Sunday, January 8, 2012

#Blair's BLOOD Money: Dr.Death's Unaccounted 8 Million Pounds Which Is Being Offset Against Tax !

We knew Tony Blair was making a lot of money. Now for the first time, we have the clearest indication yet of just how much.

How does Blair make his money?
Since walking out of Downing Street in June 2007, Mr Blair, the most successful Prime Minister in Labour’s history, has struck a number of lucrative deals that have earned him millions of pounds.
Tony Blair is a burgeoning brand. He is an adviser, sometimes paid, sometimes unpaid, to foreign governments - and in some cases dictators; a hugely in demand, highly paid public speaker; an international business consultant; and a philanthropist with two charities in his name and another devoted to improving the plight of Africans. He is also a Middle East peace envoy with an office in Jerusalem and author of a best-selling memoir, the proceeds of which he gave to charity.
Mr Blair is paid in the region of £3 million a year to advise both JP Morgan, the US investment bank, and also Zurich International, the global insurer based in Switzerland. On top of that he runs his own consultancy firm - Tony Blair Associates - which advises the oil and gas rich governments of Kuwait and Kazakhstan.
It is a confusing mix of business, politics and philanthropy that is administered by a complex system of companies, operating out of plush offices in Grosvenor Square in Mayfair in central London.
There are two parallel companies both with similar structures. One is called Windrush Ventures and another is called Firerush Ventures.

The scale of Mr Blair’s finances are shown in accounts lodged by Windrush Ventures Limited, just one of a myriad of companies and partnerships set up by the former prime minister. Windrush Ventures Ltd’s “principal activity” is the “provision of management services” to Mr Blair’s various other interests.

The accounts for the 12 months to March 31 were lodged with Companies House in the week between Christmas and New Year and made publicly available for the first time last week. Previously the accounts have contained almost no information because Windrush was classified as a small company. This time auditors appear to have been obliged to divulge more information because of the amount of money being handled.

The accounts show a turnover of £12.005 million and administrative expenses of £10.919 million, leaving Windrush Ventures with a profit of just over £1 million, on which Mr Blair paid tax of £315,000. The tax was paid at the corporate tax rate of 28 per cent.

Of those expenses, £2.285 million went on paying 26 employees at an average salary of almost £88,000. Windrush Ventures also pays £550,000 a year to rent Mr Blair’s offices in Grosvenor Square, a stone’s throw from the US embassy in Mayfair in central London and a further sum of about £300,000 on office equipment and furniture. But those costs amount to a little more than £3 million, meaning almost £8 million of “administrative expenditure” is unexplained in the accounts.

It is not known from the accounts what happened to that huge sum.
Tax specialists who have studied the accounts have told The Sunday Telegraph that the tax paid in 2010 of £154,000 and £315,000 in 2011 appears low because costs have been offset against the administrative costs, which remain largely unexplained.

One City accountant, who did not wish to be named, said: “It is very difficult to see what these administrative costs could be. It is a very large amount for a business like this. I am sure it is legitimate but it is certainly surprising.
“The tax bill of £315,000 is explained by the large administrative costs that are being treated as tax allowable.”

Richard Murphy, a charted accountant who runs Tax Research LLP and has studied Mr Blair’s company accounts, said: “There is about £8 million which we don’t know where it goes. That money is unexplained. There is no indication at all why the administration costs are so high.

 What has happened to about £8 million which is being offset against tax?”

There is no suggestion that Mr Blair’s tax affairs are anything other than legitimate.

His accounts are audited by KPMG, one of the world’s biggest accountancy firms. Mr Blair presides over 12 different legal entities, handling the millions of pounds he has received since leaving office. Another set of companies, which are run in parallel to Windrush Ventures, are called Firerush Ventures and appear to operate in exactly the same, oblique way.

The money paid into Windrush Ventures Ltd largely comes from Windrush Ventures No. 3 Limited Partnership, which appears to be where money is deposited before being spread around other companies, ultimately in Mr Blair’s ownership.

The limited partnership does not have to disclose publicly any accounts allowing its activities to remain secret.

Mr Murphy said last night: “It is in the limited partnership where things really happen. But that is the one Mr Blair keeps secret. We don’t know how much money is in the LP. It is completely hidden.

The question is why is Tony Blair running such as a completely secretive organisation?”

A spokesman for Mr Blair said last night: “The Windrush accounts are prepared in accordance with the relevant legal, accounting and regulatory guidance. Tony Blair continues to be a UK taxpayer on all of his income and all of his companies are UK registered for tax purposes.”

The spokesman added that the accounts did not relate to any of Mr Blair’s charitable activities, which raised money separately as independently registered charities.

The spokesman chose not to explain what happened to about £8 million of administrative expenses.