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Dame Vivienne Westwood, tax dodger?

She’s incredibly influential and massively controversial, but is she a tax dodger? Some would say that there’s evidence that Dame Vivienne Westwood is indeed.

One of the most iconic fashion designers in the UK has been accused of being a hypocrite over tax avoidance allegations after she donated a massive £300,000 to the Green Party, making her its biggest supporter. According to official figures, Dame Vivienne’s main British business is funneling £2 million per annum to an offshore firm in  – you guessed it, Luxembourg – in order to license her own name to use on her very own fashion label.

Tax boffins from HMRC and accounting experts say that the arrangement is indeed nothing but tax avoidance – and that it results in the Treasury losing out on around £500,000 a year – hardly chump change – and it’s not so different from how major multinationals get around paying taxes either. In fact, overpriced and ugly-tasting coffee shop chain Starbucks engages in very similar behaviour, including throwing cash at a “subsidiary” in Luxembourg in a pretentious attempt to get out of giving the Treasury its fair share.

The Green Party is mortified by Dame Vivienne’s “donation,” calling for a Tax Dodgers Bill that it would put into effect within the first 100 days after the general election if it was voted into power. The bill would make it illegal to send payments of the type to offshore firms in places like Luxembourg. Now, for what it’s worth this is a noble and forthright bill that should by all accounts be pushed through parliament and made into law, but let’s be honest here – it will never happen, simply because the Green Party won’t be voted in.

Not only that, but even by some miracle the Green Party does make it in, the furore over them trying to push through such a bill would cause every MP that has taken payoffs – oh, I’m sorry, I mean “campaign contributions” – from multinationals that rely on these tax avoidance loopholes to come out of the woodwork. The bloody furore would be legendary, and the Government would grind to a halt. Mark my words – it would make the Blitz look like just a few dandelions wafting along on the breeze and landing in a field out in the countryside.

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