Bad 4 television has been accused of exploiting contributors and pandering to prejudices about tax avoiders with it's new reality show set in Goldblock Tower.
The first episode of Avoiders Tower made for extraordinary viewing. It
showed residents discussing schemes for avoiding paying their rent to me. It also featured meetings with their accountants where they planned how to take advantage of various tax loopholes and tax avoidance schemes.
After the first episode aired, Desmond Moneybags, a banker who featured in the show, told the Homeward Gazette:
"They said they wanted to film for a TV show about how great community
spirit is in the tower. I participated in the show on that belief. But this programme has nothing to do with community, which you can tell
from the title. It's all about people in the tower quaffing champagne, getting huge bonuses, eating caviar and dossing around all day. It makes people out as
complete arses !"
Ivor Goldsack, who claimed during the film to have got three times his salary in bonuses and squirreled it away in Monaco, came to his front door and chatted to
neighbours but was reluctant to discuss the documentary. "It's all nonsense,"
said Ivor. "I only doubled my salary - I was just boasting to impress the other members of the golf club. My wife lives in Monaco and she owns me - so everything I earn is legitimately untaxable !"
Another resident, Rich Ascroesus, who was watching a dwarf polishing his front-door knocker, said: "I'm just a cleaner. I launder money on a hot cycle for the other residents. I pay my taxis - I mean taxes."
It's disgusting," said Hyacinth Lottadosh, who featured in episode two in a
subplot that followed the tower's dwarf throwing competition. "It's not a fair picture of what
the tower is like. All the dwarfs who were thrown got half a crown each - and they were very grateful for it, I can assure you. A lot of them are living off the benefits and the whole event raised five pounds and five shillings. A dwarf can easily live off that for a whole year you know ! They are making us look terrible, which we are not. There was one shot of me guffawing and knocking back the champers when a dwarf landed on his head - well, it was funny!"
The broadcaster rejects claims that residents were tricked into taking
part by claiming the programme was all about community spirit. Beaver Hateman
insisted there had been no significant complaints from the participants "Well just those that don't like the old tax man seeing their shenanigans! " he claimed. He also defended the name of the programme, which has upset many
householders. "The majority of residents are tax avoiders," he said.
The executive producer of Avoiders Tower, Hitmouse, denied on
Tuesday that the makers had "bribed" the residents with promises of an expenses paid Champneys weekend spa break.