Exclusive comments from business leaders
Ed Miliband will announce a pledge to tackle non-dom status in the UK – where rich Brits avoid big tax bills by officially living elsewhere.
In a speech today, Miliband will say: “The problem is it isn’t true. It is a recipe that doesn’t work for most working people, doesn’t work for business and doesn’t work for Britain.
“It works against every business and working person in this country who has to pay more as a result, everybody who relies on public services like the NHS, everybody who believes in Britain and a fair and modern country.
“The United States doesn’t do it. No other major country in the developed world does it. No one would propose doing it now if didn’t already exist. One rule for some and another for others? It is unjust, it does not work, it holds Britain back and we will stop it.”
Duncan Bannatyne – it’s brave
Despite publicly backing the Tories as one of 100 businesspeople who signed a letter to the Telegraph backing David Cameron, the former Dragons Den investor said: “Ed Milliband says he will abolish non-dom status in UK. This gets my vote I never thought any party would have courage to do this.”
John Mills – the current situation is unfair
The JML founder and chairman said: “In my view, the non dom situation is unfair and anomalous and I strongly support Ed Balls in his being willing to tackle it. I think it is reasonable to allow a transition period, as has been proposed.
“There are always some downsides to any policy changes but on balance I think that the benefits in terms of fairness and additional government income easily outweigh the costs in terms of discouraging more rich people to live in the UK – which I don’t think is necessarily a major overall benefit to the country in any event.”
Jon Moulton – current rules are too complex
The chairman and founder of Better Capital said: “A mixed blessing! Some bring good money into the UK from their spending here – VAT, stamp duty and the like and are to encouraged – after all we would lose a lot of the funding for the football industry if rich non-doms left!
“On the other hand, it is silly that people who have spent decades in the UK should be taxed any differently from the rest of the population because their dad came from Brazil or Eqypt.
“The current rules are far too complex and silly – simpler and fairer rules could easily be implemented. Live here for the majority of say 10 years and welcome would be about right.
“You do want the mega rich to move to London. The UK should not be too proud to agree tax deals with these souls – the Swiss do it and they benefit mightily from it. 10% on global income would generate a lot of money and would be a very simple idea to lure wealth to the UK.”
Financial Times – the status cannot be defended
Last month, the FT said in a leader: “Britain should sweep away the archaism that allows people to claim a domicile that differs from nationality or residence. Few other civilised countries feel the need to offer such privileges to the wealthy. Liability to taxation should be solely based on residence. There can still be a grace period for foreign nationals posted temporarily to the UK before they are obliged to pay British tax.
“More than two centuries after the introduction of income tax by Mr Pitt, his successors should end the egregious situation where the wealthiest enjoy the privileges of UK residency without paying their fair dues to the exchequer. The anomaly of non-dom status cannot be defended. It should be scrapped.”