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Monday 18 May 2015

Sajid Javid - Who’s Briefing Against Him?

It is a remarkable and fortunate coincidence that all those questions that were batted away or otherwise swept under the Westminster carpet before the recent General Election are suddenly discovered by the press after the dust has settled and their preferred party is safely ensconced in Downing Street. And it also suggests that rivalries and petty dislikes that have been kept quiet are likely to flare up in the coming months.
Sajid Javid

Business Secretary Sajid Javid had made his fortune in banking before he became an MP in 2010. His family backstory is inspirational: his family lost everything in the partition of India, his father came to the UK in 1961 with Very Little Money, battling racial prejudice just to become a bus driver, he was the first of his family to attend University, and his parents’ work ethic seemingly drove him in his own chosen career.

So far, so promising for a Tory who insists on keeping a picture of Mrs T on the wall. But while Javid was at Deutsche Bank, activities concerning Euro and Yen interest rate derivatives led to an investigation by the European Commission, as a result of which a fine of more than €725 million was levied. For some reason, the right-wing press managed to miss this completely. Why that should be I will leave to them to explain.

Javid’s response was unequivocal: “I was not responsible for, nor did I have oversight of, any of the functions of the business that have been highlighted by the commission's decision”. And that was that - until the Murdoch Sunday Times went after him last weekend. “Offshore tax dodge case returns to haunt new business secretary Javid” proclaims the headline, just a little ominously.
The new business secretary Sajid Javid faces an unwelcome reminder of his past as a highly paid investment banker when a court case involving an offshore tax avoidance scheme comes to court later this year … Javid, 45, was a senior executive at Deutsche Bank in 2003 when the German lender devised a complex scheme to cut tax on bonus payments to high-flyers”. “Later this year” - so why splash on it now?

The article goes on “The tax tribunal rulings concluded that the device by which bonuses were paid offshore was ‘a carefully planned tax avoidance scheme’. It was deigned to enable Deutsche ‘to provide substantial bonuses to employees in the tax year 2003-4 in a way that would escape liability to both income tax and National Insurance contributions”. The ST notes that Javid had previously claimed to be cracking down on tax avoidance.

But Javid did not devise the scheme, and claims not to have benefited therefrom. So why the ST story, and why now? Simples. Someone out there on the right does not like him: why that should be could be down simply to envy, that Javid has been successful in whatever career he has entered. The ST hasn’t opened up on him before, because of the risk to the Tories’ election chances. But if the hacks are serious, there will be more.

Previous Tory Governments have been badly wounded by those on their own side. This one may be about to continue the tradition. That’s politics: it’s a dirty business.


rob said...

This is from The Slog website:

"For later this year, an HMRC case involving offshore tax avoidance schemes (from which Javid benefitted massively) comes to court. First time around, the Deutsche scam was successfully challenged by HMRC at various tribunals."


"So then, “Once I’m inside the Rich List Club, I shall be firmly locking the door behind me.”

Humbug anyone?"

Do those who benefitted from artificial tax schemes in the past have a moral duty to repay it if they become Government Ministers supposedly now seriously trying to cut down on tax avoiders. Or are they just out to keep their advantage over the Joneses or the plebs who cannot afford such schemes?

Rivo said...

Two reasons why a Murdoch paper might be interested in damaging Javid's career spring to mind.

1. He's moderately in favour of the EU according to his Wikipedia page and theyworkforyou.com - With a referendum on Britain's continued membership of the EU coming soon, it makes sense that Creepy Uncle Rupe might want to start dishing some dirt on those on the Right who would like us to stay in

2. He's a rising star in the Conservative Party, and a possible future contender for leader, making him a rival to a certain B. Johnson, who it happens as one of his many jobs, works for the aforementioned Creepy Uncle Rupe