I remember correctly. So it may not “so good” as you claim, for too long. You really need to know about these things before commenting I think.

  17. Posted by Roy Walker March 10, 2012 at 6:58 am

    @ Wonky Henry

    WHAAAAAAAAAATTT??!!!!!!!!!!

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