Thursday, 22 October 2009

Levitt confesses to Capital Gains Tax-dodge

Tom Levitt has now publicly confessed to his 'legal' avoidance of capital gains tax:
When asked about the claims ... he confirmed that no tax was paid on the sale
Two local newspapers have decided to take up the exclusive story about Tom Levitt's tax affairs that was broken on this website last Sunday and continued on Monday. There are significant - and contradictory - differences between each story.

So let's start with the contradictions. In the Buxton Advertiser, Levitt is apparently quoted as saying that our allegation that he was able to avoid capital gains tax "is not true" whilst the article in the Glossop Advertiser reveals the quote to actually be a press release which lazy journalists in the Buxton paper - seemingly with a political axe to grind - have decided to 'cut and paste' to suit their story. Here's the same phrase appearing in the (much better) Advertiser story (emphasis added):
The innuendo and implication in the poisonous stories currently circulating is that I was involved in something underhand. This is not true and I resent this...
See how the meaning has been changed?

The Buxton Advertiser is also badly off-target with the main thrust of our blog articles. It mentions that Legg had given Levitt a clean bill of health regarding 'flipping' - but we never accused Levitt of that in the first place. We're not sure the journalist knows what he's talking about.

Ultimately, Levitt is in denial about the main issue before not only him, but his party. That is that he chose to conceal the "legal" capital gains tax-dodge despite concerns raised by those in his party when the expenses scandal broke. This issue is tackled by neither newspaper, and the main focus is on the 'Legg refund'..

What is worse for High Peak Labour Party is that, so far, they have failed to bring this issue to the attention of the public in an open way. Although Councillor Anthony McKeown has criticised Levitt's openness regarding the Legg letter, we know that he knew about the capital gains tax-dodge, but did not speak out about it. And clearly, the atmosphere in the local Labour Party is poor, or we would not have people contacting us with the information. This 'invisible' show of public unity with Levitt by local Councillors may be 'party discipline', but it also means that are busy lashing themselves to the mast of Levitt's sinking ship.

No doubt there'll be more to say about these issues in due course.

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