The bitter truth about George Osborne’s family business


The business isn’t very keen on paying tax. Shouldn’t that be a problem for the chancellor?

George Osborne aahh

This cheeky chap wouldn’t let anything bad happen on purpose would he?

“Gorgeous” George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has deployed harsh words in public about companies’ aggressive tax avoidance strategies. But it seems that when it comes to his own business interests, he is far more forgiving.

Osborne is the recipient of hefty dividend payouts from his family’s luxury wallpaper business, despite the company not paying any corporation tax for the last seven years.

According to the Sunday Times, the firm paid out dividends worth a total of £335,000 to shareholders, including to Osborne, on 30 May 2014.

But the firm has used a range of legal techniques to avoid ending up paying a penny of corporation tax. These include deferment of tax payments, and rolling over losses from previous years. Crafty.

During his 2012 budget speech Osborne blasted the “morally repugnant” tax avoidance strategies used by some firms to avoid corporation tax payments.

But things don’t look so bad when you’re on the receiving end of a £1,230 dividend payout.

Printed wallpaper is big business.

According to the Sunday Times, records for the interior design group, which has its head office in London, show that it pays its senior director £684,000 a year, employs 195 people and also apparently reveal that the firm made profits in the year to March 2015 of £722,200 on revenues of £34 million.

Osborne’s father, Sir Peter Osborne founded the company with his brother-in-law Anthony Little in 1968. The chancellor holds 6,833 shares in the family firm.

A spokesman for the chancellor said: “All of the chancellor’s interests are declared properly and in accordance with the rules.”

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