PanamaTimes

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024

Liz Truss chief of staff Mark Fullbrook is paid through his lobbying company so he can evade personal taxes

This stinks. Boris Johnson has been kicked out despite being elected by the people, because he could not be trusted and questions about how he treated number 10 as a personal plaything. Here we go again with the unelected UK prime minister, Liz Truss. Her chief of staff, you know, the one that was interviewed by FBI agents relating to an alleged plot to bribe an American politician, is on the UK government payroll, paid not to him, but to his… company, so he can evade taxes and deduct corporate expenses. While you, while us, while not them, are overtaxed.

The prime minister’s chief of staff is being paid through his lobbying company in a highly unusual arrangement that could allow him to pay less tax.

Mark Fullbrook insists he is not being paid through his company for tax reasons and has obtained no tax benefit from the arrangement. However, he is refusing to explain the agreement that lets him direct government strategy without being directly employed by the government.

Previous holders of the role have been treated like any other special adviser (Spad), appointed on a temporary civil service contract and paid a salary that is made public. Fullbrook is instead a contractor and will receive any payment through Fullbrook Strategies, a private lobbying company he created in April but which he says has suspended commercial activities.

One Whitehall source said it was “unheard of” for a No 10 official of his seniority to be employed in this way although Fullbrook disputed this. It is unclear what the implications of the arrangement are from a financial and transparency perspective.

Between April and June, according to the Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists, Fullbrook’s company contacted the government on behalf of clients including the Libyan House of Representatives, which is opposed by the West and the UN, an energy provider and a PPE firm linked to a fundamentalist Christian sect.

It announced it had “suspended” its commercial activities earlier this month after Fullbrook was appointed by Liz Truss to be her top aide.

However he is continuing to use it as a vehicle to receive his publicly funded salary. The equivalent post under Boris Johnson carried a salary of £140,000.

The arrangement will lead to questions days after No 10 scrapped the so-called IR35 reforms of previous Conservative governments that were designed to stop people paying themselves via a company to avoid tax.

In 2019, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) won a case against BBC presenters who were told to pay back hundreds of thousands of pounds in tax after working via personal service companies when they were employees in all but name.

In 2017 and 2021, the Treasury introduced measures that made employers responsible for determining the tax status of workers who provided their services through a company.

They were required to decide if a person was a freelance contractor, meaning they could pay corporation or dividend tax on any earnings, or whether they were effectively an employee and liable for income tax. Employers who got it wrong were required to pay tax, penalties and interest.

On Friday, Kwasi Kwarteng, the chancellor, said the burden would once again fall on employees to determine their own status, with critics saying the system would become vulnerable to abuse.

Dan Neidle, a tax expert and the founder of Tax Policy Associates, said he could not fathom any reason for Fullbrook’s arrangement. “I don’t understand why someone would do it,” he said. “Before yesterday, responsibility for applying IR35 [rules] — and liability for getting it wrong — would have fallen on the civil service. I’d expect them to take a very conservative view.

“The effect of the budget change is that Fullbrook gets to decide himself. Of course [it is] subject to later HMRC challenge, but it still gives him an ability to take a more aggressive view than the civil service would have permitted.”

Fullbrook is already facing questions after The Sunday Times revealed he had been interviewed by FBI agents in connection with an alleged criminal conspiracy to bribe a US politician and influence the outcome of an election in Puerto Rico.

He has since signed an agreement with US law enforcement and is co-operating as a witness. It is understood that he is not under investigation. He denies any knowledge of the bribe and in a statement says he is “confident” he behaved within the law at all times.

According to the Institute for Government, Spads are appointed as temporary civil servants. They are given contracts and their employment and salary band is published by the Cabinet Office annually. After leaving government they are required to inform the appointments watchdog of any private sector appointments.

A former No 10 insider said some Spads had in the past “topped up” their salaries by receiving extra income from Conservative Party Headquarters as they provided party political, as well as policy, advice.

Edward Lister, previously Johnson’s principal strategic adviser and now Baron Udny-Lister, continued to be paid for consultancy by a property developer while in Downing Street. But the ex-No 10 source also said there was no precedent for Spads being paid for their government work primarily through a consultancy company.

It is unclear whether Fullbrook’s salary will be reported as standard and whether being paid through his company could alter the usual terms of a Spad’s employment in any other way.

A spokesman for Fullbrook said: “This is not an unusual arrangement. It was not put in place for tax purposes and Mr Fullbrook derives no tax benefit from it.”

A government source said: “It is not unusual for a special adviser or civil servant to join government on secondment. Any government employee hired on secondment is subject to the usual special adviser or civil service codes.”


Reference:
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/top-liz-truss-aide-mark-fullbrook-paid-through-his-private-company-b90hdkj5z

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/no-10-chief-of-staff-in-fbi-inquiry-over-election-bribe-in-puerto-rico-rrlrtzkjk

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/no-10-chief-in-fbi-bribery-inquiry-to-stay-in-london-bvhsgpjhc

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×