A Characteristic The Crosses Political & Geographic Boundaries
There are many problems with the interaction of government, elected officials and greed, the main problem being that government service either by elected or appointed or employed means is now considered just another stepping stone on the journey to great wealth. This is not something that is Democratic or Republican based, Conservative or Liberal based or even particular to the
. United States
One of his many companies and partnerships, Windrush Ventures, declared a turnover of £12m, up from £8.5m the year before. But Mr Blair's accounts claim that just over £1m of this is profit, the rest written off as "administrative expenses", with no further explanation given for some £7.74m of the total.
Now Mr. Blair used to be a principled politician running on a platform that a tax system should be fair, and not allow wealthy people to escape taxation by nefarious means.
The arrangement is eerily similar to those which so angered him when he campaigned for the Labour leadership in 1994. "We must tackle abuse of the tax system," Mr Blair said then. "For those who can employ the right accountants, the tax system is a haven of scams, perks, City deals and profits.
"We should reward people who work hard and do well. We should not make our tax rules a playground for revenue avoiders and tax abusers who pay little or nothing while others pay more than their share." A City accountant from one of the "big four" auditing firms, who did not want to be named, said: "It is mystifying why the administrative expenses should be so large. £8m worth of expenses would be very hard to explain – perhaps that's why they remain unexplained.
Almost all former
Presidents have left office and cashed in on their government jobs. One of the first things Ronald Reagan did after leaving the White House was to get a $2 million fee from U. S. , and Jimmy Carter and William J. Clinton have also done quite well for themselves. George W. Bush admitted that his priority after leaving Japan was to make money. As for Mr. Blair Washington
Mr Blair has come in for regular criticism for his extensive earnings and business activities since leaving office. He is on a £2.5m annual retainer with the American investment bank JP Morgan, a £500,000 annual salary advising the finance company
Zurich, and earns at least £2m a year from his commercial consultancy Tony Blair Associates, which advises foreign governments including Kuwait and . Kazakhstan
He also charges up to £100,000 per speech on the after-dinner circuit, including one to a conference of toilet roll manufacturers in
, on top of the pension he receives as a former prime minister and taxpayer-funded armed police protection. Florida
It’s nice to know that he maintains the dignity of his office, and one only hopes that the toilet roll makers got good value for their money.