Emma Harrison, A4's former chairman, seems to have become a classic example of the rich avoiding tax, at least according to Channel 4 News. They point out that there was a lag between the introduction of the 50p tax rate and it coming into force, and this enabled Harrison and others to receive huge dividend payouts at the lower rate. There's confusion in the article about how much that payout was; at one point they talk about £7m and at another £8.5m. But they reckon that "because of the way dividend income is tax, this saved Emma Harrison £803,000 in tax on her share." It was legitimate, of course. The article is meant to show how any calculations about the take from the 50p rate are flawed.
Chris Grayling appeared in front of the Work and Pensions Select Committee yesterday. The only account I can find is that on the BBC news site, and that may be the reason that it focusses on Grayling's annoyance with the BBC for what he perceives as its lazy reporting of the Work Experience fiasco. "I think the Guardian newspaper got things wrong, but the BBC had more of a duty to get things right and I don't think it made an effort to do so. At the end of the day all of this created a situation where we could have lost something that was making a real difference to young people and I think that was reprehensible." He particularly hated the use of the word "workfare" because, according to him, it isn't. But he did acknowledge that the Work Programme will not work as well as they had hoped. "The hard reality is we won't get everyone into work. We won't be able to do something for everyone. We have to be realistic. Some people will be disappointed."