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Almost all Tory voters agree company tax avoidance morally wrong, poll finds

tax avoidance

Almost all Tory voters agree company tax avoidance morally wrong, poll finds

A majority of the public, including Conservative voters, support tougher action against tax avoidance, according to an opinion poll after the revelations in the leaked Pandora Papers about widespread use of offshore tax havens by some of the world’s wealthiest people.

Among Conservative voters in the 2019 general election, 90% agreed that tax avoidance by large companies was “morally wrong even if legal”, the poll found.

That was higher than the figure for Labour voters, 85% of whom agreed. Support for the statement that tax avoidance by individuals is “morally wrong even if legal” was 87% among Conservative voters, 80% of Labour voters, and 81% of the public overall.

The poll, by Survation for the campaign group Tax Justice UK, followed reporting of the cache of files, named the Pandora Papers, leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), BBC Panorama and international media partners. The largest ever such leak exposed the secret offshore holdings and finances of several wealthy donors to the Tory party, 35 world leaders, and more than 100 billionaires, celebrities and many other notable figures.

Several countries whose citizens were shown to own assets through offshore companies rapidly announced inquiries, but the British government has so far not responded robustly.

Tax Justice UK is calling for tax loopholes to be closed, such as the exclusion from stamp duty when properties are sold through offshore companies, under which Tony and Cherie Blair saved £312,000 in tax when they bought a London office in 2017. The group is also calling on the government to introduce a register identifying people who own UK property through offshore companies, promised by the former prime minister David Cameron in 2015 but which has still not been implemented.

The poll found 80% of people, including 83% of Conservative voters, agreed that the evidence of the Pandora Papers “makes me want to see tougher action against tax avoidance”.

Dame Margaret Hodge, chair of thecross-party parliamentary group on anti-corruption and responsible tax, said: “The Pandora Papers lifted the lid on a whole spectrum of immoral and illegal behaviours, including the very worst tax avoidance. Now this important polling from Tax Justice UK shows that people are well and truly fed up with tax dodging. What is striking is that it’s Tory voters who are most upset at this egregious conduct.

“It’s high time that Boris Johnson hears the outcry from his voters and finally takes action. The big corporations and rich individuals who shirk their responsibilities must be made to pay a fair share.’

The Treasury has been approached for comment.

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MFM Varsity Name Founder, Olukoya Professor

The General Overseer of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Dr Daniel Olukoya, has been appointed by Mountain Top University, MTU as a professor of Biotechnology.

In a statement on Wednesday, the university said that the  appointment of Olukoya, who is also the university’s Chancellor, was a result of the positive consideration shown by a relevant review by the council and the assessments of his publications by some of the world’s best scholars in biotechnology.

The statement read, “This is the result of the positive consideration given by relevant review committees and the Council of the University following the assessments of his publications by some of the world’s best scholars in Biotechnology, each of whom found him to be eminently appointable as Professor of Biotechnology.

“It needs to be underscored that this appointment is indeed well-deserved by Prof. D. K. Olukoya, who is an epitome of all-around excellence.

“He also engaged himself as a distinguished researcher and exceptional geneticist at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research between 1984 and 1998, during which he produced more than 70 scientific publications in the best local and international journals in the area of Microbiology and Biotechnology.

“He has also been cited more than a thousand times by scholars across the world.

“Not only has the new Professor of Biotechnology cut a niche for himself among eminent scholars in Microbiology and Biotechnology across the world, he has equally supervised many postgraduate students and continues to serve as a mentor and motivator to many Nigerian Microbiologists and Biotechnologists, many of whom have risen to professorial cadres in universities in and outside Nigeria.”

The statement added that Olukoya was severally offered the position in the 1990s by many universities, saying he chose to pursue his ministerial calling as directed by God.

 

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INEC Says 132, 626 Voters Cards Uncollected In Anambra

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that 132,626 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) are yet to be collected in Anambra State.

The commission added that it has relocated six local government area collection centres in the state, as a result of the insecurity ravaging most parts of the country.

The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Queen Elizabeth Agwu, stated this on Wednesday, during a meeting with stakeholders at the state headquarters of the commission.

Agwu who addressed all the political parties representatives, traditional rulers and civil society groups said the local government areas where the relocation of collation centres took place include Ihiala, Nnewi South, Onitsha North, Orumba North, Awka North and Awka South.

She said:“The collection of PVCs has been extended to Saturdays and Sundays in Anambra State.

“We need enough security to carry out this function. If people fail to collect their PVC, they will be shortchanging themselves, and doing a disservice to the people of their area.

“The 2023 general elections will be free, fair and credible, not only in Anambra State but the entire country. We have done the necessary work, and we hope to deliver.”

She gave a breakdown of the figures of uncollected PVCs in most local government areas as follows:

Ayamelum – 1,960; Dunukofia – 6,222; Idemili South – 4’589; Anaocha – 885; Orumba South -6,656; Onitsha South – 12,274; Idemili North – 16,256; Aguata – 12675; Njikoka – 7,009; Ogbaru – 10,755 and Anambra East – 7,717.

Others are Nnewi South – 1,841; Awka North – 1,153; Anambra West – 1,387; Orumba North – 2,393; Oyi – 7,982; Onitsha North – 9,990; Ihiala – 4,058; Nnewi North – 8,700; Ekwusigo – 3,350 and Awka South – 4,971.

 

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Osun LP Guber Candidate, Lasun Rejoins PDP

Yusuf Lasun, a former deputy speaker of the house of representatives, has rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke made the announcement on Wednesday at the PDP presidential rally in Osogbo, the Osun capital.

“The former deputy speaker has joined the PDP family. He used to be in PDP, but today, he has decided to come and join the PDP family,” the governor said.

Lasun, who was present at the rally, hailed supporters after a terse remark.

Lasun had contested the 2022 governorship election in Osun on the platform of the Labour Party (LP).

Adeleke came first in the election; Gboyega Oyetola of the APC placed second; Kehinde Atanda of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) came third; while Lasun came a distant fourth.

He was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until February when he resigned from the party after losing the party’s governorship ticket.

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