Sunday, November 29, 2009

Only the little people pay taxes

You don't have to be privileged to be a Conservative candidate, but it damn well helps.

It appears that Zac Goldsmith, son of the arch-Eurosceptic Sir James Goldsmith, not only inherited his father's considerable wealth, but also his non-domiciled status, so all that lovely money is safe from the grasp of the taxman. Apparently, Zac feels nothing wrong in helping Call Me Dave write 'green' tax policies - as long as they don't have to apply to him. No reason why the new ruling class should have to pay the same taxes as most of us who didn't have the foresight to be born to rich parents. It isn't that he lives abroad - he's lived in Richmond most of his life - just that the non-dom status is inherited. Wonderfully, this even means that his properties in the UK are owned by tax-efficient companies based abroad, thus saving Zac from contributing even more to funding British society.

Zac will apparently surrender his non-dom status next year - presumably to give his accountants sufficient time to protect the investments in a suitably tax-efficient way. I wonder if he'll surrender that status before or after the election, so that he doesn't compromise his position if the sitting Liberal Democrat MP fails to fall to his well-funded advances. This is known as the 'Ashcroft' approach, after the noble Lord, who was granted his ermine and seat on those red leather benches on the promise that he would become domiciled in the UK back in 2001. Lord Ashcroft - who has probably given more to the Conservative Party than any other donor - has steadfastly refused to comment on his current tax status, although William Hague assures us that
"My conclusion, having asked him is that he fulfilled the obligations that were imposed on him at the time that he became a peer."

William Hague has taken advantage of Lord Ashcroft's kind support for flights on trips abroad and has had Milord Ashcroft with him at various meetings with international figures, in advance of the peer being appointed to a senior role within the Foreign Office should Dave get his hands on the keys for Number 10.

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