17 April 2012
The Green party’s Liverpool mayoral candidate John Coyne has released his tax returns and challenged other candidates to do the same.
Cllr Coyne, who represents the St Michael’s ward in Aigburth on the city council said he took the unilateral step because he has nothing to hide.
His move follows the decision by London mayoral candidates to publish their tax affairs.
The issue of how much tax candidates pay has become a big issue in London, where Labour candidate Ken Livingstone has been accused of avoiding tax by channelling earnings through a company.
Cllr Coyne said: “The Green Party has always been at the forefront of openness and transparency in politics and we will take the lead in Liverpool.”
In 2009/10 Cllr Coyne, 63, earned his councillor allowance of £10,044 and £4,322 from a pension. He paid £1,584 in tax.
The following year his income from the council jumped to £15,578 as a result of Cllr Coyne’s additional council responsibilities in chairing the environment scrutiny committee.
It would have been about £3,000 higher but Cllr Coyne has chosen not to claim the full amount he is entitled to from the council.
He said: “In 2010 the incoming Labour administration increased the number of scrutiny committees so the Green Party proposed that allowances for chairs of committees should be cut by around £3,000 to save money in difficult economic times.
“The savings would have been modest overall but it would have been the right thing to do at a time when the council was severely cutting back on employment.”
He also received his personal pension of £4,325, and in 2010/11 he paid £2,998 in tax.
Cllr Coyne also made gift aid donations to charity worth £100 in each year.
Yesterday council leader and Labour candidate Joe Anderson, Conservative Tony Caldeira, and Liberal Democrat Richard Kemp took part in the first mayoral debate.
Hosted by Downtown Liverpool in Business the debate had a mainly business theme.
After the debate Cllr Anderson and Cllr Kemp traded words over Liverpool’s £130m city deal from government compared to those of Manchester and Leeds, valued at more than £1bn.
Cllr Kemp said Cllr Anderson had got a poor deal. While Cllr Anderson said the deals secured by the other cities covered many more local authorities and much bigger populations.