MORE pressure has been heaped on SNP Edinburgh South candidate Neil Hay after it emerged he includes a company which specialises in helping people avoid tax on his CV.
Mr Hay whom is the frontrunner to win Edinburgh South and displace Labour’s Ian Murray has been forced to apologise this week for offensive tweets he put out under the pseudonym Paco McSheepie which last night were condemned by pensioner groups for disparaging remarks about elderly voters.
But it also emerged from his Linkedin account that he worked from January to December 2011 as a private client manager for Partner for Life, part of the Totus Wealth Management company which helps people legally avoid paying tax.
However, last night the SNP said he did not handle any clients.
The issue of tackling tax avoidance and getting the wealthy to pay more has become central to the election campaign with all the UK parties including estimates on money they intend to claw back from offshore accounts and Labour promising to ban non-dom status where the super rich can avoid paying tax on their income outside the UK.
Political opponents also noted that in one of his Paco McSheepie tweets, Mr Hay claimed that Westminster “is an attraction to the vile and greedy.”
However, an SNP spokeswoman said: “He was on commission to give referrals to the firm. In the end, he didn’t refer anyone.”
But Scottish Lib Dem candidate for Edinburgh South, Pramod Subarraman said: “While Lib Dems are focused on a positive campaign to build a stronger economy and a fairer society the SNP in Edinburgh South are facing increasingly difficult questions. The people of Edinburgh South will have the final say on who is best to keep our economy on track.”
Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Kezia Dugdale said: “Neil Hay isn’t fit to represent the people of Edinburgh South. Instead of just criticising her candidate, it’s time for Nicola Sturgeon to show some leadership and sack Neil Hay. Unless the SNP leader sacks Neil Hay for his appalling conduct Scots will conclude that online abuse is approved of by Nicola Sturgeon.”
Mr Hay was also condemned by pensioner groups for disparaging remarks he made about elderly voters on the Paco McSheepie account which was in use until this month and delted on Wednesday.
While working for SNP Edinburgh Southern MSP Jim Eadie, running the constituency Yes Scotland campaign and the party’s Edinburgh city office, Mr Hay used the account mock elderly voters for “barely knowing their own name”, and claimed: “The generation who vote the same way because they always have done are dying off.”
Last night Dot Gibson, General Secretary of the National Pensioners Convention said: “Such out dated and stereotypical ageist views have no place in modern politics. One day Mr Hay will be a pensioner and hopefully realise that all citizens regardless of their age should be treated in a respectful way – especially by those seeking our votes. His comments are rather stupid.”
An Age Scotland spokesman said: “It’s disappointing that outdated opinions about older people still exist. Like every other group, older people’s interests ahead of the vote are broad and they contribute a diverse array of opinions to the process. Indeed, it is a fact at every election that older people vote in higher proportions and engage more in the electoral process.”