Showing posts with label 'tax haven'. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 'tax haven'. Show all posts

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Doctor Will See You Now: So Too Will the Advertisers

Patients are about to be targeted like never before by advertising companies as face recognition software merges with information screens to profile your interests as you wait for your doctor.
Lord Sugar is on the verge of selecting one more hard-nosed apprentice to his entrepreneurial stable as his Apprentice programme reaches its latest conclusion this Wednesday. Quite what work the eventual winner will undertake is unclear but a previous winner was selected to run the sales of a project that profiles patients in the NHS as they sit and wait for their GP.

Amscreen Plc is part of Lord Sugar’s Amshold Group of companies, which is based in the tax haven of Jersey and is overseen by his son Simon Sugar, who is the CEO. The company, which launched in 2008 when Lord Sugar bought Comtech M2M, provides T.V screens into places where there is a captive audience and places targeted marketing alongside the other content the organisation may use. These screens are placed in GP surgeries, hospitals and dentists throughout the UK and in Europe and also in petrol stations, convenience stores.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Tax Haven? No Contract

The message proffered by David Cameron when he spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos was tax avoidance would become a priority of the UK’s presidency for this year. In reality, the government acts in the opposite manner, rewards those companies who channel money to tax havens with further contracts paid for by the taxpayer.

The calls for the government to bring about an end to tax havens has continued to grow ever louder as the general public observe the stripping of the welfare state, whilst billions of pounds exits the county into offshore accounts. Many of these companies are in receipt of taxpayer’s money, which are handed contracts by cash-strapped councils who continue to work with the organisations despite their dubious tax practices.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Tax Havens: Outsource Company's Half Billion Transfer

A private outsourcing company who are in receipt of one of the highest government spends have channeled over half a billion pounds into an offshore tax haven.

The Pears family’s property empire began back in 1950 when the grandfather ran the humble business of three greengrocer stores in North London. Today however, they control Trillium Holdings which owns about a third of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) estate, including job centres, the pension service and child maintenance offices.

Trillium and its subsidiary companies - are responsible for a £3.2bn 20-year deal to manage and provide property services for the DWP offices.

This is where it gets complicated. The parent company of Trillium Holdings is owned by London Wall Outsourcing, which in turn is owned by London Wall Outsourcing Holdings Limited. This company is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. The ultimate controlling entity is the B Pears family trust in Bermuda.

Since 2008, London Wall Outsourcing accounts reveal that the vast sum of £666.7m  has been sent in dividends to its Virgin Island based parent.

The British Virgin Islands appeared in the news recently in dramatic fashion, after a massive leak of over 2 million emails and documents revealed a host of political leaders and wealthy individuals whose fortunes are stored in the tax haven.

The Pears family control a property empire valued at £6bn through a labyrinth of companies. Until her death in 1999, the matriarch Clarice Pears was one of the country’s richest women, with a fortune that surpassed that of the Queen. The Pears brother, Mark, Trevor and David, have an estimated wealth of £1.7bn, which ranks them at 38 on the Sunday Times Rich List.

One of the Pears brothers, Trevor, part-funded David Cameron’s leadership campaign in 2005 with two £10,000 payments. The Prime Minister has said tax havens and avoidance will be key part of the G8 summit in June this year, yet here we have his leadership being part-funded by a director of a company who are involved in tax havens.

In a rare interview given to the Telegraph, director Mark Pears said “We have got nothing to hide, but we are a private company”.

The business empire is run by the William Pears Group, which has been built over the last sixty years and encompasses residential property, offices and fund management. The latest accounts reveal the family company quadrupled their profit over the last year. One of the family’s property coups has been the purchase of a vast chunk of the DWP estate.

In 1998 under Blair, the then Department of Social Security transferred the management and ownership of its estate to Trillium, which had been set up by two entrepreneurs and was later bought by the property company Land Securities. The government obtained £250m for its estate and agreed a £2bn contract for serviced accommodation until 2018.

In December 2003, the Land Securities contract - known as the PRIME agreement extended to cover the Employment Service estate. The company bought the offices for £140m and agreed a £1.2bn deal to provide serviced offices. A NAO inquiry concluded that the deal was good value for the taxpayer and justified.

Six years later, Land Securities sold Trillium to the William Pears Group for £750m, which included the DWP estate and the government contracts. The changeover of more than 300 government offices to a company who’s ultimate ownership lies in an offshore company was not undertaken.

The DWP is paying about £464m a year for services to Trillium, but the company has also seen a steep increase in the value of the offices it now owns. Trillium,
who are advised by Conservative Peer Lord Griffths of Fforestfach, values its DWP estate at more than £1bn.

The group’s use of tax havens will be even more frustrating for the taxpayer given the fact that the company’s revenue is hugely bolstered by British public spending; a situation that looks set to significantly increase. In 2012, the government made an announcement that a new organisation to manage Defence property was to be formed, called the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. The new programme will see contracts of MOD facilities across England and Wales drawn up, worth up to £4.35bn and Telereal Trillium, who are a member of free market think tank Reform, have been short-listed as part of one of three consortia approved for making bids for the MOD estate contracts.

See Telereal Trillium Holdings Accounts (scroll to bottom to see link to London Wall)
See London Wall Outsourcing Accounts (scroll to bottom to see link to BVI and Bermuda)