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DEAR Mr Tax Inspector

Sally S. Ramage | 28.11.2005 09:32 | World

Undeclared benefits-in-kind are still continuing. We must address this probl;em and stop the "ONE RULE FOR THE MIDDLE CLASSES AND A DIFFERENT SET OF CRITERIA FOR WORKING CLASSES" of which I am proud to say I belong to. The working class is the salt of the earth.

By Sally Ramage
Dear Sirs,
This letter addresses several related issues: -
a) “Benefits- in –kind” received by government officials, for instance, Pension Regulators’ Officers;
b) Cartels, collusion and corruption;
c) Income tax on Benefits-in-kind.
d) Licences maintained through “Benefits-in-kind” – is this equal employment opportunities, or are professionals acting as protective unions in order to defeat the unfair competition rules?
e) Once you’re in the magic circle, you cannot be easily removed, but getting in is the crux. Contrary to the Equal Opportunities Act.
f) Race Discrimination Act. There were three black people at the conference, which was attended by 246 white people. Is this “Equal Opportunities” in a profession that is supposed to practice the law?
g) I have a right to my good reputation and I wish it to be known that the Secretary of the APL has threatened to sue me if I do not remove my article. Almost every newspaper in the United Kingdom has at least one page about pensions, pension lawyers, actuaries and pension disasters almost every day. In my view I have been bullied, there has been an attempt to gag me and I have been threatened and now desperately fear for my life and my family.

I attended the Association of Pension Lawyers Annual Conference Event with my spouse. I took the chance because the invitation letter of the Pension Lawyers Association stated, NOT “Please feel free to bring your other half” BUT “MAKE USE OF THE BEDROOMS WHICH SLEEP TWO”. Chris Webber said at that point “But this is pensions law” and I replied, “have you not read the recent Serious Fraud Office prosecution of R v Kevin Sykes, Simon Michael Maya, Trevor Hamilton Farrell, Altaf Sayed, Ian David Selby, Cassius Augustus Powell and Adrienne Gay Morris, the CHEYNEY PENSION FRAUD?”

I wore my Chartered Institute of Journalists Pass and my National Union of Journalists Pass around my neck at all times; I read all the speeches, given out beforehand. I asked permission of the Secretary Chris Webber who asked permission from Jonathan Hazlett who told me it was fine to listen and to whom I showed the marked speeches I would like to listen to. No subterfuge here, not on my part. Also at the end of this conversation, I told them to whom I was related. I made clear that the subject I write on is Fraud and that my writings are on Mondaq. So no subterfuge on my part.

The delegates went to have a five-course dinner on Thursday night and returned to the Marriott Hotel Bristol between midnight and 2am Sunday. Many did not turn up to the conference the next day. Many bedroom doors had “DO NOT DISTURB” notices the following day.

Several enjoyed the Executive suites on the TOP floor.
I was up there in error when I pressed the wrong button on the hotel lift and I saw several delegates enter the lift with their green files of typed speeches.

They all enjoyed the most lavish cooked high quality lunches and breakfasts, all including the newly licences young ones. Each lunchtime I sat in the Business Offices area with my plain cheese and onion sandwich and my pot of tea for all to see me as they walked through to the dining room. No subterfuge on my part.

What bothers me is this. Why, at a conference for senior pension EXPERTS did a speaker have to discuss basic CONTRACT LAW, IMPLIED TERMS? Very basic stuff – I teach contract law as part of legal and regulatory framework for UK businesses.

It amazed me to see these allegedly SENIOR PENSION LAWYERS (a quick headcount of under 25’s proved several dozens looked newly qualified, if so) scribbling notes on cases such as BOLAM. “It is NOT BREACH OF DUTY if the court is satisfied that “the practice “(of whatever they are being sued about) is normal practice. If 20 years ago the pension scheme was invested in 90 % high risk and 10% low risk investments, then that was OK, because it was common practice to invest in that fashion then. So one is not liable for professional negligence.
My thoughts on that were - tell that “common practice” story to the prosecutors in R v Saunders -and – they should read my article on Mondaq - ‘The culpability of fraudsters’.

An analogy would be this – if all the cars around you were travelling at 110 miles an hour and you were stopped for speeding, is the momentary common practice a legitimate excuse for breaking the law?

What bothers me even more is that there were no less than FIVE PERSONS FROM THE PENSIONS REGULATORS OFFICE which seemed to be to be an over –cosy affair - especially as the Pensions Ombudsman is holding a seminar in London on 6th December 2005 at Brewer’s Hall Aldermanbury House, EC27HR. I wondered if these five officials have registered these benefits worth £1000 to each person, in their register of interests ,if the Pensions Regulator’s Office has such a policy of registering conflicts of interest and benefits-in-kind.

What is more, with another hat on, I calculated to that the APL made a handsome profit or excess of £147,120 from the event, notwithstanding living it up like lords at the expense ultimately of the poor pensioner. I wondered where this money is????
Even taking Value Added Tax into account, the same Value Added Tax that each delegate or his firm will promptly reclaim, to the country pensions lawyers. Still hefty at £121,374.00. It should be refunded immediately. But each lawyer or lawyer’s firm will reclaim the VAT on the delegates’ fees, and so there is another gain of 17.5% of the total fees paid, which is equal to a nice pocket of money worth £42,700. All in all, these lawyers as a body had a high class two days and a profit from the “taxman” and the “pensioners of the country” of over £164,000.00. This is no laughing matter.

The accounts should be published and open for inspection. All accounts of NOT -FOR -PROFIT ORGASNISATIONS should be open for inspection. Professional Not -for -Profit Associations go to FRANKFURT, CARIBBEAN, everywhere lovely for their conferences, ultimately at the expense of the tax payer by way of their delegate fees being a deductible item on the Profit and Loss Account. I estimate that, in the United Kingdom, at least a billion pounds a year is set off against income at tax relief rates of 35 to 40 % or three million five hundred thousand pounds (£3.5 million) refund to professional firms, fat enough already.
It is my opinion that these conferences are totally unnecessary because we have, telephones, faxes, Internet conferencing, etc. Even the courts use such methods for evidence in certain cases. Why the need to touch and feel? Unless it is so that networking meetings go UN-MINUTED? It should be televised or be usable electronic evidence allowable in a court of law.

I cannot think of any other reason except to shop in a different place perhaps? And if young conference goers need schooling, is it not better to do it “at home” in the office, so that no one knows the extent of their lack of expertise or very good expertise? I heard some of the 2003 APL Conference speeches and one female speaker, had a half hour playtime of getting these “professionals” to wiggle their toes and rub behind their ears {really] as one does whit infant school children. Really.

My proposal to the INLAND REVENUE is this:
If conference delegate fees are to remain VAT refundable and income tax refundable and corporation tax refundable, then either the employer must deduct the time spent away from the employee’s desk from their salaries (unless you are a chief finance officer or chief executive). These senior persons need to make decisions, which need to be ironed out.

Catching any cartel activity or contracts collusion, conflict of interest would be simpler. An example of potential Conflict of Interest is as found in this table: -
Possibilities of conflict of interest-
FTSE Company Finance Director Formerly from Present Auditors
AMVESCAP R Mc Cullough Arthur Anderson Arthur Anderson
Assoc of British Foods J Bason Arthur Young KPMG
BAA M Ewing Deloitte and Touche KPMG
British Land Company G Roberts Arthur Anderson Arthur Anderson
Dixons Group J Darroch Deloitte Haskins & Sells Deloitte & Touche
P & O Princess Cruises N Luff KPMG KPMG
Sainsbury R Matthews Price Waterhouse PwC
Scottisdh Power D Nish Price Waterhouse PwC
Smiths Group Thompson Arthur AndersonPrice Waterhouse PwC
Wolseley S Webster Price Waterhouse PwC

High level meetings should be minuted. But enough is enough. These conference goers are taking the man in the street for a laugh., partying and eating lavishly. I understand that the INLAND REVENUE has limits to the amount of money each company can spend on its employees at Christmas- less than £100 maximum. These conference goers get their Christmas Party revelling on the taxpayer as well. For if a person, qualified professional or unqualified in a professional office, IS NOT UP TO SPEED, he should not be in that job because he is obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception. Deception can mean being “paper qualified” but being “incompetent” in the job without further training. This incompetence is a separate matter to CPD. CPD means ensuring that one is UP TO DATE, not that one catches up on one’s initial incompetence or compertence and this goes for all meetings and conferences. If you cannot say it on paper, you cannot say it full stop.

CARTELS work in an un-minuted way, meetings in a hotel, meetings over dinner, etc; so does bribery and corruption. (See the case of
Director of Fair Trading v Pioneer Concrete (UK) Ltd. The actions of a company’s employees acting in the course of their employment, amounts to carrying on of business by the company.

If such conferences are in fact “staff training” en masse, the Inland Revenue should be aware of it as such. Staff training is done during working hours. BUT CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT is a professional’s own business. It is up to the professional to obtain the number of required CPD hours in order for HIS LICENCE TO BE RENEWED. The employer pays a professional a certain level of salary by dint of the fact that that person holds that licence. If the employer pays for that professional to keep that licence, then in my humble opinion, that is a perk or benefit to that employer who is already benefiting from having such a licence. If that professional cannot make his CPD hours, the job should go to someone who is competent. Does the obtaining of CPD hours include time spent shopping? How is it examined? Are people who attend conferences tested on their development? No. If they were tested on the spot on their return to work and they failed, the employer could not just boot them out. He would have to face the Employment Rights Act. So he should employ competent persons in the first place. But in the UK, we will never know the answer. In my humble opinion, as small businesses go, this is a very profitable way of gaining even more money from poor hard done by pensioners, caught by
Actuaries’ incompetence, lawyer’s high-class taste and the “taxman” as is colloquially put.
Poor pensioners! Bring on the Double Jeopardy fraud cases, please.

Delegates’ Fees [ ] 244,000.00
Less Expenses:
Hotel bedrooms including breakfast [ ] 54,780.00
Cost of conference hall hire 2,000.00 E
Delegates lunches [ ] 14,950
Dinner on 24th[ ] 18,675.00
Bus hire to and from dinner 500.00 E
Conference typing and organising [ ]Gifts for each delegate [ ] 0
Total Expenses of APL Conference 2005 96,880.00
NET PROFIT or EXCESS 147,120.00
EXAMPLE OF ONE CONFERENCE, its costs, excluding productive time lost by the employer.
Yours sincerely, Sally Ramage, Copehale, Coppenhall, STAFFORD, ST189BW, UK.
Tel 01785-251448, 01785-251267

Sally S. Ramage


Display the following 19 comments

  2. more of this 2 — OBSERVER1
  3. more of this 3 — OBSERVER1
  4. more of this 4 — PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
  5. more on this — observer1
  6. global problm — observer2
  7. more on this — OBSERVER7
  8. So..........S L O W ..........................Regulator. — OBSERVER10-
  10. MORE OF THE SAME....??? — JOHN DOE
  11. MORE OF THE SAME....??? — JOHN DOE
  12. MORE ! — JOHN DOE
  13. it never stops.. — J.DOE
  14. doh — DOE
  15. HMMM — JD
  18. in 2006.. — JANE DOE