Following last year’s declaration I am, like a couple of my self-employed writer/activists colleagues (George Monbiot and Alastair McIntosh), making an annual declaration of interests and income.

Commentators, campaigners and advocacy groups should be open about their interests and income (this story from today is a good example of why I believe this to be so). I also believe that we have too much secrecy in the UK on matters of income and wealth and that if everyone’s income was openly declared, there would be much less inequality. This is not an especially radical idea. In Norway, details of every citizen’s income, assets and the tax they pay are available to the public and some of this is published on this website.

As a member of the Scottish Green Party, I also feel obliged to comply with the policy resolution passed at the 2011 Conference on Tax Evasion and Avoidance which encourages corporations and individuals to not use tax havens and to publish their accounts on a country by country basis.


I earn my living by writing, research, consultancy, lecturing, undertaking landownership investigations, and subscriptions from the whoownsscotland website. During 2012 my income was as follows

GROSS INCOME     £28,094

COSTS                    £8,015

NET INCOME          £20,079

My taxable income was £20,138 on which I paid £2,394.60 in income tax and £1,122.57 in Class 4 NI contributions for the year 2012-13 (a total tax paid of £3,517.17 – see calculation here).

In 2012 I earned £10,807 (54%) from consultancy and research. Net earnings from the whoownsscotland website contributed £4003 (20%), speaker fees, £3,760 (19%) and journalism £1,208 (6%). I earned £298 (1%) from the sale of books.

All of my income in 2012 was generated from within the UK. Main clients included NGOs, two political parties, energy companies, landowners, print & broadcast media and a Government research agency.

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS as at 31 January 2014

I own no land or property.

I have 483 shares in Standard Life.

I am on the Board of Directors of the Caledonia Centre for Social Development (Company No. 192099 & Scottish Charity No. SC 028485)

I am currently advising the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee.

I am a member of the Scottish Green Party.

I do not make use of any tax havens or artificial accounting structures to conceal my income.


  1. Why no star sign Andy? What are you hiding?

  2. Stuart Swanston

    WOW !
    This is the first time I’ve read on online tax return from some one who is active in civil society in Scotland. (Other than MSPs)
    I hope that this is the first snowflake in an avalanche of self disclosure of folk active in public life in Scotland. (I’m 100% PAYE myself.)

  3. What are you paying tax on it for? Nobody does that any more. Even George Osborne’s dad has tied up the poor lad’s £4 million heritage in a trust fund to make sure death duties are not payable. So if it is all right for the Chancellor’s family to do it, I suggest you form a company in Luxembourg straight away!

  4. Well done Andy – hope it inspires more openness. Myself I have state pension, one wee pension and a bigger company pension – my scraps of writing and odd photo sale all together lifts my gross to about 20 grand for last year upon which I pay tax . I have now been paying income tax in SIX decades!

    Mind I had a retina re-attached last week (off to Gartnavel clinic this afternoon) and the op cost if I had had to pay would likely have been more than my tax for last few years so all is for the good.

  5. Feeling slightly depressed on reading how little income you get from writing. I was so impressed with The Poor Had No Lawyers I bought another copy for someone else. Then again, I hope and believe the real returns on that book will be change in the pattern of land ownership rather than the royalties. But you deserve some reward for the massive effort.

  6. Who were the political parties and energy companies you were paid by? I’m itching to ask who the landowners were as well but I expect you’ll tell me that’s confidential!