The Tripe Marketing Board has issued a detailed statement of its tax affairs in response to critics who have accused it of 'blatant tax avoidance'.
At a press conference in Preston today, TMB Chairman Sir Norman Wrassle countered claims by Harold Spatchcock, Chairman of
the offal industry watchdog Offoffal, who said the tax-reducing corporate
structures of some offal processing companies were "morally questionable".
The Tripe Marketing Board has paid no corporation tax this financial year or for any of the preceding financial years since 1948. Sir Norman said: "The government's tax system allows us to delay, not avoid, payment of tax based on how much we invest."
He quoted figures to show that, although the UK tripe industry increased its turnover to almost £200,000 in 2012, the operating costs far exceeded this. Moreover, the TMB had invested heavily in social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as undertaking a "much needed" overhaul of its website.
"We have always been open and transparent about our finances. Sales of tripe have declined year on year for the last five decades - although we are hopeful that our recent investments will reverse this trend," Sir Norman said.
In an article in yesterday's Lancashire Gazette, Offoffal's Chairman had said: "Tax policy is not for an economic regulator and these structures may be
legal and common in private equity. But some aspects are morally
questionable in a vital public service."
Sir Norman challenged Mr Spatchcock to a public debate of the subject which could be televised if there was sufficient interest, but Offoffal have so far declined to comment.