Reposted from the Mirror
David Cameron and George Osborne have slashed thousands off the bills for their Downing Street homes in a secret deal
with the taxman.
The multi-millionaire Tories are quids in after a dramatic change to the way their grace-and-favour homes are valued for tax purposes.
The Prime Minister is saving a minimum of £1,228 a year and almost certainly far more. The Chancellor’s bill has more than halved, saving the wallpaper heir £1,560 a year.
Mr Osborne is paying just £23 a week and the PM no more than £35 to live at Britain’s most exclusive address while the average rent in the UK is £195.
Tax deal savings
David Cameron (minimum)
George Osborne (minimum)
The Tory pair were tonight blasted for accepting the cuts to their bills while imposing brutal policies such as the Bedroom Tax on others.
Generation Rent, a pressure group campaigning on behalf of tenants, said it made a mockery of the Tory slogan “we are all in it together”.
Downing Street rent per week
Average UK rent
Director Alex Hilton said: “We’re blatantly not all in it together if the residents of Downing Street can wangle themselves a nice bonus while ordinary families are seeing their rent go up by more than wages.”
Treasury insiders said the cut came about when it was discovered that bungling officials had been applying tax rules in the wrong way.
Richard Murphy, of Tax Research UK, said: “It is extraordinary that the Prime Minister and Chancellor did not overrule their officials and say they would pay tax as before.”
The Downing Street flats are treated as a taxable benefit and last year officials decided the tax should be levied on net salaries – after income tax and other deductions.
This switch, which meant big savings for Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne, was never announced but is buried deep in the fine print of the Treasury’s accounts.
A Government spokesman said that the tax was “independently calculated by HMRC”.