The Money Shot – 22nd June 2012

Covered mag, presented by Gocompare.com
  • | by Kristian Dando

JIMMY FEELS THE SQUEEZE

TV funnyman Jimmy Carr isn’t the first fabulously wealthy person to be a bit tax-averse, and until the laws are tightened up, he certainly won’t be the last.

So when the news broke on Wednesday that Carr had been squirrelling his readies away in a complicated-sounding ‘K2’ tax arrangement, the nation’s media frothed at the mouth even more than usual. The main reason was that Carr had been piping off about Barclays’s own favourable tax arrangements on Channel 4’s ‘edgy’ satirical show 10 O’Clock Live not so long ago. And if there’s one thing which doesn’t sit well with Brits, it’s hypocrisy. Especially when exhibited by a rich, left-leaning comedian whose entire spiel is based on a self-satisfied persona.

Never one to miss an opportunity to play to the gallery, PM David Cameron took time out from his tour of Mexico to weigh in on the matter, branding the behaviour of celebs such as Carr and (allegedly) Gary Barlow OBE (who Dave had recruited to bang the Conservative drum at the 2010 election) “morally wrong”.

Of course, Dave’s government has had well over two years to address the legal loopholes that the celebrities are exploiting, but instead decided that the VAT situation surrounding hot savouries was a more pressing concern. Cameron also wasn’t as quick to criticise the tax situation of Sir Phillip Green, the Topshop entrepreneur and Tory backer when pressed on the matter earlier this year…

Evidently feeling the squeeze, Carr took to Twitter to repent: “I met with a financial advisor and he said to me “Do you want to pay less tax? It’s totally legal.” I said “Yes,’” said Carr, quite understandably. “I’m no longer involved in it and will in future conduct my financial affairs much more responsibly.”

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Fellow comdedian Frankie Boyle has his say on the aforementioned taxation matter.

“AN ENFORCED SENSE OF BRITISHNESS”

After all the pomp and ceremony of the Jubilee, you’d think the wise thing to do would be to have a break from all this highly regimented patriotism for a bit. The bunting is still up on plenty of streets, but the street parties and feeling of benign goodwill to your neighbour have long since dissipated. Doubtless fuelled by the recent bout of Maj-mania, Britain’s driving licences, currently adorned by the EU flag, will be replaced by the good old Union Jack (and possibly even the royal coat of arms) under sinister sounding government plans to “enforce a sense of Britishness”. Presumably while a rousing rendition of ‘Land of Hope & Glory’ parped away in the background, a Downing Street suit said: “There's no reason why the British driving licence should have the EU flag but not the Union flag. “People in this country are proud of our national symbols. It's time that once again we allowed those national symbols on British driving licences.” That noise you can hear, by the way, is the sound of sheer indifference emanating from some quarters of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland…

SHAMELESS OLYMPIC CASH-IN OF THE WEEK

This week’s showcase of Olympic ostentation features the London 2012 Festival which kicks off this week, promising somewhat optimistically to ‘unite the country’. As well as turns from fragrant pop songstress Pixie Lott and conductor Gustavo Dudamel (no, us neither), poet Ian McMillan and composer Tim Sutton have written ‘Cycle Song’, a brand new opera celebrating Scunthorpe's rich cycling history, which, we’re sure you’ll agree, sounds absolutely riveting. But what piqued our interest the most was artist Jeremy Deller’s inflatable Stonehenge exhibit, which rather unfortunately calls to mind this scene from ‘rockumentary’ Spinal Tap.

IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK

The Financial Ombudsman Service says that complaints about flood insurance are up "significantly". The number of people out of work fell by 51,000 during the first quarter of the year. However, it’s still at a far-from-ideal 8.2%, or about 2.61 million in actual numbers. Sacre BOOZE! British drivers may be forced to carry a breathalyser with them on French roads. Inflation has fallen by 2.8%, thanks to a drop in the price of crude oil – you know, the sort which cracks smutty jokes and enjoys indulging in loutish, uncouth behaviour.

ON GOCOMPARE.COM NEWS THIS WEEK

Put your smartphone to better use than idling away hours playing Angry Birds on the loo with this selection of cash-tastic money apps, courtesy of Rachel England. Buying an estate car doesn’t have to mean acquiescing to boredom – try these belters for size, says Daniel Bevis. If you’ve ever had your interest piqued by those shabby-looking “EARN £££s IN YOUR SPARE TIME” posters, you’d do well to have a read of this investigation from Felicity Hannah. We must warn you – doing ‘sexychat’ down the phone is one of the more promising moneymaking ruses. Kristian Dando learned that faking your own death to make a life insurance claim seemed seemed like more hassle than it's worth.

AND FINALLY...

The Money Shot is never averse to a picture of a cute cat, particularly when said moggie is in gainful employment. It was thrilled to see that toy firm Ban-dai has enlisted the services of Millie, a Bengal cat, to guard its stockpile of Christmas 2012 goodies from thieves. Yes, it’s clearly a public relations stunt. BUT IT’S A CAT, AND IT’S WEARING A LITTLE SECURITY BADGE. LOOK, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT? Join us for another thrilling instalment of THE MONEY SHOT. In the meantime, why not email the editor with your letters. If we print them, you could receive a prized Gocompare.com stationery set and an autographed picture of Gio Compario, star of our ad campaign. Three are up for grabs every week. (Promoter: Gocompare.com Ltd) *Marketing magazine’s ‘Most Irritating Advert’ 2009/2010