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tax heaven

What a result for football manager Harry Rednapp against the Revenue.

Turns out the £200k in his Monaco bank account was not taxable income. Just a gift from his grateful friend Milan Mandaric who happened also to be chairman of the club where Harry worked.

Harry's case sets an important precedent. The way is now clear for wealthy individuals to lodge large sums of money in any of my bank accounts without interference from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

Please form an orderly queue. Suitcases containing cash also accepted.

I am no expert in tax law but it seemed clear that Mr Redknapp was innocent. He named his bank account after his pet bulldog Rosie. No decent human being would bring their doggie into disrepute through involvement in criminal activity.

The case also establishes a valuable principle that it was perfectly in order to tell lies to a News of the World reporter, as Harry did. A full pardon for Tommy Sheridan will presumably be in the post.

The Revenue's next fixture is against Rangers FC. I hope the Gers get a rub of Harry's luck and don't go down the Swanee with a £49m tax bill.

Scottish football needs Rangers, especially if the team isn't not very good.

Also worrying about the Ibrox club's finances is this business of borrowing money from a company called Ticketus and using the income from the next four years of season ticket income as collateral. This is a payday loan writ large. It is the iniquity of the payday loan I really wished to address today.

You would imagine the Government might step in to prevent the financially desperate from being charged up to 4000% interest for an advance on salary. The Government has no great track record in sensible borrowing. The public sector has been saddled with huge debts to companies which built PPI hospitals and schools.

It's not just the hefty HP payments, there's the running costs. How much taxpayer's cash does it take to change a light bulb in a school? Probably £100.

If the government wants to lash the cash about, why not set up a pay day loan system for the increasing number of citizens who can't make ends meet. At the current bank lending rate of 0.5%, of course. Rangers FC may wish to apply.

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