The Treasury has denied firms receive tax breaks for corporate visits to lap-dancing clubs after 'Equalities' Minister Harriet Harman denounced it.
Harman petitioned the chancellor to end tax relief on such events which she argued exclude female employees. However, the Treasury said corporate entertainment of any kind was not deductable for tax or VAT purposes.
Firms can claim back VAT for trips which were genuinely related to developing staf", a spokesman said. He said HM Revenue and Customs would likely have to examine whether such a visit to a lap-dancing club had been wholly and exclusively
for the benefit of business , and would more likely be seen as a "gift" or perk.
Harman told a meeting of extreme feminists of the Fawcett Society on Thursday: I will take up the issue of tax relief, because there is a whole host of rules around tax relief. For example you can't get tax relief for childcare, which is necessary for
you to go to work. Why should you be able to get tax relief for a night out at a lap-dancing club where effectively you are discriminating against women employees in doing so?"
A Treasury spokesman said it appeared Ms Harman had been misinformed: Corporate entertainment of any kind is not deductible for corporate tax or VAT purposes. Knowingly claiming for corporate entertainment is tax fraud and those who try to evade their
legal obligations will face penalties in addition to paying back any evaded tax.
Nutter campaigners 'find' that the sex industry is undermining equality between women and men at work
the Fawcett Society claim that the use of lap dancing clubs and display of pornography in a work context is a major new threat to women's equality at work.
Their paper, Corporate Sexism: the sex industry's infiltration of the modern workplace , was launched at an event hosted by BT, with Harriet Hatemen, Minister for Women, the key-note speaker.
The nutters' 'findings' include:
• 41% of UK lap dancing clubs directly target employers through marketing on their websites
• 86% of lap dancing clubs in London provide ‘discrete receipts' which enable employees to claim back expenses from their employer without it being evident the money was spent in a lap dancing club
• Lads' mags are displayed for sale purposes in over 50,000 workplaces. A content analysis of leading titles revealed all contained pornographic imagery. Yet there are no independent, compulsory guidelines regarding the display and sale of pornography,
and no major retailer has a policy of covering up lads' mags or putting them on the top shelf
Fawcett claims that the use of lap dancing clubs and display of pornography in a work context is seriously undermining women's status at work and is in violation of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.
Their recommendations include:
Implementing independent regulation of sexually explicit print media
Covering up lads' mags and putting them on the top shelf when displayed in shops
Implementing robust workplace policies and procedures to prevent pornography and lap dancing clubs being used in a work context
Kat Banyard, Campaigns Officer at the Fawcett Society said:
While the days when it was deemed acceptable to hang ‘girly calendars' on office walls may be long gone, the presence of degrading imagery of women in UK workplaces has never been more endemic. Pornographic lads' mags are openly
displayed in over 50,000 retail shops – each one of them somebody's workplace. But displaying these magazines in this way is in violation of the Sex Discrimination Act, so it is crucial that retail employers cover up pornographic newspapers and lads'
mags and place them on the top shelf.
Glasgow Council is taking action against cabbies in the local area who feature advertising for lap-dancing clubs in their vehicles.
A ban has been issued by the authority which prevents any of its workers from using a taxi which displays advertising for the establishments, reports the Sunday Mail.
The council explained that it has decided to initiate the move as part of its ongoing actions against Glasgow's lap-dancing industry, which it described as a form of commercial sexual exploitation.
Council deputy leader Jim Coleman, who announced the ban via letters written to each department, has stated that taxis in the area which promote the clubs will therefore no longer benefit from the authority's custom.
This comes after the body last month announced new plans to install CCTV cameras inside cabs operating in the city in a move to monitor taxi users.