Boris Johnson urged to prevent MPs from cutting taxes on second jobs | Politics
Critics have urged Boris Johnson to restrict MPs using personal businesses to sidestep tax bills under new second-job rules as the Tories’ sleaze line continues to dominate Westminster.
Using a personal business to accept payments for consulting work can offer benefits such as avoidance of income tax up to 45% at source on income, a Times survey found that several MPs were paid a total of around £ 1million through the arrangements.
“It is completely outrageous,” Margaret Hodge, Labor MP and former head of the public accounts committee, told the newspaper. “We as Members of Parliament determine the tax that everyone has to pay and for some of us choosing to use personal services companies in this way is particularly outrageous.”
Calls to ban the deployment of personal businesses for payments were echoed by Sir Alastair Graham, former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, who said they “should be stopped as soon as possible”.
“Members of Parliament should not avoid paying the taxes that they have decided the rest of the population should pay,” Graham added.
Instead of paying an income tax of up to 45%, the personal corporation will pay a corporation tax at 19%.
The demands came after Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said on Thursday that MPs would face second-job caps on hours or pay in new plans. MPs voted Wednesday for the Commons Standards Committee to review the regulations that currently bind MPs – and make recommendations to the MPs code of conduct – by the end of January.
The personal business revelations come after dark clouds surrounded the Conservative Party for weeks over the outside financial interests of MPs.
The sleaze scandal engulfed Johnson’s agenda, with the PM admitting “on a cleared road I ran the car into a ditch” over the Owen Paterson affair.
Paterson resigned as an MP this month over what turned out to be a “flagrant” violation of lobbying rules.
It also emerged that former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox raised nearly £ 6million in legal work, appearing to be breaking the rules by using his Commons office to attend a virtual hearing, and voted by proxy from the Virgin Islands British.