Lynton Crosby

David Cameron’s adviser Lynton Crosby has been accused of exploiting weaknesses in transparency legislation to keep his Australian lobbying secret — with the same loophole featuring in the British Lobbying Bill. As Scrapbook reported earlier this month, Crosby is cashing in on his connections to the new right-wing government in his native Australia — with no less than 20 “new” clients suddenly appearing on the federal lobbying register.

It has since emerged that his firm CrosbyTextor, co-owned with pollster Mark Textor, has featured on the New South Wales state lobbying register since 2011 and its counterpart list in Western Australia also lists a number of clients for the firm. It was only in September when, as antipodean bloggers explain, that Crosby submitted his papers for the federal register:

“Crosby Textor has been able to avoid registering as a lobbyist until now because of a loophole in the lobbyist register laws. Those who seek to influence politicians outside of the government are not required to register and list their clients.”

A similar loophole features in the Lobbying Bill currently passing through the British parliament.  Excluding lobbying of civil servants and special advisers from scrutiny — only ministers and permanent secretaries are covered — means just 1% of lobbyists need to register.

So has Lynton Crosby spoken to David Cameron about the Lobbying Bill?

  1. Miliband is now setting the pace over water bills. The government must be anxious because it turns out that Lynton Crosby’s clients The Macquarie Group actually own Thames water and they had wanted to increase waters bills by £29 but were refused by Ofwat.

    A breakdown of the £29 surcharge shows that £16 of it is accounted for by increases in bad debt – fuelled, of course, by the economic turndown. So it is not really for their so-called “super-sewer” the vast majority of this £29 is because the company wants all the gain and profit without taking any of the risks, they are passing on the risk to the customer forcing them to underwrite the companies bad debts!

    Thames Water has recently paid their shareholders £1.4bn in bonuses and have also raised their customers water bills by £100 per year, this has allowed them to collect an extra £1.4bn – exactly the amount Thames Water have paid out to their shareholders in bonuses!

    It beggars belief that the company applied for this £29 surcharge when Thames Water revenues in the last financial year rose to £1.8bn! Putting it in context still further, the Tory chancellor George Osborne at the Treasury has allowed Thames Water to avoid paying corporation tax! Meanwhile giving permission to Thames Water to increase their bills to consumers by an inflation busting 6.7 per cent!

    This isn’t all Osborne has allowed this company to get away with either!

    Thames Water has been allowed to offset loans they took out outside of this country in order to purchase one of Britain’s publicly owned companies against tax bills accrued inside this country! So not only does this foreign owned company, the Macquarie Group, pay no corporation tax, they also pay hardly any UK tax!

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