Catch21 - Our Charity ArmCatch21 is a charitable production company set up in 2005 which trains young people to make videos and engage with their communities.Catch Creative - Our Video Production ArmCatch Creative offers a complete video production service, from Conception to Distribution.Catch EngagementCatch Engagement is the new video interaction platform from Catch21 which allows you to run a campaign using both user generated films as well as professionally shot ones which are displayed via Video 'Walls'. Catch Engagement is all about using films to build an online community - welcome to the future of video.

We shoot cutting edge videos and provide a forum to give people a voice.
Engagement. Discussion. Empowerment.


All content featured on our charity site is produced by young volunteers with the support and mentoring of our professional production team.

Blog no image

Published on October 26th, 2011 | by Lorna Gledhill
Image © [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="233" caption="Vince Cable(c) Liberal Democrats"][/caption] Today, The Sun has revealed that Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, has been fined £500 for failing to pay up to £25,000 in VAT. The undeclared earnings in question were from media work and speaking engagements attended in 2009-10 before he became a minister. Vince Cable earned an estimated £192,000 from media work, on top of his MP’s salary of £65,738. Currently, in his new ministerial position, Cable’s freelance engagements and earnings have been reduced to remove a potential conflict of interests. Cable, known for his strong stance against tax avoidance, is set to face strong criticism for this revelation. The Sun’s correspondent declared, “His incompetence with his own financial affairs raises serious questions about his ability to handle the nation’s.” Unfortunately, a Business Secretary’s lack of knowledge about VAT and tax thresholds will not go unnoticed by the press, nor the opposition. The minister’s accountants apologised for the “oversight” and a spokesman stated that “all Vince’s tax affairs are above board, and he went out of his way to settle this quickly – in fact HMRC let him off 50% of the usual penalty.” Claiming that it was an unknowingly made error does not remove the irony that the champion of stricter regulations on tax-dodging companies has found himself tarnished with the same brush. In a 2009 newspaper article, Cable made the following statement: “The evidence of systematic tax avoidance by rich individuals and UK-based companies strikes a particularly ugly note in these straitened times.” However, according to the Sun’s report, the events at which Cable appeared included “slap-up dinners for big City firms and pharmaceutical giants.” Combined with the antics of Liam Fox and ActionAid’s recent report on UK companies’ usage of tax havens, Vince Cable can forgive us for being a little cynical. Earlier this year, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed that Dave Hartnett was the most ‘wined and dined’ civil servant in Whitehall, being treated to 107 dinner engagements with some of the UK’s biggest banks and law firms over the past 3 years. In the words of the Bureau’s editor, “at the least, we should be entitled to know whether mandarins ate at Claridges or Pizza Hut, and whether big tenders were in the offering.” Perhaps Monday’s UKUncut protestors, angry with HMRC boss Dave Hartnett approving secret “sweetheart deals” to let rich corporations off billions in tax, were right to heckle Vince Cable as he walked past. Whilst Vince Cable’s VAT “oversight” may not be on a par with Vodafone’s £6 billion tax dodge, it revives suspicion over institutional transparency and honesty. Slowly but surely, the boundaries between politician and businessman, civil servant and salesman, are becoming increasingly blurred.

1

Vince Cable’s V.A.T “oversight”

Vince Cable(c) Liberal Democrats

Today, The Sun has revealed that Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, has been fined £500 for failing to pay up to £25,000 in VAT. The undeclared earnings in question were from media work and speaking engagements attended in 2009-10 before he became a minister. Vince Cable earned an estimated £192,000 from media work, on top of his MP’s salary of £65,738. Currently, in his new ministerial position, Cable’s freelance engagements and earnings have been reduced to remove a potential conflict of interests.

Cable, known for his strong stance against tax avoidance, is set to face strong criticism for this revelation. The Sun’s correspondent declared, “His incompetence with his own financial affairs raises serious questions about his ability to handle the nation’s.” Unfortunately, a Business Secretary’s lack of knowledge about VAT and tax thresholds will not go unnoticed by the press, nor the opposition.

The minister’s accountants apologised for the “oversight” and a spokesman stated that “all Vince’s tax affairs are above board, and he went out of his way to settle this quickly – in fact HMRC let him off 50% of the usual penalty.” Claiming that it was an unknowingly made error does not remove the irony that the champion of stricter regulations on tax-dodging companies has found himself tarnished with the same brush.

In a 2009 newspaper article, Cable made the following statement: “The evidence of systematic tax avoidance by rich individuals and UK-based companies strikes a particularly ugly note in these straitened times.” However, according to the Sun’s report, the events at which Cable appeared included “slap-up dinners for big City firms and pharmaceutical giants.” Combined with the antics of Liam Fox and ActionAid’s recent report on UK companies’ usage of tax havens, Vince Cable can forgive us for being a little cynical.

Earlier this year, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed that Dave Hartnett was the most ‘wined and dined’ civil servant in Whitehall, being treated to 107 dinner engagements with some of the UK’s biggest banks and law firms over the past 3 years. In the words of the Bureau’s editor, “at the least, we should be entitled to know whether mandarins ate at Claridges or Pizza Hut, and whether big tenders were in the offering.”

Perhaps Monday’s UKUncut protestors, angry with HMRC boss Dave Hartnett approving secret “sweetheart deals” to let rich corporations off billions in tax, were right to heckle Vince Cable as he walked past. Whilst Vince Cable’s VAT “oversight” may not be on a par with Vodafone’s £6 billion tax dodge, it revives suspicion over institutional transparency and honesty. Slowly but surely, the boundaries between politician and businessman, civil servant and salesman, are becoming increasingly blurred.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


About the Author



Back to Top ↑