Weasel words in the FT. Try to guess: what do you think wealth managers reckon on the Non Dom tax policy? Yup, you guessed it:
Andrew Rodger, Stonehage executive director, said: “The stated intention of the government was to increase tax from resident non-doms and simplify the regime. Our survey shows that the rules are unattractive and that non-doms are leaving the UK or not arriving any more, resulting in a tax loss for the Treasury within a relatively short time.”
However, it turns out that complexity and uncertainty are the big issue – “the confidence of the ultra rich could easily be regained, however, with an extensive simplification of the tax rules and a pledge not to alter the system again in the near future”.
What I found weaselly was that all we have seen is a slowdown in arrivals, and some departures. Nondoms are still, it seems, arriving in the UK, but just at a slower rate. Their numbers have been growing at a 4% pace; now that might be slower. The other weaselly implication is that the Treasury did not expect some change in behaviour. No, they did. From a sub-article:
Preliminary figures from Revenue & Customs show that 4,200 people paid the charge for the 2008-09 tax year. That compares with the Treasury’s 2007 forecast that almost 4,000 individuals would pay the charge, a further 14,000 would start paying UK tax on offshore income and – over the long term -almost 3,000 non-doms would choose to leave the UK.
The ones that leave are likely to be those for whome 30k makes staying a marginal decision. Not the very richest, I would think. Though who is rich? Let us consult Simon Heffer. Not the people paid over 150k per annum; no – they are the ‘so-called’ rich, people that Labour has fooled us into thinking are rich. Since 99% of the population is below that level, the answer seems to be the rich do not exist. So stop making a fuss about them.