Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Lord Ashcroft - Only Dom When We're Winning

Of all the aspects of the Lord Ashcroft revelations regarding his now admitted non-dom status, the one that stands out the most for me is the suggestion that he will only sort this out and become domiciled for tax purposes if the Tories win the election.

As highlighted in this story in the Mail today:

Lord Ashcroft suggested yesterday that he would change his status and remain in the Lords if the Tories win the election and press ahead with a planned change in the law forcing all MPs and peers to pay tax on their worldwide income.

So even now he is hedging his bets and making any change in his status contingent on a Tory win. Perhaps this goes a long way to explaining why it has taken him 10 years to admit his tax status. Had he done so in he last decade he may well have found it impossible to remain a non-dom whilst being deeply involved in domestic politics.

The reason this issue is so politically explosive in the first place is because of the impression given that a wealthy man who is not paying all his tax in this country is nevertheless able to hugely influence the potential outcome of an election using his wealth.

The fact that it seems like he is only willing to resolve this if his friends get into power gives an even worse impression in my view.


Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

So right now Ashcroft is complying with the law and is paying taxes on his UK income (implied by his HMRC bestowed "non-domiciled" status) and he says if the law is changed thereby "forcing all MPs and peers to pay tax on their worldwide income", then he will comply with that law too and go on paying his taxes. Has the man no decency!

There is a principle enshrined by case law that citizens of the UK are not required to arrange their affairs so as to increase the tax burden they suffer. Are we to suppose this principle is to be altered because some New Labour scum thought they could embarrass opponents by stirring up a frenzy of misconstrued indignation amongst the gullible, audaciously disguising their own greater in degree guilt of exactly the same supposed sins?

John said...

I don't know but I can dream up leaflets right now - the fact is that the Conservatives have neutered themselves against Labour by not nuetralising the Ashcroft issue