Officials have written to 40 sex workers with residency in India
Women have been asked to pay tax in the UK
‘Violation’: Sharon Gillies, 51, has had sex workers in India, believed to include fellow councillors Sheila Lingard and Shazia Iqbal, approached her for help and she made the report public
Sex workers who have set up operations in the UK are being asked to pay tax and national insurance in the UK.
The office of deputy leader of London’s Labour opposition has revealed that the Metropolitan Police has written to the women and asked them to register for tax and national insurance.
They have also been told they have to pay VAT.
The letter, signed by a government official Roger Randal, said: ‘Every woman should know that any income earned in the UK is subject to UK Tax. This is to ensure that the women and men are effectively paying UK tax and contributing towards our public services.’
The Met has asked sex workers who are claiming asylum, which has jumped by 24 per cent in the past year, for the same information, Deputy Chairman of London’s Labour opposition Councillor Sharon Gillies told the BBC’s Good Morning Britain.
Cllr Gillies told the programme that residents in the UK were being ‘exploited’ by ‘pimps and the sex industry’.
‘We need to look at this issue of women disappearing from the city – I think about a tenth of Londoners come from outside London and are trafficked here, and we want to see them as well.’
Cllr Gillies’ report – which was publicly released on September 20 – appeared on the Facebook page of the London Assembly after her name was posted at the beginning of September.
Asked about those living in India, Cllr Gillies told the programme that if the 50 sex workers targeted by the police had become tourists, it would not be a concern.
She continued: ‘These women are coming here in the first place to work, to make money.
‘If they are working, that’s completely legitimate because they’re not coming for pleasure.
‘But if they’re in the UK they have to pay the bills – that’s absolutely clear. They have to pay their tax, their tax, their tax.’
The London borough of Newham issued documents on September 25 stating that sex workers who have contact with UK customers are liable for taxation, criminal charges or imprisonment
Cllr Gillies went on to accuse the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, of being ‘silent’ on the issue.
Asked what she thought about tourists being treated differently than sex workers, she replied: ‘The Mayor of London and the Mayor of Newham are silent.
‘They’re not dealing with this like they would with any other type of worker – that’s shocking.’
The London borough of Newham issued documents on September 25 stating that sex workers who have contact with UK customers are liable for taxation, criminal charges or imprisonment.
In response to the report, a Mayor’s office spokeswoman said: ‘This follows recent public interest in the issue and we are constantly monitoring the supply of international sex workers and managing migrants on behalf of the government.
‘As with any other business in Newham, these workers are required to register as tax, national insurance and VAT citizens.