SInce 2010, I have been ( like a couple of my self-employed writer/activist colleagues George Monbiot and Alastair McIntosh) making an annual declaration of interests, income and tax. Previous declarations can be found at the foot of the About page.
Commentators, campaigners and advocacy groups should be open about their interests and income (this story from earlier in 2014 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 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 ear my living from writing, research, consultancy, public speaking, investigation, and subscriptions from the whoownsscotland website. For 2013, my income was as follows.
GROSS INCOME (1) £ 32,485
LESS COSTS (2) £ 8,228
TAXABLE INCOME (3) £ 24,257
My total taxable income was £25,021 on which I am due to pay tax of £2,963.40 and Class 4 NI contributions of £1,485,18 = total of £4448.58 (see tax HMRC calculation here)
During 2013 all of my income was generated from within the UK. My main clients were NGOs, renewable energy companies, civic bodies, one political party (the Scottish Green Party), print & broadcast media and royalty payments on my books.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS 1 JANUARY 2015
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 and a number of charitable bodies.
I currently provide ad-hoc unpaid advice to four political parties – the Scottish Green Party, the Scottish Labour Party, the Scottish Conservative Party and the Scottish National Party.
I do not make use of any tax havens or artificial accounting structures to conceal my income
(1) Gross Income is the total of all income received. This includes re-imbursment for travel costs etc.
(2) Costs are all expenses such as computers, travel, stationery, telephone, research fees (for example, search fees paid to Registers of Scotland) and other expenses of employment.
(3) Taxable income is Gross Income minus expenses and is the profit figure on which tax is calculated.