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Does it matter if politicians have 'non-dom' tax status?

10:42 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

The Electoral Commission has said £5.1m of donations to the Tories from a firm belonging to Lord Ashcroft were legal. Who should be allowed to donate to political parties?

Firms must be "carrying on business in the UK" to be allowed to donate money to British political parties. Following a 14-month investigation the commission found that donations by Bearwood Corporate Services were "legal and permissible".

Meanwhile the Conservatives say party leader David Cameron was only told last month about Lord Ashcroft's tax status, after the peer admitted on Monday that he does not pay UK tax on his overseas earnings.

Who should be allowed to donate to British political parties? Should there be a limit on donations? Does it matter if significant figures in political parties are "non-domiciled"? Will tax status be an election issue?

Comments

Page 1 of 11

  • Comment number 1.

    For one thing, it shows Ashcroft to be an A1 hypocrite, if he agrees that members of the House of Lords should be taxpayers while maintaining his own non-dom status.

    For another thing, it shows that the Tories are still the nasty party.

    But don't expect too much noise about this from Labour, or it might draw attention to some of their less savoury sources of income.

  • Comment number 2.

    There is nothing wrong with politicians being "resident in the UK" for tax purposes rather than "domiciled in the UK" for tax purposes. However, this should be made known prior to an election or on appointment (if an unelected post).

  • Comment number 3.

    All UK policitians must be resident and domiciled for UK tax.

    How can they represent us properly if they can justify a non-residence / non-domiciliary status for tax purposes?

    It is more than time that UK politicians felt the tax burden and faced the economic reality of those they represent.

  • Comment number 4.

    Once a Tory, always a Tory

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    It is absolutely disgraceful - Ashcroft has been pouring money into marginal consituancies to help the Tories win those seats - well I'm moving to one of those marginals next month (Taunton) and will be voting tactically to ensure the Tories dont get in.

    Its just amazing how the average working person struggles to get by, and has to pay a lot of tax, but people like lord Ashcroft save millions and millions in tax avoidance - how these people can have the front to be part of our legislature staggers me.

  • Comment number 7.

    Overall taxation for working families is probably around 50-60% by the time Income tax, NI, VAT, Product Taxes, Council Tax et all is added up. That is twice what I am prepared to pay and allows Governments to rack up unlimited expenditure. So I regard someone being Non Domiciled for tax and an expression of protest and common sense. Good on him. I have no problem with this at all.

  • Comment number 8.

    Lord Swraj Paul, Labour’s Lord Ashcroft.
    Shelve the hypocrisy Labour.
    Oh, and Lord Ashcroft does pay tax on his UK income. Just not his overseas income. What's wrong with that?
    Ashcroft has been a very successful businessman. So successful in fact that he is a billionaire. What kind of idiot wouldn't want someone like that in government? It’s better than someone who has gone straight from studying politics at university to government without actually doing a drop of real world work in their whole life!

  • Comment number 9.

    I don't think it 'matters' per se, but I don't think that people should have positions of power or influence, when they are not affected by those decisions in the same way as everyone else.

    Since non-dom status implies an intention to leave the UK in the future, I do not think he should be entitled to the same civic rights as a full UK-based resident tax payer - and that should include holding a political office or appointment.

  • Comment number 10.

    I can't see what the issue is. He pays taxes on his UK income. I am sure he pays taxes in the other countries where he gets an income. I wish politicians and the media would stop making such a big thing of it. He pays more tax to the UK treasury than Lewis Hamilton, who, even if leaving abroad, will be allowed to vote at the next election...
    This is another reason to vote Tory as Cameron is insisting that in future such individuals as Ashcroft will have to pay all their taxes in the UK. So, more money for country Britain. Excellent!

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    Why does the BBC say "Lord Ashcroft 'admits' to being non-dom"?

    You make it sound as though he is some sort of criminal! It isn't illegal and it isn't even important. Most of the political parties have non-dom donors; so what?

    Just another non-story being stirred up by the Labour Party. Hypocrites the lot of 'em.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Lord Ashcroft has funded the Tories for many years. He is probably able to do so with all the tax that he has saved by being "non-dom". So what that means , in effect, is that the money he should have paid to to the national exchequer has been vired to Tory funds. What a wizard wheeze!
    The other brilliant bit is that he has been able to affect the future of a country that he loves so much , but doesn't live in, by being in the best club in London, the House of Lords.
    My word these toffs are clever chappies, no wonder us serfs doff our caps to them.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm afraid it does. It does matter that any person who is non resident is allowed to influence the politics of this country. It matters that Scottish MP's are allowed to vote on English Issues. If there is going to be strict rules. Then non- doms ie Scottish/Welsh/Irish should be restricted on voting on any issue that applies to England

  • Comment number 16.

    What is wrong is that parliment has allowed people to live here and not pay full taxes. Its been within labours power to change this for years but they have done nothing. They cant complain about a situation they have allowed.
    (just the same as they allowed the expenses to run riot with thier full knowledge.)
    If MP's want to govern us they should live here and fully contribute.

  • Comment number 17.

    First off i will prob vote tory this year, just so people are clear on my bias, however it is wrong that anyone who is not treated the same for tax purposes should have the right to make decisions about how i pay my tax is wrong, if they dont have to live by the same rules as me they should have no right in making laws that they dont have to live by.

  • Comment number 18.

    One has to wonder, if these questions hadn't been asked, would "Lord" Ashcroft have been forthcoming with this information?

    I think, perhaps, he wouldn't.

    This story goes to prove that the Tories are just as hypocritcal and greedy as Labour. But then, anyone with their eyes open already knew this.

  • Comment number 19.

    Just as an absentee landlord does not look after property as well as one who lives there, I do not believe that someone who is only a part-time resident in the UK is in a position to be entrusted with looking after the country.

  • Comment number 20.

    No representation without taxation !

    Nobody should be allowed to be a member of a political party unless they are fully domiciled in the UK and pay tax on ALL of their earnings, including overseas earnings.
    This man is just a typical Tory; he wants all of the benefits that come with being a UK resident without having to make any of the sacrifices that the rest of us have to.

    This is yet another reminder that a vote for the Conservative Party is a vote for self-interest, selfishness and hypocrisy.

  • Comment number 21.

    Yes, it means they want to run our country but don't actually want to contribute to it at any cost to themselves.
    These people want the best of both worlds......
    Good enough reason to scrap the unelected house of lords...

  • Comment number 22.

    The continued presence of Ashcroft and others at Tory H.Q. is surely sufficient evidence that the Conservatives have not really changed one iota?

  • Comment number 23.

    I need this explained to me!

    Direct quote from Ashcroft: "As for the future, while the non-dom status will continue for many people in business or public life, David Cameron has said that anyone sitting in the legislature - Lords or Commons - must be treated as resident and domiciled in the UK for tax purposes,"

    So, he's in the House of Lords but he's not "domiciled in the UK for tax purposes"

    And yet the BBC reports: "The Tory leader said he was "pleased" that Lord Ashcroft had decided to clarify his position."

    What?

  • Comment number 24.

    Not if you consider that someone with most of their financial interests outside of the country gets to make the decisions.

    Why not just give votes to illegals while we are at it?

    If he wants to pay his tax elsewhere then why can't he just head off there? His heart and financial interests are not alligned with this country, tiem to get rid of him, or it will be when someone alse steps in to pay the tories.

  • Comment number 25.

    Of course it matters. Those involved in the law-making, tax-raising process must be subject to the same laws and taxes they impose on others. I hope people will remember Ashcroft's status on voting day.

  • Comment number 26.

    Do we really want the party of Government to have its vice-chair as a self confessed(at last)Tax Exile?
    Until recently Lord Ashcroft was Belize's ambassador to the UN.
    There are Non Dom contributors to other parties but there status has never been the secret that Lord ASHCROFT'S was until today (even from members of the Shadow Cabinet)


    It is entirely inappropriate ,what ever the party they support,for those unwilling to be resident in the UK for tax purposes,to be resident for all other purposes, including political influence.

  • Comment number 27.

    Oh dear.
    I think I remember David Cameron recently saying that the Conservatives have a ''patriotic'' duty to fight and win the election for the good of the country...

    ... and to create ''an environment will business will thrive...''

  • Comment number 28.

    Very ironic that the main doner to the Tory Party has probably just lost Cameron the next election in one go ! I still want Gordon out at any cost but Cameron is not the man for the job and I wish the Liberals could get in !

  • Comment number 29.

    I notice a rather anti-Tory sentiment in many comments. You'd be very naive to believe that this kind of thing is limited to one party.

  • Comment number 30.

    It just shows how much contempt these people really have for the rest of us taxpayers ! For all of Cameron's posturing it's the same old "do as we say not as we do " !

  • Comment number 31.

    "Does it matter if politicians have 'non-dom' tax status?"

    Are you kidding? They are the ones taxing us - and can get away without paying themselves. Hypocrisy! I'll start having to shift my income to some tax haven too...

  • Comment number 32.

    All public servants should be "resident and domiciled" otherwise they can not truly say that they represent us as at least some of the laws they pass won't affect them

  • Comment number 33.

    Another red herring or is it a blue herring?

    We worry about just one of the great unelected when we are inundated with them, starting at the top. Jobs for the boys in the Lords, Commons, Judiciary, banks and every other rotten borough.

    Another diversion so that democracy is pushed further down the ladder.

  • Comment number 34.

    yes it matters - the mp's must live and work in their consituncy how else are they going to get to know the people and business and issues, which effect the voters?

  • Comment number 35.

    "when William Hague proposed him for a peerage in 2000 the then Michael Ashcroft had given assurances that he would be resident in Britain for tax purposes"

    "Conservative donor and deputy party chairman Lord Ashcroft has admitted he is "non-domiciled" in the UK for tax."

    This is how these people work. Laws, morality, decency: all for other people to worry about. These people, our leaders, are all above such trivialities. They're too busy keeping hold of daddy's money and adding to it from their cash cow - the public purse.

  • Comment number 36.

    Why is it OK for Lord Paul to be in the same position as Lord Ashcroft and yet not pursued by the Labour Party and their friends in the media? The fact that Lord Paul makes payments through his UK company is purely semantic - the intention remains the same. And as for Alan Johnson's remark about 'patriotism' - when has the Labour Party had the monopoly on it? Indeed their internationalist and inclusive encouragement of people not from these Islands, i.e. the lack of border controls, to partake in our political life makes me question their patriotism.

  • Comment number 37.

    All politicians whether Lords or Commons and all party members should be 100% domiciled in this country and pay tax here on all their income. No pay, no say.

  • Comment number 38.

    It's taken him an awfully long time to offer this information hasn't it. Never mind, he can recoup his losses via Ashcroft Air, the Tories' favourite airline.

  • Comment number 39.

    And this party think they should be entrusted to run the country?

  • Comment number 40.

    Politicians , like this government of 13 years, set the rules. They cannot then complain when someone stays within the rules THEY are in charge of.

    Labour's attacks forgets the Mitels and the Ecclestones where policy was allegedly bought and sold. But LAbour always have selective memories and they always play the "posh" card. Such is their prejudices and hatred of success (when it suits them).

    I'm not even a tory voter but I can;t stand this government's hypocrisy.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Nos 8 and 10 have obviously read the statement correctly.
    If in Lord Ashcroft's shoes with the option to not pay UK tax on a part of his business income (agreed with HMCR) would anyone, hand on heart not do the same thing?
    He is a wealthy business man that it fully prepared to have ALL his business income tax paid in the UK if the Conservative win the election, if they dont, he will probably do the sensible thing and relocate everything out of the UK, a large loss in tax revenue.
    He will not be alone.

  • Comment number 43.

    Of course it matters! How can a politician be expected to have our interests at heart when lives in a foreign country and pay the lion's share of his tax to a foreign government?

    His statement that he will give us non-dom status if the Tories win suggests a question, what does he expect to get from the Tories that he isn't getting from Labour? Apart from a huge bonus funded by you and me re: Inheritance Tax?

  • Comment number 44.

    Perhaps as an act of good faith he could pay full tax retrospectively for all the time he has had a senior role in the tory party. No? Thought not. Britain's better off will be better off under the Selfservatives and David "a bit like Blair" Cameron.

    love the new HYS - no BNP types voting their own comments to the top.

  • Comment number 45.

    Just shows you how hypocritical this government is and the bbc and sky by making it only about the Conservatives!

    The Labour party has three non dom peers one of them being Lord Paul who is a Privy councillor and until last year deputy leader of the House of Lords! He said he would help to bankroll the Labour party in the election and he bankrolled Gordon Brown's leadership campaign!

    He also says he will come out of the House of Lords because of his non dom status because he wants to stay non dom!

    How about Lakshmi Mittal non dom £4.125 million in donations to Labour or Sir Ronald Cohen non dom who has made £2.55 million in donations to Labour and was apparently appointed to the chair of the Social Investment Taskforce, which was announced by the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

    How a bit more balanced and fair reporting or is that too much to ask!

  • Comment number 46.

    What a nerve ASHCROFTS got, he will start paying tax as a resident if the Tory party is elected.
    You can bet your life on it that there would be a get out of jail card for him if these Tories are elected.
    He should be prevented from making any further donations until after the next election, and his donations should have to be returned from the Tories to him.
    A total disgrace.

  • Comment number 47.

    "Sue Denim wrote:
    I notice a rather anti-Tory sentiment in many comments. You'd be very naive to believe that this kind of thing is limited to one party."

    Nobody believes it's limited to one party, however I can't think of another party who is funding their election campaign on the back of money from a person who doesn't pay tax. Labour's non-dom for example has given the party a fraction of what the Tory non-dom has, less than a tenth of the total sum. Nor does Labour's non-dom go to international conferences as an official representative or hold an official office within the party.

  • Comment number 48.

    The answer to this should be quite simple: anybody representing the British public should have the exact same tax status as anybody else in Britain... how can anybody justify any form of exemption from UK tax if they're potentially responsible for passing laws that effect the tax of others?

  • Comment number 49.

    "khuli100 wrote:
    ...
    Since non-dom status implies an intention to leave the UK in the future, I do not think he should be entitled to the same civic rights as a full UK-based resident tax payer - and that should include holding a political office or appointment."

    This is the main point as far as I see, the tax effects are irrelevant (in my view) - it's more important that he doesn't intend to reside indefinitely in the UK (unless of course he does have that intention and is lying for tax purposes...). Do you want someone involved in running (ruining?) the country who doesn't want to remain here?

  • Comment number 50.

    My sister used to work for a charity. She would never say any names but she was always coming home saying that someone famous that she thought was a dork had given huge amounts of money to her charity.
    The other thing is,tax should be paid where it's earned. Thats why Blair bought in non-dom status.
    Having said all that, i don't have any time for people who use tax havens to avoid tax and don't make up what they would pay by charity donations.

  • Comment number 51.

    Again the question of loyalty, patriotism to the UK by the Tories comes into play. Of course it matters, how can it be seen any other way. So Lord Ascroft has donated millions to the Tory Party, Is this his way of justifying not paying Income Tax instead of donating it to the UK. It must be nice to be able to choose where your excess profits are allocated. Ill donate my tax payments to Preserved Railways ,because I want steam engines back on the main line, HeHeHe. Such hypocrisy, again fom the Tories. I'll right a new slogan for the Tories "Dont Do More Than You Have To" Says it all really

  • Comment number 52.

    It's not illegal, but then neither is smoking canabis in certain restaurants in Amsterdam, just because you can get away with doing something doesn't mean you should do it. If he was just a business man then fairs fair you do what you can any private individual can make themselves non dom if they want to.


    But he is not just a business man he is a representative of the UK voters , who in general are not non doms and in a democracy your representative should do that, represent you, not be alien to the people they represent, if he was elected it would be different as people can choose a non dom if they want one. However an unelected representative cannot be deselected by the people and so should aim to be more like the people. IMHO.

  • Comment number 53.

    If you are representing the people of this country in any way then you should pay full UK taxes - no exceptions! Our MP's should change the law to make this happen - and at the same time we should make other changes so that MP's from England, NI, Scotland and Wales vote on their own issues and on UK wide issues and not those that affect the other parts of the UK

  • Comment number 54.

    The big problem is that when Cameron says we must 'sort out the economy so the markets have faith in the British economy' he means we must slash spending to please people like Ashcroft. The Tories are always going to favour people like him over regular middle class people worried about their mortgages.

    Don't take this as a pro-Labour comment either. The fact that I don't trust the tories an inch doesn't mean I believe Labour are competent or honest either.

  • Comment number 55.

    Grubby dirty little OIKs. thats what the upper class called the rest of Britain!! These people wanted to become politicians..Now we all know why..

  • Comment number 56.

    As I remember it, Michael Ashcroft said he would end his non-dom status well over a year ago when he became increasingly politically active.

    Maybe Michael Ashcroft plans to hand over all the tax money he has avoided paying to Her Majesty's Customs and Revenue. (You can laugh now!) It will be interesting to hear how someone -- who has gone to such lengths to not pay millions in UK tax -- plans to spend YOUR UK tax.

    Note to the above poster: "Politicians , like this government of 13 years, set the rules. They cannot then complain when someone stays within the rules THEY are in charge of." -- well, not quite. He assured many, including the taxman, that he would become a resident taxpayer. Maybe you should take this up with Mr David Cameron?

  • Comment number 57.

    Matt Satan you said "Why is it OK for Lord Paul to be in the same position as Lord Ashcroft and yet not pursued by the Labour Party and their friends in the media?"
    Firstly no non Dom should be allowed to pay into any parties funds.
    But to compare Ashcroft with Paul is ridicules.
    Ashcroft is finding every marginal seat, so a non tax payer, is trying to win the election for the Tory party.
    The big QUESTION is why.
    We have seen the BBC is to smashed up if the Tories get back, of course this is nothing to do with Murdock news supporting Cameron, yes ok.
    If that is the price of one supporter what is the price for some one who gives millions and millions of pounds to the Tories.
    What a desperate shower they are.
    If you are serious about Labour friends

  • Comment number 58.

    My wife and I are public servants, Nurse and Teacher (Ex Police Officer) do you think we could get away by pretending to live in Belize to pay taxes at 5% rather than 40%? I know the commute to London would be longer than at present but if it's good enough for the vice-chair of the Toff party it's good enough for me!

    Perhaps we should give Lord Ashcroft a call for a bit of friendly tax advice.

  • Comment number 59.

    This news is far from surprising. Cameron talks of social justice but you can guarantee that, if given the chance, he would reduce public services and lower taxes for the rich.

    Labour's government has been poor in many respects, but people should not forget who the Tories are. I do not trust David Cameron to provide the people like me with decent public services and a minimum wage. They believe businesses will do that for us out of their own goodwill - that is seriously what the Conservatives think!

  • Comment number 60.

    None of this looks very good for a party trying to shy away from it's snobby image.

  • Comment number 61.

    Sounds like legal tax avoidance to me - disgraceful.



  • Comment number 62.

    Having admitted to his non-dom tax status, one must assume that Lord Ashcroft has arranged his financial affairs in such a way that he will own nothing and therefore not be required to pay tax. Similarly he will no doubt have arranged his affairs to avoid inheritance tax and any other tax one can think of. He will, of course, have to spend a considerable amount of money on lawyers and tx advisers, so he might as well give in and pay tax.

  • Comment number 63.

    It would be interesting to know just how much tax is paid by the various MP's. I bet they are all using every hole in the system.

    They all annoy me intensley.

  • Comment number 64.

    Why is it OK for Lord Paul to be in the same position as Lord Ashcroft and yet not pursued by the Labour Party and their friends in the media? The fact that Lord Paul makes payments through his UK company is purely semantic - the intention remains the same. And as for Alan Johnson's remark about 'patriotism' - when has the Labour Party had the monopoly on it? Indeed their internationalist and inclusive encouragement of people not from these Islands, i.e. the lack of border controls, to partake in our political life makes me question their patriotism
    ======
    Lord Paul isn't the vice chair of the Labour Party and he has never hidden the fact ,from anyone, that he is Non Dom for tax purposes.

    Now he shouldn't be allowed to contribute but that is a different issue to the one of transparency and influence regarding Ashcroft.

  • Comment number 65.

    Does anyone know if Tony Blair is registered for tax in the UK?
    He is abroad for most of the time in USA and Middle East earning millions every year.
    Are you trying to tell me he is paying 60% tax and NI on all those earnings.
    It's not just Conservatives who avoid tax, remember it was mainly Labour MP's involved in flipping for tax purposes.

  • Comment number 66.

    Non-dom is fine by me. And certainly better than being bankrolled by those with links to a certain state in the Middle East that appears to be above international law. Check out the list of donors to New Labour to see where their patriotism and loyalties lie.

  • Comment number 67.

    It matters a great deal. Sitting in the Lords, Ashcroft has a vote when Parliament is considering what taxes people shall pay. Nobody should be allowed to take part in making tax legislation in Parliament if they are not wholly a UK citizen for tax purposes. Ashcroft should decide where his loyalties really lie if he is to be one of those who govern us. I'm amazed that the Tories tolerate it themselves. They've just lost someone who was thinking of voting for them for the first time in 46 years, and I guess I'm not the only one. .

  • Comment number 68.

    It makes David Cameron look very shifty. When questioned he kept refusing to give a straight answer but stated that non-doms should not be allowed to sit in the House of Lords. If he knew Ashcroft was a non-dom he should have either asked him to give up his seat or withdrew the Tory Whip. If he didn't know then it seems that he is an extremely weak leader who does not have any respect from his Vice Chairman. However Dave was content to let it slide and allow Lord Ashcroft's money to win the marginals and get the Tories into power.

  • Comment number 69.

    If HMRC allow this, who are we to criticise?

  • Comment number 70.

    So monies that should (morally) have been paid in tax have been diverted into Mr Cameron's coffers. Given such immoral behaviour can we be sure that if Mr Cameron and Ashcroft came to power they would not divert other state incomes into Conservative bank accounts? Watching Cameron on BBC TV a moment ago he is either blind to the immoral behaviour involved or he is a complete hypocrite.

  • Comment number 71.

    It does matter. We expect our politicians to work towards a "fair" society, so we have a right to expect them to be fair in this important area (taxation).
    However, it seems to me to be further illustration of the old saying that the richer people get, the meaner they become. That someone with such vast wealth, and such huge income, should feel the need to grab even more for himself by working the tax system in this way really does speak volumes about character. Why do some people have this need to hoard away as much for themselves as possible, far in excess of their needs? Do they not consider that for every pound they squirrel away, that is a pound withheld from the rest of us?

  • Comment number 72.

    It's not like Michael Ashcroft has been candid about whis matter with the taxman.

  • Comment number 73.

    There is some problems in enforcing any domicile controls whilts the sovereign status of several Uk dependencies exist which have been declared tax free zones , i.e. Channel Isles , Gibraltar , Isle Of Man.
    You are still a UK resident for voting purposes I believe if you live in these places yet you can enjoy certain tax free status for non-domicile in mainland UK. Obviously the Goevernment how un-savoury the situation can possibly do nothing much about it.

  • Comment number 74.

    I guess now it's easy to see why Mr Cameron was s evasive about Lord Ashcrift's tax status for so long. Either he was aware of it and was willing to overlook it because of the size of Ashcroft's donations or he was unaware of the tax status of his parties biggest donor. Either way it's things like this that make him unfit to lead bot the party and the country.

  • Comment number 75.

    Greed Greed Greed. Funny how the wealthiest people are often the meanest and most money-grabbing. I did my daughter's paper round a few times when she was unwell, and I noticed that the only houses that needed red-letter demands pleading for overdue payment were the vast houses with big gates and lots of expensive cars. She said they were the ones that never tip at xmas, too!

  • Comment number 76.

    8. At 11:41am on 01 Mar 2010, B Anderson wrote:
    Lord Swraj Paul, Labour’s Lord Ashcroft.
    Shelve the hypocrisy Labour.
    Oh, and Lord Ashcroft does pay tax on his UK income. Just not his overseas income. What's wrong with that?
    Ashcroft has been a very successful businessman. So successful in fact that he is a billionaire. What kind of idiot wouldn't want someone like that in government? It’s better than someone who has gone straight from studying politics at university to government without actually doing a drop of real world work in their whole life!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    What king of idiot doesn't understand that the like Ashcroft don't have accountants who manipulate their income so that most of it arrises in tax friendly countries. I work in the real world, I am a tax accountant who fully understands the position, I am also a Tory voter. I am no idiot but but can still recognise this is wrong, wron and wrong.

    He should resign his seat in the House of Lors today or relinquish his non dom status today . Don't give him a year to sort out and plan his tax affairs. Resign or do it today


  • Comment number 77.

    I've nothing against non-dom status per se. But someone who wants to take an active role in British politics should live here and pay their fair share like the rest of us. If Ashcroft's heart is "in Belize", then let him pay to become a Lord in Belize, and sit in Belize's government.

    They can spray it with rose-scented water as much as they like, but we all know what it is underneath.

  • Comment number 78.

    Obviously it matters to him and to the Tories, otherwise they wouldn't have lied for the past ten years. And if it wasn't such a serious problem, why would Cameron be going on the offensive about it? If they are saying "Look at other Labour members" and so forth, then clearly they think it is wrong, and bad. And yet they have hidden Lord Ashcroft's status for a decade.
    And that's not even considering the fact that non-British people can't donate to the Tory party.

  • Comment number 79.

    This is as bad as the expenses scandal. Another politician who has found a way to bend the rules and pocket the cash. If I remember correctly "non-dom" status can only be achieved if you spend less than 183 days in the country. How can any politician perform his duties adequately if he isn't here over half the time?
    In any case, all politicians of all persuasions should pay full UK tax on all their income, no matter how or where derived, so that they can experience the pain they cause us.

  • Comment number 80.

    You ask: Does it matter if politicians have 'non-dom' tax status?

    Only if they're Tory politicians, it would appear.

  • Comment number 81.

    #12 "Why does the BBC say "Lord Ashcroft 'admits' to being non-dom"?"

    The fact that he's been questioned about it so many times but has only now responded does, I think, make the use of the word "admit" entirely appropriate.

  • Comment number 82.

    He pays tax on his uk income , he is not telling us how to live , Labour have donors who live aboard , and Labour have got mandy who no one voted for and he has influence on policies . i just want someone who knows how to run a country to run ours , labour have proved they havent a clue ..

  • Comment number 83.

    I suggest everyone go and have a look at Iain Dale's Diary blog spot and see the list of non doms funding the Labour party coffers including Lakshmi Mittal £4.125 million, Sir Ronald Cohen £2.55 million and Sir Christopher Ondaatje £1.7 million in donations to Labour.

    Maybe balance and fairness would serve us better than one sided reporting and hypocrisy!

  • Comment number 84.

    Labour are at it too. Their complaints are hypocrisy of the highest order.

    The solution - abolish political parties and vote for individuals personal manifestos or better still have MPs that reflect the will of their constituents.

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

  • Comment number 87.

    Just goes to show yet again that there is one rule for the public and another for the corrupt, hypocritical excuse that is politics in this country,
    50,000 council jobs could be lost and this hypocrite will be part of the tory government... they still think we came down the canal in a bubble

  • Comment number 88.

    This stinks.

    If he is not a UK resident for tax purposes, all his donations to the Conservative party should be paid back and forfeit to the treasury, as happened with UKIP recently when a donation contravened the rules.

    If he is allowed to buy the marginals and decide the election in favour of the Conservatives, that will be an abuse of democracy.

    I feel so glad I'm no longer a Tory. I feel cleaner.

  • Comment number 89.

    No taxation without representation - and no representation without taxation! Nobody in public office in Britain, elected or not, should be anything but a British resident and domicile, otherwise how can they claim to have our interests at heart? Absentee landlords are notoriously disastrous, and absentee government is even worse.

  • Comment number 90.

    As a 'non-domicled' person Lord Ashcroft should not be able to represent anyone in Parliament. He has decdided to live outside Britain, so he should leave Parliament to those who are living in Britain.

  • Comment number 91.

    Can we all apply to be non dom's?
    What are his expences like?
    Sane ol, same ol.

  • Comment number 92.

    Splendid. So he can vote on my taxes, while avoiding paying tax himself?

    In my opinion members of both houses of Parliament should be required to be UK resident and taxpayers.

  • Comment number 93.

    one rule for politicians i retired abroad i am not allowed any benifits such as nhs or pension increase but still pay full uk tax???but i can not see any integrity in any of the political parties for the future.

  • Comment number 94.

    This is a complete non issue to the overwhelming majority of voters.

  • Comment number 95.

    Of course he should pay tax through the nose like the rest of us. Who the hell does he think he is?

    Sadly, this is just another example of the Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed of NuLaburr and OldTory alike.

    I despise all of them.

  • Comment number 96.

    As Lord Ashcroft is a such a wealthy individual, does he also claim expenses/allowances currently available to him, and other members in The House of Lords?

    Plus, as several members of the Conservative Shadow Cabinet are 'independently' wealthy and calling for "Change", will they change the Commons expense/allowance system to reflect the income of all MPs? In other words, if you are a wealthy MP, you won't need expenses .. or at least, means-test them?

    After all, the House of Commons is not a private company, is it??

  • Comment number 97.

    Does it really matter if he avoids some tax. There are plenty of people that do it in this Country and everyone knows that. There are more important things to think about, such as the election and why we really have to get rid of Labour, in order to get this Country back on track. All Brown is doing to 'change politics' is to change the voting system. It is not the voting system that is the problem, it is the way Parliament works and the fact that MPs should be prosecuted if necessary. He really has no idea, and it shows in the stress he faces. He is not fit to be our prime minister; we didn't even elect him. What have Labour done apart from introducing the minimum wage in the last 13 years. They certainly have not improved education. I did not get into my first choice of secondary school a few years ago, and it's no different now.Teachers have far too much paperwork. They will leave the Country on its knees, continuing to spend money which we haven't got.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    A lot of comments above complain that Lord Ashcroft "pays no UK tax".

    This is not the case, he pays UK tax on his UK income. I expect he pays a lot more UK tax than most people and this is a storm in a tea cup.

  • Comment number 100.

    I dont care either way. As long as the we have the right people running the country, the people with the talent, experience, integrity and drive. Something that we certainly dont have with the current government.

 

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