Monday, August 03, 2009

Non-doms: Britain's integrity postponed

Recently we expressed contentment that at least one thing seems to have been done right: an effort to curb abuse of Britain's democracy by political donors who are not domiciled in the country for tax purposes. Credit where credit is due, and all that.

Now it seems that even this has a nasty taste to it. From The Observer:

"A much-publicised law designed to stop wealthy tax exiles bankrolling political parties has been quietly dropped until after a general election, the Observer has learned.
. . . .
The disclosure means that key Labour donors such as Lakshmi Mittal as well as Tory donor Lord Ashcroft will still be able to pump millions of pounds into the forthcoming election campaign, despite promises to curb the influence of wealthy backers. It has prompted accusations that the government has "nobbled" an act of parliament."

The Liberal Democrat spokesman had it right:

"To support an important piece of legislation stopping this underhand practice and not bring it in before a general election is like banning a drug-taking footballer but allowing him to play in the cup final."

When will this wickedness cease?


Blogger Physiocrat said...

At least the non-doms can't avoid their Council Tax, so isn't there a lesson there somewhere?

7:31 am  
Anonymous TJN said...

What, so someone with income of $100m pays, what, $30m in council tax, and the rest is forgiven? That doesn't seem very realistic.

12:40 am  
Blogger Physiocrat said...

No, the point is that the Council Tax, being a property tax, is unavoidable. That is the lesson the government needs to learn.

If the government shifted most of its tax onto property then it would not lose revenue. And since the $100 million is almost certainly land rent (almost nobody can make that much from actually working) then the government would pick up as much as it cared to collect in tax and it could not be avoided. End of problem.

10:07 am  

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