Senior members of UKIP are campaigning behind the scenes to have Patrick O’Flynn MEP removed as economic spokesman after his appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight programme last Monday night. In the interview O’Flynn called for higher taxes on business, having previously called for a tax on the turnover of companies so they would pay even if they did not make a profit.
O’Flynn is widely seen as the standard bearer of the left of UKIP leading to “mutterings” against him. He is said to be keen to attract old Labour voters in places like Rotherham and Hull by pledging tax increases. At UKIP party conference he called for an increase in VAT on “luxury goods” such as shoes. The idea became known as the “Wag Tax” and caused so much embarrassment that Nigel Farage personally ticked off O’Flynn, and publicly distanced himself from the policy.
Mr O’Flynn then advocated creating a 35 percent tax rate, which would lead UKIP into the general election advocating higher taxes than the Conservatives for those earning £49,000 a year. He is also a firm opponent of flat tax, which was party policy when 25,000 of their members joined.
His opponents are now circulating a letter calling for him to go, which they hope to publish this week. One source who is not involved with the letter told Breitbart London: “He really does need to shut up with all talk of aggressive tax avoidance and bashing big business… It’s a real mistake to have a pinko in such an important position.
“O’Flynn always says he’s never been a member of any other political party. That’s not a good thing, it means he lived through the Thatcher era and didn’t get excited by it.”
Another said: “O’Flynn’s views are very dangerous for UKIP, he is determined to pander to the left in seats like Rotherham but this puts our core vote at risk. What’s the point in UKIP if all we do is swing with wind like the mainstream political parties. We’ve always prided ourselves on being above chasing whatever the latest opinion poll says.”
In the Newsnight interview O’Flynn said businesses should not take steps to legally avoid tax: “We have this missing tax revenue, don’t we, we have this big hole despite some decent economic growth. I believe the cosy cartel of corporate Britain has a major role in that, and some of those companies are not paying their way…. We want to be on the side of the people,” he said.
O’Flynn claimed that stopping tax avoidance “should not just be a left-wing point.” During the interview the MEP admitted he had never worked in a business role but claimed his time as a journalist at the Daily Express qualified him to hold his brief.
This led a third detractors to say: “Patrick’s claim to have had a ‘proper job’ is very thin. He is so wrapped up in his London bubble, that he can’t see the difference between reality and the airy fairy ideological talk at dinner parties in Zone 1.”
A video of O’Flynn’s appearance on Newsnight is below, it was posted on social media by UKIP members who felt he had been interupted too many times: