Sunday, October 10, 2010

BRITAIN¹S £6BN VODAFONE BILL / EMF Load Hidden Factor In Many Illnesses / 800 More Cell Towers / Against AT&T / Outrage / RFID / Tattoos and Cosmetics

W.E.E.P. News

Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News

11 October 2010


From: "Mast Sanity"

Luxembourg calling: Vodafone has salted away anything up to €18bn income in the tax haven

WHEN Vodafone bought German engineering company Mannesmann a decade ago for €180bn, it desperately wanted to use the mother of all tax avoidance schemes so taxpayers would subsidise what turned out to be a massively over-priced mistake. The plan was to route the acquisition through an offshore company. This, however, would potentially fall foul of British anti-tax avoidance laws, and when the company asked the then Inland Revenue to clear the arrangement, it duly refused. Vodafone went ahead anyway and bought Mannesmann using a Luxembourg subsidiary company called Vodafone Investments Luxembourg sarl (VIL), in which it would go on to dump vast profits taxed at less than 1 percent.

An epic legal battle began, with Vodafone resisting the taxman's efforts to get all the information on the deal and arguing through the courts that the British laws striking out the tax benefits of its deal were neutered by European law which granted, Vodafone claimed, the freedom to establish anywhere in the EU (including its dodgiest tax havens) without facing a tax bill.

VIL's accounts show that, up to March 2009, €15.5bn income was stuffed into the company, suggesting it is now heading to the €18bn mark and resulting in £5bn in lost tax and interest so far. But, armed with strong advice from eminent legal counsel, tax inspectors were confident they could win the cash back, not least because until 2004 the scam was run through the Luxembourg company's Swiss branch. This of course was not even in the EU (although that year Luxembourg changed its own rules to allow the trick to work without inconveniencing tax avoiders with the need for an Alpine branch).

A less 'black and white view of the law'

Officials were further emboldened last year when the court of appeal ruled that British laws striking out the avoidance scheme could conform with European laws. But they reckoned without HM Revenue & Customs' (HMRC) "permanent secretary for tax", Dave Hartnett, and his customer-friendly approach to big multinationals.

Despite HMRC's victories, Hartnett moved the case from his specialists and lawyers – dismissed in recent comments to the FT as "very intelligent people" suffering from "a black and white view of the law" – to a dimmer but more amenable group to negotiate with Vodafone's head of tax, John Connors, who until 2007 was a senior official at HMRC working closely with Hartnett on handling big business.

The fruits of these talks, conducted without consulting HMRC's litigators and specialists in the tax law concerned on the chance of success in the courts, was a bill for Vodafone of £800m, with another £450m payable over five years and, remarkably, an agreement that the arrangement can carry on into the future with a promise of no challenge from HMRC. The Eye understands that the settlement also swept up several other Vodafone tax avoidance schemes.

More sweetheart deals to come

The bill for all other taxpayers in lost tax is likely to be at least £6bn. Resentment within the HMRC ranks is high and one former official familiar with the case described it as an "unbelievable cave-in". But there is no means for the deal to be audited: the National Audit Office refuses to look at specific cases.

Hartnett's comments to the FT signal more sweetheart deals to come. The "conciliatory" approach can be presented as an urgent cash-gathering exercise, but in practice it encourages tax avoidance and sells other taxpayers well-short. It also masks the fact that staff cuts at HMRC are destroying its abilities to fight tax avoidance. Spending on the activity has already fallen from £3.6bn in 2006/07 to £1.9bn, with more cuts to come, prompting the association of senior Revenue officials to compare the government to "a drowning man who decides to throw off his life jacket, because it weighs too much". How fortunate then that under HMRC's reporting practices the Vodafone settlement will count as a £1.25bn success in the fight to close the "tax gap", rather than a £6bn gift to a large phone company.

PS: The Tories have further cause to thank Mr Hartnett. As Eye 1136 revealed five years ago, government cuts adviser Philip Green had personal discussions with Hartnett over his tax affairs while legal battles raged over schemes for husbands and wives to share their income for tax purposes. Dividends from Green's businesses continue to be paid to trusts controlled by his Monaco-resident wife Tina, undisturbed by the taxman.

From last year, but still interesting.

EMF Load Hidden Factor In Many Illnesses


800 More Cell Towers for Portland?


Los Angeles Residents Fight Back Against AT&T Cell Phone Tower ...

LA Weekly

"I don't want to get cancer." Heller and Rubaum have been reaching out to ... According to Rubaum, Koontz told her she should "throw her cell phone away" if ...

Outrage Over NextG Antenna Installations in Rear Yards

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Information about RFID devices

Tattoos and Cosmetics, a risk for EMR exposure

My nine year-old relative got a large red/black tattoo and it breaks my heart as most red tattoo pigment contains mercury and/or heavy metals. I don't blame her or her parents. I blame Health Canada. How can this be legal to inject into the body of a nine-year old? Apart from toxicity, there is also the issue of potential metallic synergy with today's electrosmog.

There is a lot of information online with regard to coloured tattoos reacting to emf in "sensitive" individuals and even instructions to protect it from sunlight so as to avoid fading and/or "allergic" reaction in "sensitive individuals.

"Since most tattoo inks contain metal, MRI exams may cause tattoos to have a burning or stinging sensation. "

"What's In Tattoo Ink? The vast majority of tattoo pigments are derived from metals, which makes them a potential source for developing a skin reaction."

"Red is the color most commonly associated with reactions within a tattoo. Mercury is the base metal in red tattoo dye, and may be known by the names mercury sulphide, cinnabar, vermillion and red cinnabar.

Reactions within the tattoo may be eczematous or granulomatous. These reactions are often seen several years from the time the tattoo is placed and may be associated with exposure to cross reactants. 

Another option, cadmium red is related to the metal family and may have potential reactivity and cadmium sulfide may be a byproduct within some red dyes which may result in a phototoxic swelling of the area when exposed to light."

"Photosensitivity or phototoxicity basically results from a reaction between the sun and the tattoo dye."

"Some hospitals and testing locations refuse to do an MRI on people who have body tattoos."

"One of the chemicals known to be used in tattoo ink is thimerosal, also called thiomersal, an organic compound made with mercury. Thimerosal is commonly included in tattoo inks, vaccines, antivenins, and eye and ear products as a preservative."

Tattoos are considered to be cosmetic products in Canada even though they are injected.

Health Canada's March 2007 changes to the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist:

"Mercury (7439-97-6) and its compounds (including, but not limited to mercuric oxide (21908-53-2), phenyl mercuric acetate (62-38-4), phenyl mercuric benzoate (94-43-9), phenyl mercuric borate (102-98-7, 6273-99-0) and thimerosal (54-64-8)). The restriction for these ingredients has been amended to a prohibition due to the Health Canada mercury reduction strategy." (on Health Canada's site Oct. 09, 2010)

"It is acknowledged that heavy metal impurities in cosmetic products are unavoidable due to the ubiquitous nature of these elements, but should be removed wherever technically feasible. Heavy metal concentrations in cosmetic products are seen to be technically avoidable when they exceed the following limits: Mercury: 3 ppm" (on Health Canada's site Oct. 09, 2010)

Does this reflect that mercury restrictions have been "amended to a prohibition" or that "some is still okay"?

Health Canada's "Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist - June 2010"

"Mercury (7439-97-6) and its compounds (including, but not limited to mercuric oxide (21908-53-2), phenyl mercuric acetate (62-38-4), phenyl mercuric benzoate (94-43-9), phenyl mercuric borate (102-98-7, 6273-99-0) and thimerosal (54-64-8))" (on Health Canada's site Oct. 09, 2010)

"Mercury is also used as a preservative in some products like cosmetics and vaccines. When used according to regulated restrictions, mercury is considered safe." (on Health Canada's site Oct. 09, 2010)

"Health Canada requires that manufacturers list all of the ingredients that can be found in these products. Lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, antimony and chromium are heavy-metal ingredients prohibited in cosmetics sold in Canada. An additional 500 ingredients are included on Health Canada's Cosmetic Ingredients Hot List.

"While these products are listed, they aren't necessarily banned," said Anne Rochon Ford, co-director of York University's National Network on Environment and Women's Health. "Quite simply, the list doesn't have any teeth.""

When you have an MRI, the instruction sheet tells you not to wear mascara. I asked why and was told because of metallic content could interfere their equipment and its calibration. That's when I found out most mascara contains mercury. Surprisingly, they said seven mercury fillings would be no problem. (hmmm.... still scratching head)

In 2008, Minnesota banned mercury in cosmetics. (1st state to do so),2933,316811,00.html

The political controversy surrounding mercury bears remarkable resemblance to the emf controversy:


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