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Boris Johnson responds to questions about Dyson tax texts, 21 April 2021
BBC Parliament_Boris Johnson

Dyson tax texts draw PM into lobbying furore

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At long last, tax advisers have discovered what they have been doing wrong. Instead of trying to seek specific tax advice from somebody who never answers the phone at HMRC, we should all have been texting Boris Johnson’s private mobile number.

21st Apr 2021
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According to texts revealed by the BBC on Wednesday, vacuum cleaner manufacturer Sir James Dyson contacted Prime Minister Boris Johnson directly to ask for tax breaks for his staff in March 2020.

The request sought exemptions from PAYE and other taxes for Dyson employees who might fail the statutory residence test while obliged to work in the UK as part of his company’s effort to support the government’s ventilation procurement programme. A key message in the exchange reads:

Rishi has fixed the Country Day Count issue but not Work Days. The former is now covered under an 'Exceptional Circumstances' umbrella, Work Days are not. So, he has freed up your ability to be in the UK but not to work there - even in support of this National emergency

Johnson did not deny the content of the texts during a fiery episode of Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) later in the day and responded: “I make no apology at all to shift heaven and earth as any prime minister would do in the circumstances to source ventilators.”

He believed – wrongly it transpires - that our hospitals needed more ventilators than usual channels could supply. As a result, he was willing to bend over backwards when Dyson offered assistance.

Yet even his supporters might squirm at the tone of the texts, which include a line that sounds like an outtake from bad sci-fi movie: “I am First Lord of the Treasury and you can take it that we are backing you to do what you need.”

Deal fell through

The NHS ultimately rejected the ventilator designs proposed by the Dyson empire, which is now primarily located in Singapore, and the provisional plan was abandoned within a few weeks.

While the manufacturer reputedly lost money because the deal was shelved, if it had it been completed the group would probably have made profits that would be taxed at Singapore rates rather than those in the UK.

Sir James clarified that he was “seeking compliance with rules”. In fact, he was seeking a change to the law, which duly arrived the following month as a Covid emergency measure, effectively bypassing Parliament and applying to anyone working in relevant projects.

Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer lost no time in characterising Sir James Dyson as an expat “billionaire Conservative supporter” who had hotlines to both the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister and was given assurances that neither his company nor his staff would face any adverse UK tax consequences as a result of entering into this arrangement.

If nothing else, that means Dyson enjoyed a big competitive advantage over UK-based manufacturers.

The furore may partly stem from recent history. There have been numerous controversies involving deals between HMRC bigwigs and multinational companies that reduced unpaid tax, interest and penalties to palatable sums.

In each of these high-profile cases, had the parties which entered into the settlements paid tax on the correct basis, the amounts received by the Exchequer would have been considerably greater.

At a time when the government is already being accused of “sleaze and cronyism”, the last thing it needs are suggestions that Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson have both offered to change tax law for the benefit of a friendly tax exile.

Tax policy on the hoof

As a general rule, implementing new tax legislation takes months and very often years. Even the drafting of statutory instruments is a relatively lengthy process.Yet before vowing to do everything he could to fix the situation for Dyson employees, the Prime Minister might have consulted Treasury officials whether promising to make changes to tax legislation for a single supplier was necessary.

John Cullinane, director of public policy at CIOT, accepted that in the emergency situation the outcome would always likely to have been the same. But he raised two areas of concern. First, Cullinane worried that “global multinationals have access that the ordinary taxpayer, who deserves a more reasonable level, does not”.

And second, “The secrecy in our policy making process is going to give rise to more questions.”

The episode is already adding to the government’s discomfort and yet more parliamentary committees will no doubt want to investigate this matter in deeper detail.

The big questions to answer will be with regard to who knew about this extra-statutory concession. Was it actually agreed by Rishi Sunak, officials at the Treasury and/or anyone at HMRC? Inevitably many will also want to know whether the arrangements breached the ministerial code with which we are all becoming so familiar,

Going a stage further, Parliament might wish to have greater control over the fiscal measures implemented in future by the First Lord of the Treasury.

Replies (84)

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
22nd Apr 2021 09:04

The reported texts from Dyson had the tone of blackmail in a time of crisis. Unless you provide us with tax breaks outside the law, we won't help provide vital equipment.

Boris should do more than apologise for going along with this. He should resign.

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By qadri23
23rd Apr 2021 10:09

I beg to differ, you may be right in a communist regime, we live in a Capital world, I think both acting to in a manner one would expect in a business world.

Why would Dyson bring his 450 Engineers for R&D, when he may have to pay a large tax bill, not to mention his opportunity costs !!!!!

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Replying to qadri23:
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By Charityguy
23rd Apr 2021 10:28

" when he may have to pay a large tax bill"... indeed that is the point in a nutshell. His philanthropy is limited by the need to pay taxes that everyone else has to pay.

Why would 450 engineers need to come to the UK? If they can design and build equipment in Singapore could they not have invented these ventilators in Singapore... then had zoom calls?

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By qadri23
23rd Apr 2021 10:56

good point, but as I understand out of these 450 some would have participated in manufacturing on UK soil; though, I am glad debate among us is civil!

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Replying to qadri23:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
23rd Apr 2021 11:09

qadri23 wrote:

I beg to differ, you may be right in a communist regime, we live in a Capital world, I think both acting to in a manner one would expect in a business world.

Why would Dyson bring his 450 Engineers for R&D, when he may have to pay a large tax bill, not to mention his opportunity costs !!!!!


Because acting to save people's lives is the right thing to do? Because doing that would be good PR that could not be bought? Because taking the tax hit in this single case would offset the terrible PR he has got from moving all his operations abroad to avoid paying tax in the UK, despite doing huge business here?

Just out of curiosity, since you think paying taxes is "communist", how do you live your life without using anything paid for from those taxes?

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By moneymanager
23rd Apr 2021 18:06

qadri23 wrote:

I beg to differ, you may be right in a communist regime, we live in a Capital world, I think both acting to in a manner one would expect in a business world.

Perhaps we are in a communist state, certainly when it comes to Robert Jenrick.

Hundreds of thousands of business have either been forcibly closed or their opening being made unviable, the vast majority of incorporated and unincorporated businesses and their employees would have qualified for one or other State (i.e. taxpayer) support, not so unincorporated residential landlords.

Jenrick said, somewhat disingenuously, that the Givernment wished to thank landlords for their "forebearance" of the government measures made of the cuff to subvert law and simoly compel landlords to provide free accomodation if a tenant decided simply not to pay their rent, continuing deferral of court hearing and the absurd lattitude given to judges, means it can now take over two years to regain possession all the while with the landord still having all statutory obligations, continued accomodation might be a reasonable objective, the effect is the unilateral privatisation of state mandated costs, it might better be seen as a quite simply state mandated theft.

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By Ian McTernan CTA
23rd Apr 2021 11:57

Utter garbage. He wanted a small change to the law to enable his staff and others not to be penalised for coming to help.

There was no threat of 'or we won't help provide vital equipment', that's just your usual leftie sound bite.

There isn't a hint of blackmail in any of the texts at all, that's just more spin from the party of spin looking for anything in desperation to try and drag themselves back into contention whilst having none of their own policies and driven by Captain Hindsight who makes Corbyn's fence sitting amatuer.

Dyson was looking out for his staff and trying to ensure they would not incur large tax bills for being temporarily located in the UK (where he maintains and has just expanded a large operation).

Boris has nothing to answer for.

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Replying to Ian McTernan CTA:
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By LW64
23rd Apr 2021 12:13

Wow, now if someone didn't swallow the Daily Mail book of soundbite headlines.
Holding people to account does not have to be a party political broadcast.

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Replying to Ian McTernan CTA:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
23rd Apr 2021 12:21

Ian McTernan CTA wrote:

Utter garbage. He wanted a small change to the law to enable his staff and others not to be penalised for coming to help.

There was no threat of 'or we won't help provide vital equipment', that's just your usual leftie sound bite.


So him saying that he needed reassurance on this point did not come with an implication that he would not do it until he had such reassurance? Also, you say a "small change to the law". As no-one that has said that there was a route open to everyone has come back to me, why is a businessman asking for any change in the law reasonable? Again, there very much appears to be the implication that he won't come through if this "small change to the law" is not made. Because saying to the PM that he really needs these things done before starting work sounds like blackmail to me. Unless you can demonstrate that, had he been refused he would have done the work regardless (so trying to mitigate tax, but it not being a factor in him helping) then I really don't see your argument.

But, all that aside, are you really saying that Dyson would not have made profits from this venture, even if he did have to pay tax? Indeed, if it was classified as R & D expenditure, was he not in a position to use R & D credits to deal with most of that tax problem? For that matter, if he truly had noble aims without any thought to personal profit, could he not have looked out for his staff incurring tax bills in the UK anyway? Or indeed, done some basic planning on their behalf to legitimately avoid or reduce those tax bills without asking for specialist treatment?

Incidentally, I don't know why you are assuming I am a leftie. I have pointed out factual issues I see and asked people to address those facts. If your only response to an argument based on facts is "you must be a leftie" then that indicates you have nothing concrete to rebut my assertions.

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By Tony Wood
23rd Apr 2021 12:33

Why did Dyson need to design a "new" ventilator anyway? We had a perfectly good one already in the NHS. It's just his arrogance he can build something "better". And his design was rejected by the NHS anyway. Dyson spend ages designing something when we could have just produced more of the design we all ready had.

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Replying to Tony Wood:
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By AndyC555
24th Apr 2021 13:46

"Why did Dyson need to design a "new" ventilator anyway?"

Because existing ventilators weren't very good at picking up pet hairs.

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By vstrad
22nd Apr 2021 11:27

Except this wasn't a tax break for Dyson, it related to individual members of staff who would have otherwise suffered an unexpected tax detriment for offering to help the UK in a crisis. It was available to anyone from any company in a similar situation.
The arrangement did not bypass Parliament, as the writer claims, it was presented to Parliament as part of Covid measures.
Altogether, a rather tendentious and unpleasant article.

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Replying to vstrad:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
23rd Apr 2021 09:49

Then I have misunderstood.

You say they would otherwise have suffered an unexpected tax detriment, implying that action had to be taken to avoid that. Please can you explain what perfectly legitimate action that was available to everyone you are referring to. This is a genuine question, as I am assuming it is either an area of international tax law I am unfamiliar with or to do with some specifics of the situation.

That said, if this was available to everyone, why was Dyson texting the PM instead of going through the same route as everyone? Businessmen being able to lobby the PM directly is not a good thing, even if nothing untoward happened in this case.

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By carnmores
22nd Apr 2021 13:13

I am 100% with Boris on this . all the criticism is simply ridiculous. you just need to look at the EU vaccination program to see how deadly delay can be . the self righteous can take a hike they do more hand wringing and less good than anybody else.

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Replying to carnmores:
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By RayM55
23rd Apr 2021 10:27

Let’s just ignore the fact that our death toll is higher than any EU country and significantly higher than most.

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Replying to RayM55:
Dog
By ClaireB
23rd Apr 2021 10:50

Well, that's not entirely true. And consider that these rates are all continuing to rise more steeply in other EU countries (France recorded 283 deaths yesterday, compared to UK's 18).

Deaths per 1m population:
Hungary - 2,719
Czech - 2,691
Bulgaria - 2,276
Slovakia - 2,088
Belgium - 2,056
Italy - 1,960
UK - 1,868
Poland - 1,711
Portugal - 1,667
Spain - 1,657
France - 1,562

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Replying to ClaireB:
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By Charityguy
23rd Apr 2021 11:18

Statistics can say whatever you want, it depends on your viewpoint. What is your source?

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Replying to Charityguy:
Dog
By ClaireB
23rd Apr 2021 11:45

You're absolutely right. We all know that statistics can be interpreted or manipulated in many different ways but this would apply to any statement about the death rates, whether you believe the UK to be at top of the list or somewhere in the middle compared to other European countries.

I'm not condoning the government's handling of the pandemic, I just wanted to point out that I thought that the previous reply was incorrect.

The source I used was Worldometer, but equally you could look at Statista.com, the BBC, Ourworldindata.org - all of which support the view that there are plenty of EU countries that have higher death rates than us.

ps Apologies if this is a double reply, my previous response hasn't appeared

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By papafur
23rd Apr 2021 12:15

Quite, not only that, every country records deaths in different ways. For someone to suggest that the UK has had the highest death rate shows an appalling degree of ignorance in a) the published data, and b) the way these numbers are collected.

Whether another group of UK politicians would have done better is debateable as some of the factors contributing to high death rates are based upon the general level of obesity, population density, etc. That is not to say that Johnson has done everything right. In fact it would be surprising if that was the case.
What is disgraceful is labour's criticisms of actions taken based upon hindsight. Typical of the general level of dishonesty of our political class.

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Replying to ClaireB:
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By RayM55
28th Apr 2021 09:02

The problem with the way you present your data is that our actual death toll is higher than any single country on the list and you could add the total dead in most of these countries together and still not reach the UK’s actual total number of dead.

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By moneymanager
23rd Apr 2021 17:57

RayM55 wrote:

Let’s just ignore the fact that our death toll is higher than any EU country and significantly higher than most.

Pretty much that's lies, dammed lies, and statistics, the absolutely certain numbers at outset of "deaths from Covid" have been admitted to have been inflated by a 33%! as "deaths WITH Covid" were "mistakenly" included, not unakin to the absurd Soviet claims at Nuremberg, one of which has been reduced by 95%!

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Replying to moneymanager:
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By RayM55
23rd Apr 2021 20:09

Yes you just keep deluding yourself, if there are errors in the data it is likely that similar errors are made everywhere and no matter how much you or anyone else tries to spin it, thousands have died in the UK due to Govt failure.

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Ivor Windybottom
By Ivor Windybottom
22nd Apr 2021 15:55

It is easy to look back and spot mistakes. However, we should not forget how terrifying the situation was at that time, with people around the world literally dying in ever greater numbers, with ventilators being the crucial tool to try to save them.

While it is wrong to favour party donors, friends or others the situation at the time required the utmost urgency, with the delays from following usual process being literally fatal. Ask the EU if they are glad to follow the slowest member!

The Conservatives clearly do not have a clear understanding of how their party looks to the outside world, but I do not view this episode as being the problem some Labour peers believe. Political point scoring by looking backwards is always easier than being positive going forward.

If you want to see real political incompetence look to our local government and their administration of planning policy.

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Chris M
By mr. mischief
22nd Apr 2021 20:08

On the one hand there was a lot of urgency. On the other hand established manufacturers were overlooked and contracts went to some real no-hopers who happened to have the number of a minister. If the PM happens to fancy you and you offer to bed him for a contract, job done!

Overall, it took the Blair and Major governments at least 4 years each to be mired this deep in sleaze. So far it is the most corrupt Government I have seen in my 55 years, it's hard to see how this gets better not worse in the years to come.

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By qadri23
23rd Apr 2021 10:06

I am not a fan of Boris, but this text saga shows, our media needs something to sell, For God Sake, Boris was trying to bring talent into the country to build ventilators….!! A worthy cause.

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Replying to qadri23:
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By Charityguy
23rd Apr 2021 10:19

"Bring talent into the country"... the same talent that was previously in the UK but moved offshore to avoid the UK taxes that the texts were seeking to avoid... again?

As mentioned above there were many others in the UK who could either supply or manufacture the ventilators but as a keen Brexit supporter (i.e. Dyson, who then bogged off...) Bojo wanted it to be seen to be a Brexit supporting manufacturer who provided these ventilators (with Union Jack stickers on the side no doubt).

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Replying to qadri23:
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By LW64
23rd Apr 2021 10:40

Whilst ignoring the companies with talent already in the country who can and do actually build ventilators? I have heard UK suppliers who tried to get through to government procurement sections but without a 'mates' number shortcut on their phone they failed and sold their products overseas.
It is wrong that this is coming down to party political views. It is cronyism whichever way you look at it.

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Replying to qadri23:
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By LW64
23rd Apr 2021 10:41

**Deleted duplicate post**

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David Ross
By davidross
23rd Apr 2021 10:11

If anyone should have a hotline to the Prime Minister, it should be Sir James Dyson, a wealth creator who has ended up £20 Million out of pocket in the whole thing.

The article starts off tongue in cheek - fair enough - but descends into nastiness. Labour are scratching around to allege sleaze and have in their sights the lady who got us the vaccines and was not paid for her work! 'Jobs for the boys' are in some cases selfless national service, but don't let the truth ruin a good story.

I do think that the procurement process was awful. The answer is to improve the functioning of our civil service so that we meet the next challenge properly. This is a responsibility shared by all politicians.

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Replying to davidross:
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By Charityguy
23rd Apr 2021 10:23

"If anyone should have a hotline to the Prime Minister, it should be Sir James Dyson, a wealth creator who has ended up £20 Million out of pocket in the whole thing." the same wealth creator who left the UK (post Brexit - but was a strong Brexit supporter...).

Who did he create wealth for? Himself.. then refused to add to the UK economy by paying the taxes that were due in the UK.

£20M out of pocket... or a write off against tax - if he pays any.

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Replying to davidross:
By Duggimon
23rd Apr 2021 10:26

davidross wrote:

If anyone should have a hotline to the Prime Minister, it should be Sir James Dyson, a wealth creator who has ended up £20 Million out of pocket in the whole thing.

£20 million sounds like a lot, it would perhaps put things in a better context if you said "lost the 0.3% of his net worth he staked on the opportunity to become even more fabulously wealthy".

Dyson could have made the ventilators, and his staff could have worked on the UK, and they could have paid the due tax for working in the UK.

The reason the whole thing is problematic is that once you get wealthy enough, you can text the PM to ensure that the laws carry on getting changed in your favour to get wealthier. It's the opposite of what society needs.

Just to be clear, there was no law preventing anyone from working on the proposed project, the law was only a problem because they might not get as rich as possible doing so.

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By AthenaSolutions
23rd Apr 2021 10:38

My goodness. Many accountants here, bound by professional ethics, who are quite clearly prepared to throw any and all forms of due process under a figurative bus when panic strikes.
Just how many billions have this Government thrown away in over-lenient tax deals and chumocracy "procurement" in the last year alone? Time was when Conservatives had principles.
And lest we forget, it was the Conservative government who decided to let the PPE stocks rot which is why we had a procurement crisis in the first place.

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Chris M
By mr. mischief
23rd Apr 2021 11:31

The main problem is that numerous more suitably qualified and experienced suppliers who were much more likely to deliver on time in full simply did not get the chance to enter the race. It seems to me that if that sort of decision making does not come at least close to your personal definition of corruption, nothing will.

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By johnjenkins
23rd Apr 2021 11:45

Boris said right at the start of all this "whatever it takes". When you have that sort of attitude, money will be wasted but money will fall in the right direction as well. There have been winners and losers and I'm pretty sure that is the case throughout the world. The death rate could well have been a lot more if options hadn't been pursued. Hindsight allows us to say if we had of done this or that things might have been different (something for the future not present). The Dyson affair is just sour grapes.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Charityguy
23rd Apr 2021 12:06

It is good to see the blinkered forelock tuggers have joined the debate.

Why are all the winners close friends of the PM and the cabinet?

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Replying to Charityguy:
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By carnmores
23rd Apr 2021 12:39

Charityguy I look forward to seeing your list of ventilator 'winners'

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Replying to carnmores:
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By Charityguy
23rd Apr 2021 13:23

Me too, let's await the fully independent inquiry that Bojo keeps swerving...

If you want a list look at the work of Jo Maugham and the good law project. They are doing their best to find out the truth... which is currently not visible to us, as taxpayers.

https://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/ppe-covid-tory-sleaze-boris-j...

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Replying to carnmores:
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By Charityguy
23rd Apr 2021 13:24

.

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Replying to Charityguy:
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By johnjenkins
26th Apr 2021 09:30

As for blinkered, I'm probably one of the most opened minded people on this forum (opinionated maybe). At 72 I still have a full head of hair, thankyou. My tugging days are long gone due to my beloved wife's bedtime stories.
I have clients who have won and lost and none of them know the PM or the cabinet, not even their own MP.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Charityguy
27th Apr 2021 12:43

"My tugging days are long gone due to my beloved wife's bedtime stories." at the risk of an Oooerr matron... could you clarify this point?

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Replying to Charityguy:
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By johnjenkins
27th Apr 2021 14:33

If you have to ask that question I have to assume you are still tugging on your forelock.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Charityguy
28th Apr 2021 08:42

Ha ha ha ha ha! Never assume....

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Replying to Charityguy:
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By johnjenkins
28th Apr 2021 09:25

Balls in your court.

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By Ian McTernan CTA
23rd Apr 2021 11:49

Quite a few of the posters on here seem to think we should have sided with the PAC and followed the usual procurement process at the time of crisis.
Probably have killed another couple hundred thousand due to the 6m-24m delay while civil servants processed things, but hey, at least we followed all the labourious rules to the letter?
Following those rules would mean we would not have any vaccines as we'd probably have just about finished the tendering and review process by now.
PPE equipment? Wouldn't have had it, still in review waiting for some civil servant committee to report back on it...
Dyson offered to develop a ventilator at his own cost and rightly sought assurances that his staff would not be unduly penalised for coming to work in Dyson's R&D centre on a temporary basis- sounds like he was looking out for his staff like any decent boss would do.

And I wonder how many realise he just added 200 more jobs in the UK (despite all the usual leftie jealousy about him being rich and successful and vilified for daring to be)....

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Replying to Ian McTernan CTA:
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By Charityguy
23rd Apr 2021 12:09

"Dyson offered to develop a ventilator at his own cost"... nope, surely at a cost to the UK taxpayer, if his employees did not pay the tax that was due.

"despite all the usual leftie jealousy" ranks up there with "get Brexit done", etc... all blah blah blah.

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Replying to Ian McTernan CTA:
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By carnmores
23rd Apr 2021 12:09

SPOT ON THANK YOU VERY MUCH
its sad that so many people on here cant see the wood from the trees

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Replying to carnmores:
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By Charityguy
23rd Apr 2021 12:13

BUT THERE WERE ALREADY UK MANUFACTURERS WHO COULD HAVE SUPPLIED THEM OR MANUFACTURED THEM... but didn't get a chance as they did not have Bojo's private number.

I'm not sure shouting in capitals makes either of our points any stronger....

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Replying to Ian McTernan CTA:
By Duggimon
23rd Apr 2021 12:44

Ian McTernan CTA wrote:

Quite a few of the posters on here seem to think we should have sided with the PAC and followed the usual procurement process at the time of crisis.
Probably have killed another couple hundred thousand due to the 6m-24m delay while civil servants processed things, but hey, at least we followed all the labourious rules to the letter?
Following those rules would mean we would not have any vaccines as we'd probably have just about finished the tendering and review process by now.
PPE equipment? Wouldn't have had it, still in review waiting for some civil servant committee to report back on it...
Dyson offered to develop a ventilator at his own cost and rightly sought assurances that his staff would not be unduly penalised for coming to work in Dyson's R&D centre on a temporary basis- sounds like he was looking out for his staff like any decent boss would do.

And I wonder how many realise he just added 200 more jobs in the UK (despite all the usual leftie jealousy about him being rich and successful and vilified for daring to be)....

It's easy to defeat a point of view if you first rephrase it into an entirely different point of view and then defeat that.

"Rich and successful" is fine, "personal wealth of over £7bn and texting the PM directly to secure tax breaks when you already pay little to no tax" is problematic.

Throughout this pandemic, billions of public money has gone to people/companies chosen because of a personal familiarity with the PM and/or cabinet ministers and your incisive commentary on the inefficiencies of the government procurement system is completely irrelevant, that is so clearly and obviously a massive problem that it's astonishing anyone thinks it isn't.

Your comment "Dyson offered to develop a ventilator at his own cost and rightly sought assurances that his staff would not be unduly penalised for coming to work in Dyson's R&D centre on a temporary basis- sounds like he was looking out for his staff like any decent boss would do." is also hilarious.

Dyson was not doing so at his own cost, he would have sold them, at a profit, had his design not been rejected. His staff would have been paid for the work they did and if he was so altruistic in his desires to see them go without penalty for doing so he could have found the funds somewhere within his seven billion pounds to ensure it.

We should not, regardless of what crisis we are in, accept a system that lets the richest and most powerful people petition the highest levels of government directly by text message in order to have them change the law in their favour.

If you disagree with that then I'm not sure you're really in favour of democracy, it's hardly a lefty/socialist/communist point of view, it completely undermines any concept of equality or freedom.

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Replying to Ian McTernan CTA:
Chris M
By mr. mischief
23rd Apr 2021 14:10

I most certainly do NOT think we should have followed all the tick-boxing that a full procurement process would have entailed. In my view the box-tickers have been running the country since March 2020 and they've shown us all just how wonderful life is in the land of the jobsworths.

BUT that does not excuse the abuses that have taken place. A streamlined, fast, "procurement light" approach - open to all, not just those whose numbers were on ministers' contact lists - would clearly, in my view, have delivered more equipment at lower overall cost than what we got. And, of course, such a transparent process would have avoided all accusations of corruption, bungs and sleaze.

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Replying to mr. mischief:
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By qadri23
23rd Apr 2021 14:23

Amazing, you just concluded the debate for me !!

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