06/11/2017 The Papers


06/11/2017

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Hello and welcome to our look ahead

to what the papers will be

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bringing us tomorrow.

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With me are the journalist

Mihir Bose and former pensions

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Minister Baroness Ros Altmann.

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Tomorrow's front pages,

starting with the Metro which leads

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with Jeremy Corbyn's apparent call

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for the Queen to apologise

for using an offshore fund

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for investment purposes.

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The Daily Express's top story

is what it calls the cover-up over

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how foreign aid budgets

are drawn up.

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The I focuses on the measures Apple

took advantage of to reduce its tax

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burden.

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The Telegraph features a warning

from one of Donald Trump's senior

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advisers that a compromise with the

EU over Brexit may affect any future

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trade deal with the US.

Finally, The Guardian also carries

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the Paradise Papers leak. The paper

features a large picture of Lewis

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Hamilton standing alongside a

private plane which the paper says

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he avoided paying VAT on.

So, let's begin. Let's start with

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the big story that's been running

the last couple of days. This is

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from the Paradise Papers. Let's

start with the I. Revealed how Apple

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avoided tax, billions. We are

focussing on Apple because of the

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amount of money involved.

Huge sums.

The amount of tax they haven't paid

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apparently is so enormous and

especially when you think that they

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have been one of the biggest

taxpayers but their earnings have

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been so enormous, the tax rate they

are estimated to be paying is

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somewhere between 2% and 5%. Most of

us pay way over that on whatever we

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earn. Which is nothing like what

Apple earn. Of course, they have

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taken advantage of things that are

entirely legal. They've used one of

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the tricks apparently which is

called the double Irish. They've got

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earnings they make in the States and

they book them via Ireland and that

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means they don't have to pay any tax

in the way that they would have to

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if they declared it in the US, for

example. So, there are lots of ways

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in which I think we need to have

some kind of further crackdown on

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tax avoidance. The Government's

already been trying to tighten up on

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tax avoidance and has collected

billions of pounds extra over the

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last two or three years. But clearly

there are still major loopholes and

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companies understandably are doing

their best to take advantage of

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them.

I think the other problem is

that we have dom Indians, Crown dom

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Indians which are -- -- dominions.

There is no corporation tax. We need

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to look into that. Where we are

getting into is this is legal,

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perfectly legal, but there is a

moral question of whether a company

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like Apple which actually projects

itself, if you like, as a moral

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leader, should be doing this. That

really is the question.

It's

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interesting that you talk about the

offshore angle of this because of

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course Apple has put its money in

Jersey. The Guardian, which focuses

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more on the Lewis Hamilton

revelations. People looking at his

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affairs took advantage of the rules

in the Isle of Man.

Yes, this is

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where he has a jet which is leased

to an Isle of Man company and the

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question there is, therefore, the

VAT is not paid on it. Now the VAT

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is not paid on it because most of

the jet is supposed to be used for

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official purposes. It's a question

of whether the Isle of Man, although

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Lewis Hamilton is perfectly clear,

he does use it for private purposes,

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but the question is, is the Isle of

Man doing - observing its own rules

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properly and that's what HMRC is

going to look into. These are the

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questions, if you have these tax

havens then the problem is how well

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are they policed? For the tax havens

their selling point is come to us

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and and you don't have to pay tax,

so why should they bother about

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policing it?

Lewis Hamilton is

saying I left it to the

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professionals, they manage affairs

for me. Of course if there's an

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opportunity to avoid this tax and

it's £3. 3 million of VAT that was

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refunded to him by the Isle of Man,

then that's what he pace them for.

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The problem we have got is that the

Isle of Man may not be implementing

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the rules.

That's exactly the point

The Guardian is making as well. It's

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got a quote by a Lord Professor

saying no one seems to be enforcing

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the laws that exist. Can I take you

both on to the front page of the

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Metro which introduces the political

dimension in this story. It has

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comments by Jeremy Corbyn, the

Labour leader on its front page. You

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are shaking your head.

Yeah, I think

to make political capital out of

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this and especially against the

Queen seems to me to be very, very

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distasteful.

Is he singling out the

Queen, though, I don't think he did.

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He said everybody.

She is included

in that group really. There is no

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distinction. If he was saying we

have to tighten up and we must not

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allow these things to happen, I

understand that. But the Queen in

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particular voluntarily pays tax on

her earnings. The Metro has used her

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picture on the front page as if

somehow she's done something

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terribly wrong. Quite honestly, I

think this is really unfair. First

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of all, the sums relative to what

the Queen has are not large. She

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probably had no idea what the money

was invested in. The point is this

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is entirely legal and she volunteers

to pay tax which she doesn't need to

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pay.

Probably ill-advised to make

the investment they did. I agree,

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Corbyn is basically saying this

money hadn't gone there, it would

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have gone into schools, hospitals,

he is making a populist point. The

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whole question is what has his party

or any party done it look at our tax

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system? We have a very odd tax

system where we allow people who are

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non-residents here not to pay tax. I

think people who live in this

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country should be taxed on

everything they earn in this

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country. And we should look at the

business of having offshore polices

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-- places where you can put money

which is in a way controlled by the

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Crown.

Yes, it is.

We need to look

at that.

They're British offshore

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territories. If the British people

want the system to change, the

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Government will need to change the

system. But to make out like

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somebody is doing something terribly

wrong when it's not illegal, you

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either make it illegal or why are

you criticising them in this way?

I

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am going to move you both on to a

different story on the front page of

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The Financial Times. Boris Johnson

and remarks he has made about a

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British Iranian woman being held in

jail in Iran.

Yeah, this is a story

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about a British Iranian woman being

accused of trying to topple the

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Government. She claims she - she

denies it and she is in jail. Boris

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Johnson a few days ago talking to a

committee in parliament and the lady

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had come back in 2016 to visit this

country said she had come and, you

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know, done some journalism teaching.

She has worked for journalistic

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organisations. Actually she said she

had come to bring her children to

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visit...

It was a private visit.

A

private visit. The Iranians have

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used that to say you are denying

that you want to destabilise our

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Government, look you have been

teaching jornlism, you are part of a

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media conspiracy and they want

increase the charge. It raised the

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question, doesn't Boris Johnson ever

consult anybody at the Foreign

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Office as to what it is? He is the

Foreign Secretary. He is the man who

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represents us. Surely before he goes

and says something in this - in

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parliament, he should check what the

status is.

I suppose to be fair to

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the Foreign Secretary he didn't say

she had been teaching journalism in

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Iran.

Nevertheless, he should be

aware of how sensitive it is and how

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that remark may be misinterpreted,

where a woman is impressed by the

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Government, and they refuse to

believe that her defence she's in

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the trying to topple that

Government.

She came into court and

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said I was just here to introduce my

children to their grandparents. I

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haven't anything to do with

propaganda or anything to do with

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political action against the regime.

Four days after Boris Johnson said

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she had been teaching people

journalism, she was summoned to

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court again and she's now been

accused of having new evidence

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against her, producing propaganda

and the fear is that she may

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actually have her sentence

increased. This is really serious

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stuff.

Let me take you now to the

front page of the Daily Telegraph

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which leads with a Brexit story.

Don't let the EU dictate Brexit

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warns the US.

Well, this seems to me

this is - the US Secretary visiting

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this country, he seems to be

suggesting is that the US would

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prefer a hard Brexit. If you come to

an arrangement as we leave which

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has, as he puts it landmines,

doesn't specify what he has in mind,

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presumably some sort of arrangement

where the transitional arrangement

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carries on for a bit, he says that

will delay the US and the UK having

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its own trade arrangements and he

seems to be sort of really saying we

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should have off the cliff exit and

therefore, there will be a quick...

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Helpful, unhelpful?

He seems to be

threatening the UK, if we dare to

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leave the EU but still keep some of

its rules and regulations, we can't

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expect to have a good trade deal

with the US. To be quite honest, I

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really think that those remarks are

terribly unhelpful. We are in this

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very delicate position of trying to

negotiate a good outcome for Brexit

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and it may be that we have to keep

some of the EU's regulations, many

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of which are designed to protect the

public and that might mean that we

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can't have GM foods or clor innated

chicken even if the US wants to sell

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it to us, that shouldn't be

something the US comes in and

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dictates to us. It's up to our

negotiators.

Thank you very much.

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That's it for The Papers tonight.

You can see the front pages of the

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papers online on the BBC news

website. It's all there for you

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seven days a week.

If you miss the programme any

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evening you can watch it later on

the iPlayer. Thank you again. Bye.

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No need to wait until tomorrow morning to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines.