Jump to content

Bill Wiggins v Hereford Times


twowheelsgood
 Share

Recommended Posts

Saw this article this morning. Apparently he's working for a group based in the Caribbean for 1 day a week at about £96.00 an hour. A point was raised, in that if he's working for them, shouldn't he give up part of his MP's salary and shouldn't his constituents cry foul, as he is obviously not representing them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bargain, compared to the £545ph Allpay are paying him - from 'they work for you' (but not all the time) -

 

Non-executive director of Allpay Limited (from September 2013 and renewed for one year in September 2015); payment collection. Address: Fortis et Fides, Whitestone Business park, Whitestone, Hereford HR1 3SE. I will receive an annual fee of £12,000 plus VAT, paid in monthly instalments. Expected time commitment of four meetings a year; 5.5 hours per meeting. (Registered 9 September 2013; updated 27 June 2014 and 10 September 2015).

 

In addition, from 21 November 2015, managing director of Emerging Asset Management Ltd, 3rd Floor, Williams House, Hamilton HM11, Bermuda. Hours: expected to be 8 hrs a week, for expected remuneration of £3,333 a month. (Registered 26 November 2015).

 

And. Non-executive director of Philip T English International Financial Services Ltd, International House, Churchlands, Chipping Warden, Banbury, OX17 1LN. Remuneration of £5,000 a year. 

 

The very long list here http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=11318

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw this story this morning, but couldn't comment on it as I didn't have time. Just got in from work, and it's vanished! I thought I'd dreamt it up.....!

 

Very interesting that yet again, HT seem to have bowed to pressure to not only delete comments, but have withdrawn the complete article.

 

I have absolutely no concerns about Bill's impartiality..... however, whether what he writes ends up being published remains to be seen. He's a pretty tenacious character, I can't see him putting up with being "directed" as to what stories he should or shouldn't cover.

 

(That surely would go against the journalistic grain?)

 

A real concern that our local paper has opted to go down this path. I do recall that the story stated that "Mr Wiggins did not respond to the Hereford Times' request for a response."

 

Hmm. Sounds like 'somebody' responded after reading it, and the comments it generated....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The story was that he is `working` an equivalent of a day a week for a company set up in a tax haven to help new `hedge funds' to avoid paying tax.  So a double whammy for his constituents and taxpayers generally.  If true, (and any inaccuracies would be a valid reason for pulling it) it would mean that he was taking taxpayers money for full time representation of his constituents (yet not doing it full time) and also helping to reduce the amount of money the government has available to spend on services.  

 

Interesting that a man who claimed that his mortgage and other expenses difficulties were caused by a muddle and not by deliberate actions should be so sought after for his financial acumen.  

 

It was Jess Phillips whose byline was above the piece.  I thought when I saw it that it was a new departure in journalism for the HT - to expose our local movers and shakers to some scrutiny - alas I was wrong - Jess had made the terrible mistake of publishing an important news item that she thought ought to be made public, instead of just publishing Bill Wiggins' press releases as is the normal practice at HT.  I wonder how she is feeling.

 

This is an interesting web page.  Make sure you scroll right down to the bottom left hand corner. 

 

http://www.eam.bm/what-we-do/

 

I may be able to get hold of the HT piece tomorrow.  If Colin is agreeable I will post it on here - but I don't want to do so if there was  legal reason for the HT pulling it.... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jess Phillips takes a few more risks than the other journos perhaps she sneaked it  in and good for her perhaps she should move over to Herefordshire Live as well.  I quickly read it this morning and remembered the Mirror first published the list earlier this week.

 

Don't forget a new editor has started at HT and perhaps he has been vetted on who to stay in with.

 

Annoyingly this was an original story for HT and not one cribbed from other sources.

 

Quite a few comments are also being removed.  This is the article in the Mirror but it doesn't mention Wiggin

 

David Cameron's gravy train scandal as ex-ministers join ...

www.mirror.co.uk › News › UK News › Politics
3 days ago - The PM faces calls for a tougher crackdown after a Mirror investigation ... His successor as Minister for Water, ex-Lib Dem MP Dan Rogerson, ... Four of Mr Cameron's former Energy Ministers now work for energy .... Paper Subscription to theDaily Mirror Â· Paper Subscription to the Sunday Mirror · Irish Mirror.

 

Then there is this which was published last January well before the election 

 

JAN
2015
Friday 9TH
posted by Morning Star in Features

SOLOMON HUGHES introduces Bill Wiggin MP

FORMER Tory whip Bill Wiggin MP is paid by a company running privatised welfare benefits. 

Wiggin gets “up to £5,000†on top of his MP’s salary, but the privatisation has driven the poor and vulnerable to foodbanks.

Wiggin, who is MP for North Hertfordshire, was a Tory whip until September 2012. 

In September 2013 he became a director of Allpay Ltd, a firm that makes prepaid cash cards. 

Wiggin earned £2,000 from Allpay last year for two board meetings. It wasn’t a huge amount of cash, but at just 10.5 hours work, he is paid at a handsome rate of over £190 an hour.

Allpay is cashing in on the “social fund†that jobcentres used to give claimants crisis loans, offering one-off sums for things like fridges or beds. 

Crisis loans were given to people who’d lost items through fire or damage or women who fled abusive husbands. 

One of Wiggin’s jobs as assistant whip was pushing through the 2012 Welfare Reform Act. 

This “devolved†the social fund, passing it from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to local authorities. 

This devolution hit the poor hard — when the DWP devolved the fund, they also cut it. Local authorities had less money and were allowed to make up their own rules. 

As well as cutting the amount of money to the poor, the devolution opened the door to privatisation. 

The fund used to be run by DWP staff, but many local types of council, unused to the new duty, handed the work to private firms, including Allpay. Wiggin’s new employer proudly says on its website: “Following the government’s decision to abolish community care grants and crisis loans, local authorities are also using prepaid cards as a way of delivering parts of the social fund — which is being devolved to councils from 2013.†

Councils like Surrey pay Allpay to run their emergency payments. So Allpay gets a profitable contract, Wiggin gets a job on the board, but the poor get fewer grants, leaving them poorer and hungrier and colder. 

Allpay relies on many other public-sector contracts alongside — it operates cashless cards for school dinner money, collects fines for the Ministry of Justice and does many other jobs that ultimately rely on the taxpayer.

But Wiggin has another job helping rich people keep their money out of the taxman’s hands.

Wiggin gets another £5,000 a year working for Banbury-based Philip T English International Financial Services.

It helps rich people look after their money. The firm says it “can create offshore companies and form trusts for both corporate and individual needs. This may be of particular benefit to foreign domiciled or non-resident individuals who wish to ring-fence their assets from UK based taxation.â€

It also says its “financial and tax planning services extend beyond the boundaries of the UK in being able to provide advice to clients seeking to base themselves abroad or perhaps returning to the UK from non-resident status.â€

Philip T English is clear that Wiggin’s main attraction is that he is an MP — it says: “The company and its clients benefit from his experience gained through his parliamentary career in the House of Commons which spanned more than a decade.â€

So it uses his MP’s position to advertise its services, which include keeping rich people’s tax down.

Wiggin got his jobs some time ago, but they appear in the latest report of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), the watchdog which oversees former ministers’ — and former whips’ — private-sector jobs.

Acoba is a toothless watchdog. It mostly waves through ex-ministers’ appointments. 

Before the last election David Cameron himself said that “the ex-ministers and ex-advisers for hire, helping big business find the right way to get its way†was part of the “next big scandal waiting to happen.†

But he has done nothing to change it. Acoba sometimes bans ex-ministers from lobbying or using their “privileged information†for their new employers, but it has no way of enforcing these bans. 

Indeed some ex-ministers treat Acoba with contempt and don’t seek its advice until after they have taken their jobs — which the committee “note with concern,†in a rather embarrassed complaint in their annual report.

 

Sorry that may all be a bit of a repitition but ho hey is he also a farmer or is it a landowner?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought he was a MP not a financial consultant?

 

"Our clients include hedge funds, private equity funds, property funds, commodities funds and other fund types. We cater for any fund, fund size and strategy."

 

So I've applied, I have no clue what I've applied for but, I've got some funds, not a lot, but that doesn't matter to them, as stated. For a measly £3333pcm Mr Wiggin must be on commission, so every little helps.

Let's see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I telephoned the HT after they took the story down. I was told that they need to run some things past their legal people. I queried this, since the story was basically lifted from Private Eye, and Bill Wiggin's earnings are a matter of record in the register of member's interests (he hasn't done anything illegal). Nonetheless, this is what I was told. Also that they are 'hoping' to run a fuller story later in the week, looking not just at Wiggin, but also Norman. I asked if Wiggin or anybody from his office had requested that the story be taken down, but was assured not.

I really hope that this is the case. It would be disturbing to know that local journalism really is dead, and I look forward to the HT doing some proper reporting on this. Wiggin has supported every stage of the impoverishment of our public services, and now seeks to ensure that further tax revenues are off-shored, whilst trousering huge sums. He is serving the financial elite, not his constituents, who are directly disadvantaged by his actions. I hope his constituents, and I am not one, will look into deselecting him after this treachery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's good to hear Osmosis.  I did fear that Piggin Wiggin had been in touch with m'learned friends to put the frighteners on.

 

As other members have said it made a nice change to see something resembling a proper story in the HT rather than the usual two paragraph bits of fluff on cats stuck up trees or fire alarms going off at factories. Here's hoping for a hard hitting expose on the financial foibles of the local squirearchy. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, they assured me there was no conspiracy! I did wonder what needed checking. Sometimes they run a short story (as in the announcement of the death of Brummie Stokes), and then follow it with a fuller one in the next edition. Not sure why that couldn't have happened. I still think it's fishy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that post, Osmosis. Interesting stuff.

 

I'm very pleased to hear that plans are afoot for HT to start scrutinizing our two conservative MP's. For what seems like forever, very little -  apart from what they want printed - has made it into the paper/on line.

 

Perhaps the new editor is going to take a more robust view? And not pander to them....

 

This has got to be a better way forward.

 

I take on board your comments about something being a little "fishy" re the reasons for pulling this story..... we'll soon know won't we?? If the more detailed up dated story doesn't materialize!

 

Meanwhile....I remain hopeful, that this could be a positive step!

 

Let's keep our fingers crossed! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Absolutely.

 

Anyone remember the Jim Miller episode? When he had the temerity to question/ complain about Mr Wiggins expenses, Mr Wiggins response was to call him a "troublemaker" then added that "his time would be better spent finding a job, than pursuing a vendetta". Then he enquired whether Jim was "on benefits".

 

Jim Miller had wanted to stand against Bill Wiggins, the year prior to this, as an Independent, anti - sleaze candidate. Bill Wiggins put a stop to this , after he personally contacted the Returning Officer to complain about Jim's election leaflets.

 

There was so, so much more.... but very little coverage in HT. There was, however, considerable interest from The Telegraph.

(No handy link, as usual... but Google "The Telegraph MP's Expenses - Bill Wiggins questioned by Parliamentary Sleaze Watchdog" and you'll find the full story.)

 

It would be great to think we'd reached a point where HT reporting on "Conservative" issues, was less slanted in their favour.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the record; this is what we're not supposed to have seen.  So don't read it!

 

 

 

NORTH Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin has been accused of helping tax-avoiding hedge funds set up shop on 'sunny offshore islands' in a recent edition of Private Eye.

 

The fortnightly British satirical and current affairs magazine carried an article stating that, according to his latest entry in the register of MPs interests, Mr Wiggin had started working one day a week as the managing director of Bermuda-based Emerging Asset Ltd.

 

It is a role that he took on on November 21 2015 and will see him work around eight hours a week for an expected remuneration of £3,333 a month – just shy of £40,000 a year.

On its website, the firm states that it helps new hedge funds set up in Bermuda or the Cayman Islands where there is 'no income, capital gains or withholding tax'.

It does state that both are on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) “white†list of jurisdictions that substantially implement tax standards with each one having signed various Tax Information Exchange Agreements.

 

Mr Wiggin did not respond to the Hereford Times' request for a response. 

 

I thought I told you not to read it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well done, gdj!

 

(And no, Osmosis - to my albeit, untrained eye - I can't see a reason why this would require being run past the legal team.)

 

From Wikipedia.....

 

"During the parliamentary expenses enquiry, The Daily Telegraph reported that Wiggin had wrongly claimed more than £11,000. mortgage payments on his Herefordshire property.This property had no mortgage. Wiggin made 23 declarations that this was his main home, and said the claims were made in error."

 

(So that's 23 errors made then????)

 

"The committee found that Wiggin's mortgagee claims were an 'unfortunate and unintended muddle', They also expressed disappointment that Wiggins had not been cooperative with the enquiry, as required by The Code of Conduct.

 

His claim for household bills were also investigated following a complaint by Mr Miller.Wiggin 'chose not to' take up the Committee's invitation to check his expenses with his bank and service providers.

 

In October 2010, Wiggin apologised to The House, and was ordered to repay £4009.utility expenses."

 

 

Hmmm.

 

And now he's paid to offer financial advice?????

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well Dippy, assuming one takes his protestations of innocence at face value, and it really was a financial muddle and not fraud (if), then I think we can assume also that he is not being employed for his financial acumen. He is a man of modest educational achievements. So one can draw conclusions about what other benefit he might be able to bring, and that surely would point to his being an MP, and the benefits and opportunities that arise for business when they make these connections. That's my view, for what it's worth!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone know if this story is going to reappear on the HT website? Quite a few people I know dont have a computer and so only read the actual paper. If its not on the website it is unlikely to be in the paper and it certainly wasnt in this week's edition. If this story just reflects the members interests I cant see how there can be a legal issue with such a report unless Mr Wiggin couldnt complete his register of interests correctly - a bit like his difficulty with expense forms!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it should be made illegal for politicians to take a second job as it does raise serious concerns about a conflict of interests they should instead concentrate on running the country instead of lining there pockets!…it surprise me he has the time to take a second job even thou he's a minor backbencher?!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...