Labour Question Tax Deal For Student Loans Chief

Labour's Shadow Exchequer Secretary has called for an investigation after reports emerged that the chief executive of the Student Loans Company was paid through a third party company.

On Thursday, the Government said the head of the Student Loans Company (SLC) will have tax and National Insurance payments deducted from his £182,000 pay package in future, after BBC's Newsnight reported its CEO, Ed Lester, was not added to the SLC payroll.

Responding, Owen Smith said: "The Government claims it is getting tough on tax avoidance and yet Ministers sanctioned a pay deal for this senior public servant which seems to have been designed solely to make it easy for him to avoid paying tax.

"This case raises serious questions over the credibility of this Government when it comes to getting people to pay their fair share of tax. We need a full investigation into this issue."

Meanwhile, the SLC released a statement, defending the pay arrangements they had with Mr Lester. The statement said: "He was offered this post after a solid performance as Interim CEO, where his leadership led to considerable improvement in the company's overall performance."

"SLC followed all government guidelines on the appointment and remuneration of the CEO.Mr. Lester's two year contract with the SLC officially started on 1st February 2011 and will end on 31st January 2013."


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