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To think Gary Barlow is worse than a benefits cheat?

(277 Posts)
Roshbegosh Mon 12-May-14 21:31:38

People cheating on benefits do at least need the money .... What he has done is hard to excuse IMO

SomethingOnce Mon 12-May-14 21:34:04

YANBU - off with his head OBE!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 12-May-14 21:35:08

I agree. I also think that the award of OBEs needs to much more circumspect than scatter-gun.

Bowlersarm Mon 12-May-14 21:35:18


BigRedBall Mon 12-May-14 21:36:10

Do benefits cheats really need the money? I don't think so. They want it and gain it deceptively.

HoneyTits Mon 12-May-14 21:36:18


MerryInthechelseahotel Mon 12-May-14 21:37:35

Surely he will have had advice from an accountant?

Andrewofgg Mon 12-May-14 21:39:32

Nothing to choose between them. Two sides of the same coin.

Rivercam Mon 12-May-14 21:40:40

Benefit chests are cheats, and are taking money they don't deserve. Did Gary Barlow actively know where the money wax being invested, or did he leave it up to his accountant? I'm sue he's not the only celeb/wealthy person investing in such schemes.

WooWooOwl Mon 12-May-14 21:40:49


Benefits cheats are committing a crime, fraud to be exact, and are usually paying nothing into the system.

Gary Barlow has acted completely legally, has paid shitloads of tax, and has kept people in employment.

Stokes Mon 12-May-14 21:45:11

I imagine he acted on the advice of his advisors. I know if I were wealthy but with no asset management skills and was told there was this (at the time) completely legal way to invest my money and avoid another large tax bill I would do so without a second thought. I'm sure he, and others involved in this scheme, didn't realise the intricacies of what they were doing.

There are lots of perfectly legal ways of reducing your tax bill. I'm buying a house at the minute. We bid up to a stamp duty limit to avoid a larger tax bill, surely that's ok? Similarly most people take tax free cash sums on retirement.

It's another thing entirely to fraudulently claim benefits, and worse again imo to, for example, work for cash and not pay the VAT.

Shouldwego Mon 12-May-14 21:46:53


Benefits cheats are committing a crime, fraud to be exact, and are usually paying nothing into the system.

Gary Barlow has acted completely legally.

This. The two are not comparable.

Stokes Mon 12-May-14 21:47:15

What is also pretty grim is the way Cameron went after Jimmy Carr when this story first broke - Barlow is a Tory supporter you see, so he was basically ignored in the coverage while Carr was vilified.

Roshbegosh Mon 12-May-14 21:47:52

Why is a man who has more money than he knows what to do with able to contribute less than he should? if it is all above board why is he being asked to pay it back? I am not defending benefits cheat but rich people cheating seems worse to me.

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 12-May-14 21:48:00

Benefits fraud is a criminal offence and is a conscious thing.

The scheme that many hundred people (900?), one of whom was Gary Barlow, signed up for was over seen by a large firm of chartered accountants and no doubt a big legal team. They as highly paid trained professionals thought the scheme fell one side of the taxation rules, the courts have after much investigation work decided it falls the other.

If trained professional struggle to understand the full ins and outs of tax law, what hope do any of us have?

Out of interest do you sit down each year and calculate your own tax/ check your accountants calculations (PAYE ones if you're employed)?

JohnCusacksWife Mon 12-May-14 21:49:26

So, if you had an accountant who said to you here is a (currently) legal way to reduce the amount of tax you pay would you take the moral high ground and say no? Many of these tax avoidance schemes were deemed legal at the time and its only retrospective cases which have deemed them illegal. The real issue here is the hugely complex nature of our tax system which results in all these loopholes. Rather than bleating about accountants playing the system politicians should be focussing on reforming our tax laws to make the whole thing more robust and less open to abuse.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 12-May-14 21:50:06


Benefits cheats are committing fraud but their actions defraud the public coffers of significantly less. I have more sympathy for benefits cheats too. Gary Barlow would do well to remove his head from his arse.

dexter73 Mon 12-May-14 21:50:27

I thought he hadn't acted legally though - if he had then surely he wouldn't have to pay the money back.

HoneyDragon Mon 12-May-14 21:51:45

Barlow is not the bastard in this story.

tankytoppy Mon 12-May-14 21:51:56

He'll have private healthcare, his kids will go to school privately, he will still be paying in a lot more than he takes out.

He's worked hard all his life.

He acted within the law and on the advice of accountants.

He's nothing like a benefit cheat.

OddFodd Mon 12-May-14 21:53:12

Larkdale was set up by Barlow and some of his bandmates specifically to avoid tax. It was never legal. It was seeking to exploit company law expressing for the purpose of avoiding tax which is illegal.

Honestly, do you really think he's that stupid? He knew exactly what he was doing.

He's 100x worse than a benefit cheat - he's avoiding paying tax he owes because he doesn't believe in making a fair contribution to the country. He should go to jail

mercibucket Mon 12-May-14 21:56:03

how is tax avoidance legal??

meditrina Mon 12-May-14 21:56:15

Carr was pilloried because his act had regularly based bankers and their taxes: straightforward hypocrisy.

AFAIK, Barlow hasn't ever done that hence he different reaction.

Stokes Mon 12-May-14 21:57:15

I'm smart, a numbers person, maths degrees etc. I work in the financial services. Tax confuses the bejesus out of me, and I have a better grounding in these matters than I would imagine Gary Barlow does. They thought they'd found something to legally exploit to reduce their tax bill. Whether we realise it or not, we all do the same at some point to some degree or other. And I would be surprised if you didn't know some people who do ACTUALLY illegal things like work for cash without declaring it.

I have immense sympathy for the way they have been vilified in the media.

Roshbegosh Mon 12-May-14 21:57:25

I submit my own tax return, I earn a lot but manage without an accountant since you ask.

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