Nigel Farage has said that Ed Miliband may “come to regret” using the word “dodgy” in a speech on Conservative donors.
Speaking on his weekly LBC show, Phone Farage, the Ukip leader said that Miliband’s decision to call Tory donor’s “dodgy” was ill advised and that getting involved in debates on tax avoidance would lead to a “race to the bottom.”
He said: “Very wealthy people and particularly those that have businesses and houses and perhaps families around the world, do legally what's available to them to avoid paying tax.
“Some of that is straightforward, some of it in the case of one or two well-known celebrities look to be highly immoral. So I think that Ed Miliband getting onto this turf, I think this debate is a race to the bottom.” The comments by Farage come after the Labour leader was accused of “avoiding inheritance tax” after a deed of variation set up by his mother was used to alter his father’s will so that ownership of the property was split between his mother, his brother and himself. Some years later Miliband sold his share to his brother.
The Labour Party described the claim as a “lie” and said that “Ed paid 40 per cent capital gains tax when the house was sold in 2004/05. It can't be tax avoidance if no tax was avoided.”
Miliband said: “It's something that my mother did 20 years ago, that was a decision she made.
”Let me just say this: I paid tax as a result of that transaction, I've avoided no tax in that”.
On Wednesday, Miliband accused the Conservative Party and David Cameron of accepting money from “dodgy donors” and also referred to “tax avoidance” by Lord Fink who has donated £3million to the Conservative Party.
After initially demanding an apology from Miliband and threatening him with libel action, Lord Fink admitted to The Evening Standard on Thursday that he was involved “vanilla tax avoidance measures” and he did not intend to sue Miliband.
Lord Fink said: “I didn’t object to his use of the word ‘tax avoidance’. Because you are right: tax avoidance, everyone does it.”
Earlier in Farage’s show, the Ukip leader told listeners that he had “never avoided paying any tax.”
Responding to a caller he said: “I have never avoided any tax myself through any complicated measures…I have an accountant who does everything and particularly since I was elected to the European Parliament 16 years ago, it's an issue I have to be very careful about.”