OK, it is debatable whether my financial affairs are sufficiently complicated to warrant an acccountant. Nevertheless, I would love for someone to come along and find a wealth enhancing tax break.
Thankfully, the New Labour cabinet can employ accountants, with the taxpayer picking up the tab. Again, it is the same sorry list of ministers: Blears, Hoon, Smith, and Darling, who took advantage.
Nevertheless, there is an interesting question here. Did the taxpayer financed accountants advise ministers to flip their designation of second homes to limit their capital gains tax liabilities? If this is the case, the taxpayer was paying for the priviledge for being shafted.
The Chancellor, Alistair Darling, is fatally compromised by this revelation. He is charged with designing tax legislation. At the same time, he employs an advisor to clarify "the treatment of rental expenses against income". He needed the advice because during 2007 he rented out his London flat after becoming Chancellor and moving into a free taxpayer-owned apartment. So while Darling was designing tax policy he was simulataneously seeking out tax advantages.
It is all so seedy and venal. How long must we wait before these sad individuals exit the political stage?