Farage admits to offshore tax haven after previous criticism of tax avoiders
Nigel Farage, leader of the political party UKIP, has today been exposed for opening an offshore trust fund to avoid tax. The discovery of Farage’s tax evasion is the direct result of an investigation by the Daily Mirror.
According to reports, Farage had a tax advisor set up the Farage Family Educational Trust 1654 on the Isle of Man – a known tax haven – in an attempt to avoid paying thousands of pounds’ worth of tax.
The UKIP leader has admitted to the charges saying: “It was a mistake. I was a completely unsuitable person for it.”
Farage claims he set up the trust for his “children and grandchildren,” by transferring his 33% stake in financial services company, Farage Limited, to the scheme. He insists that he lost money by setting up the trust, claiming he “wasn’t rich enough” to benefit from this type of avoidance tactic.
The revelations are particularly damning given Farage’s public criticism of tax evasion in the past. Just last month, he told the European Parliament that they had a “common enemy – rich people, successful companies evading tax”. He also criticised European bureaucrats who only pay 12% tax describing it as “tax fraud on a massive scale,” and implored “how can that be deemed fair?”
The Tax Justice Network found that tax avoidance via the use of offshore havens – like the one used by UKIP’s leader – cost the UK in excess of £70 billion annually, a figure that is more than 10% of the total government expenditure for 2013.
This latest scandal surrounding Farage marks a crushing week for UKIP after they failed to get their deposit back in the Aberdeen Donside by-election, due to the fact that they polled less than 5% of the vote. This comes despite UKIP’s Scottish leader, Lord Monckton, declaring a “breakthrough. It’s clear we’ll keep our deposit,” before the results.