Thursday, 2 February 2012

Smart wheeze

The Treasury has asked Whitehall to review all the tax affairs of top civil servants after it emerged that the head of the Student Loans Company (SLC) is paid via a company without tax being deducted.

The SLC's chief executive Ed Lester has his £182,000 salary paid gross to his private service company, potentially saving him tens of thousands of pounds in tax.

The arrangement, entered into in 2010, was disclosed in a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) letter obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Exaro News and BBC Newsnight. Ministers will be dismayed if it is seen that they have been presiding over a system in which senior civil servants have been able to minimise their tax payments, at a time when the rest of the country is being urged that we are "all in this together".