Tax avoiders donating to the Lib Dems: this must change
Author: Zoe Stavri
Published on Sep 25, 2012
Vince Cable grandly pledged at the Lib Dem conference to close down tax havens and crack down on those who use them.
The Guardian predicts that this will not go down well with some of the most generous donors to the Lib Dem party- Alpha Healthcare, C&C Alpha Group, and its director and former director, are based in the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven. The businesses have donated £970, 000 to the party since 2004, while director Bhanu Choudrie has personally donated £35, 000 and his father has given £95, 000.
While Vince Cable might talk a big game when it comes to cracking down on tax avoidance, it is notable that Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has been dragging his heels on one very tangible goal. A law passed in 2009 should prevent large donations from non-domiciled donors to political parties. The previous government delayed enforcement of this law until after the general election. Now Nick Clegg has had oversight of issuing a commencement order so this law can be enforced, and after over two years in office he still hasn’t done a thing.
The Labour Party and Conservative Party are equally culpable of accepting donations from non-domiciled donors since 2009, so it’s little wonder none of them are too keen on rocking the boat. Yet this scandalous state of affairs must change and soon. Is it really acceptable to continue to accept donations that should not be allowed under existing law? Even from a cold political point of view, it doesn’t look good.
Nick Clegg has the power to bring existing law into enforcement and crack down on donations from taxpayers. Write to your MP, asking them to put pressure on Mr Clegg to do this immediately. With enough pressure, we can see if he’s just forgotten, or if he’s happy with the way things are right now.