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A policy coup?

Nick Robinson | 16:11 UK time, Monday, 1 October 2007

Stand by for a battle of the figures.

The Tories in Blackpool are still preening themselves over what they see as their Robin Hood-esque policy coup - taxing the super rich to hand to the middle classes.

At a stroke it allows them to proclaim the death of death duties for most people whilst ensuring that Roman Abramovich plus his, and many other, foreign football players; American and Japanese and other foreign workers in the City of London pay their dues - something which many on the left (including Gordon Brown when he was shadow chancellor) have demanded for years.

But hold on. If it's that easy to raise £3bn why haven't the government done it? Their critics say the answer's fear. They insist it's because it simply cannot be done. Soon you will hear the sound of Alastair Darling insisting that the figures do not add up. You have been warned.

PS. Forgive my blogging silence. I've been struck low by the annual Conference cold!


  • 1.
  • At 05:38 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Ronnie MB wrote:

It struck me this morning that all of the talk of a snap election is a devilishly good way of flushing out the Tories into unveiling all of the policies they have been trying not to unveil too soon before the election - for more or less precisely the reason that Labour will plagiarise the good ones and vilify the bad ones. Cynical of me?

  • 2.
  • At 05:42 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • B.W.Moore wrote:

It was reported recently on Channel 4 TV, that the 'Collective' Income Tax that is NOT being collected at present, from the Monaco Millionaires amounts to approx £5 BILLION. Just why cannot this Government change a few bits of legislation and collect it ???
They soon proscecute Pensioners who refuse to pay stupid Council Tax increases, so why not these people who owe the UK Billions. Makes you think ! Dunnit ?

Conference cold? I admit that might stop you doing TV slots but I've never had a cold that stopped me typing... Man-Flu perhaps?!

  • 4.
  • At 05:53 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Terry wrote:

The figures will never add up. That's the nature of sterile political debate. Whether it's £1bn or £500m or even 10p. Come to think of it - do they even add up at the moment? Public spending of £674 billion by 2010/2011 is forecast by the Government, up from £368 billion in 1997/1998. OK, so some new investment was needed - but this doesn't event count PFI contracts of over £100billion, since they are off the balance sheet. And we already know from authoritative reports that cash is wasted in the NHS and education sectors, tax credits, software systems and such like. No, the sums don't add up - but it's not the Tory Shadow Chancellor who needs to be held to account, but the Government.

  • 5.
  • At 05:57 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Peter Farrington wrote:

Maybe it is because New and Old Labour are essentially high tax, big spending parties who really do think that they know best how to spend OUR money.

I think that Labour hasn't ever introduced an Inheritance Tax cut because it is fundamentally unable to even consider such a thing.

  • 6.
  • At 06:06 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Haider wrote:

Well a coup if it is read so amatuerishly. The maths may look good to them if all their assumptions ring true. Something they and anyone else cannot for sure know. My gut feeling is that it's quite foolish to assume that the non-doms will regard this as anything other than a tip of an on coming iceburg and an "I break wind in your general direction" type insulting one at that. Foolish at best, naive in fact.

As for the first time buyer's little bribe ten surely even the rose tinted captalists would see that teh difference would simply be made up by the markets. The housing markets that is! Not paying stamp duty? Hmmm..well that's a little extra I can put on the price of my house! Prices are driven by the amount people are willing to pay and just becouse its not written on the label, buyers are not stupid enough to not realise that it actually costs more than that.

Simply put, outside investors will feel insulted and fist time buyers really wont be faced with cheaper houses to buy. Oh but the blue rinses at the conference will have heard the tax cutting drum beating and the they hope the Daily Mail will pluck the Bass strings in time too. Foolishly they may, but UK plc will lose on all counts if this goes through.

Sigh of relief! They wont have a cats chance in kennels of winning anyway. It's more than sums that need to add up; human behaviour needs to be understood too.

  • 7.
  • At 06:08 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Steve Earl wrote:

Why haven't they done it? Because Labour ideology is to take Other People's Money and spend it on whatever hairbrained scheme they can think up.
Because after all we are all Clients of New Labour, which as far as they are concerned is how it should be.

  • 8.
  • At 06:14 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • James Collister wrote:

Whilst not claiming to be an expert on the tax system, and also being a moderate left-winger would taxing the super-rich not be a catch 22 situation where they'd leave the UK totally for elsewhere??

  • 9.
  • At 06:15 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Andrew Belkin wrote:

The super rich know every tax evasion scheme in the book to ensure that they pay minimal amounts in the first place. It sounds nice in practice but unless loopholes are closed, it's not going to work.

  • 10.
  • At 06:16 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • John Galpin wrote:

Whilst few things are as easy as they seem surely it can't be difficult to cut the huge levels of wasted expenditure incurred by the current administration? Nearly £10 bn on an NHS computer system that doesn't work. As much again on MOD project cost overruns whilst the troops & families live in third world accommodation. The child support agency £6 Bn plus, last weeks OECD report that the extra £20 Bn a year on education has delivered very little for the money, the ongoing underground and transport fiascos. I could go on and on but its really not hard to find £100Bn plus of totally wasted money so I really don't see that £3Bn should be so hard to find and at least the taxpayer may get some benefit, like a chance to get their own roof over their heads.

  • 11.
  • At 06:19 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Andrew Hunt wrote:

The only reason the labour gov't can't reduce taxes is because they are wedded to the rediculous notion that they, the "state" should control all money and distibute it as they see fit. Hence, any reduction in the tax wasting power is simply anathema to them. OTOH suppose for example that the useless and unnessesary DTI with it's seven billion budget was abolished, not only is this new tax plan eminently affordable but they could also reverse Gordon Browns decision to scrap the lower rate of tax as well.

  • 12.
  • At 06:21 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Terry wrote:

The figures will never add up. That's the nature of sterile political debate. Whether it's £1bn or £500m or even 10p. Come to think of it - do they even add up at the moment? Public spending of £674 billion by 2010/2011 is forecast by the Government, up from £368 billion in 1997/1998. OK, so some new investment was needed - but this doesn't event count PFI contracts of over £100billion, since they are off the balance sheet. And we already know from authoritative reports that cash is wasted in the NHS and education sectors, tax credits, software systems and such like. No, the sums don't add up - but it's not the Tory Shadow Chancellor who needs to be held to account, but the Government.

Forget the politics Nick! Get yourself honey, lemon and a shot of something stronger...

  • 14.
  • At 06:32 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • kenny macbeth wrote:

Am I being naive? The tories are trying to find ways of cutting taxes whereas the Government is addicted to ever more taxation.

  • 15.
  • At 06:37 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • John Portwood wrote:

Mind you the Labour party in today's Guardian were stating that the figures did not add up before the Conservative party released them!

Their reaction seems to be one of fear and their response has been irrational. The Conservative Party have NOT cut taxes - so Labour's primary fear weapon - cut taxes and services will fail as well (mind you with Education and the NHS in such a mess despite huge additional spending this seems to be less of a weapon now) has been debunked.

Of course the BBC - ever faithfull to their political masters are stil announcing 'Tory Tax Cuts' on their News channel!

The Conservative plan is quite simple - for every vote they may lose from the non-doms they gain ten from first time buyers and middle england. I also note the Government announcement to cut taxes on carbon-neutral homes - this is laughable - the owners of the 25 carbon neutral homes in the Country might be pleased but I hardly expect the average labour supporter in a mid-terrace home built 50 or a hundre years ago to appreciate it.

The only worry is that Milliband will seize on this idea, use it to raise extra money (to profligate) at the next budget and blame the Conservatives for introducing the concept.

  • 16.
  • At 06:56 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Tony Crooks wrote:

Sorry to see that you've been struck by a political illness!

Hasn't Osborne been enunciating 'One Nation' politics, something Brown/Darling pay lip-service towards? Some would say that fewer super-rich using this country as a shelter is a good thing. After all this isn't like taking 80% of income over £100,000 which certainly wouldn't make sense - oh, that's Ming's idea, isn't it?

Ruffling the feathers of the mighty few could be a popular choice these days!

Sorry about the cold. Most MP's are really just a virus of the copy me sort so perhaps I should have warned you. Although our local MP has tried thinking nothing emerges. The words Foreign policy causes him to sneeze.

  • 18.
  • At 07:19 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Paul Johnson wrote:

Because the only solution this government understands is to throw ever more money at projects that are fundementally unsound thanks to their poor management.

NHS Connecting For Health for example? If the Tories come in and either can that, or put it on track, that will save further waste, which could then be given as tax cuts.

Read Private Eye. The amount of money the government is wasting that they point out, and the BBC ignores, is staggering.

  • 19.
  • At 07:40 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • John Lloyd wrote:

I suspect it's more difficult than making a rousing speech. For one thing, these people - Murdoch, Abramovich, etc - are fairly footloose. They will move to wherever they can shelter their wealth.

  • 20.
  • At 07:49 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Andrew A Napier wrote:

The press over recent years has reported that some very prominent 'non-doms'and private equity chiefs have donated or lent very large sums to the cash-strapped Labour Party, which led cynics not to be surprised that Gordon Brown never followed through on his stated intention to get them to pay their "fair share" of taxation.

  • 21.
  • At 07:55 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Albert wrote:

Hope you are better Nick. You are perfectly right Nick. Not only do the numbers NOT add up, but if Brown (the chancellor that according to the Tories is very good for stealth taxes) had not done it, it means that this is not easy to implement. The Tories must say the WHOLE TRUTH and be very careful because half of that 150,000 so called filthy rich barons actually work in UK and do not earn millions, so £25,000 yearly tax would obviously fire them off this Island. During the BBC 24 some called to say that they earn less then £60,000. Now that's not filthy rich is it Nick?
I think during these times of world financial turmoil, and uncertainty because of the world credit crunch (meaning less money in circulation), it is very irresponsible to give the economy these kind of unquantified gitters when all chancellors around the world are doing their utmost to get hold on as much dosh as they can, so that if the unforeseen happens their economies do not crash! Remember the eighties, and early nineties recessions (made in UK by Tory chancellors)?
The other argument Nick is that threshold duty on property is going up year on year and the Tories still have to provide a lot of numbers like what would the tax be if one sells and buys another house to settle in another part of the country? No answers Nick.
For the majority of the British people these financial unquantified gimmicks are last minute desperate attempts to present a bright picture for a possible election, but given that if something goes wrong in the markets and America goes into recession, all these appetizers will have to be shelved, then what? Oh Nick, have you noticed that the Tories are and will keep their mouths shut about increases in tax on petrol? If we kept the Tories fuel escalator policy of the early nineties a litre of petrol would now cost £1.39. The CBI is not happy and the City has already commented against Osborne’s tax ideas. Oh Nick, what happened to the other policies previously presented by Cameron, like reducing corporate tax and bringing back the 10p starting tax, and free care for the old age if they go in a home? Looks like Redwood has got a good hold of the Tories agenda yet again. Have a nice day Nick.

  • 22.
  • At 08:01 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Jim Aldous wrote:

Reading this entry I am reminded of a Sir Humphrey Appleby line which goes something like this:

"The treasury doesn't find out how much money it can raise and see where to spend it... it finds out how much tax it can get away with and then think of ways in which to spend it!"

  • 23.
  • At 08:04 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Fish wrote:


...just heard Darling claiming the figures do not add up...

  • 24.
  • At 08:05 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Chuck Unsworth wrote:


It's clearly much worse than you suggest. If you've been laid low to that extent you have obviously succumbed to 'flu.

As you know, it's women who get colds. We chaps get severe influenza.

Get well soon. I've found that Glenfiddich medicine to work quite well, but only in large doses.

  • 25.
  • At 08:07 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Jonathan wrote:

Nick, I have a friend of a friend working for Ed Miliband and apparently an election date has been set for this year.

  • 26.
  • At 08:10 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • David wrote:

Stunningly balanced reporting here. If the government haven't done it, it's not possible. Makes sense to me; that way, any opposition policy can be rubbished regardless.

Good question - go and find out.

  • 28.
  • At 08:17 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Robert wrote:

£1m inheritance tax free limit?

Hooray - I have no incentive whatsoever now to leave any money to charity in my will. Until now every pound I reduced my estate by willing it to a charity cut the chancellor's tax take from my estate.

Not now!

Charities will be very big losers from this proposal, mark my words.

  • 29.
  • At 08:25 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • adrian wrote:

Nick, why are you so critical or is this the usual BBC slant towards Labour in it s reporting?

The Tories have said how they will pay for it: it is a fully funded pledge.

It is novel, new, involves meaningful savings for all the UK. WHy has it not been done before? Well Labour have been all spin no action/delivery or ideas for 10 years, why should now be any different?

You call for policy detail, something different, you now have it. Well done the Tories...I may even vote for them!

  • 30.
  • At 08:30 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

We know why the Government hasn't done it before - for two reasons, 1) they never thought of a way for doing it, and 2) they are blinded by envy.

This government has demonstrated time and time again that anything that anyone else brings up as a good idea is automatically shot down in some way or other as a matter of principal and policy (hence the reason for the hordes of spin doctors).

They want to bring in others into Government - a new idea for this Government - what have tey ben doing for the last ten years other than wasting energy and our resources trying to kid us that they know how to manage. Typically, in their trying to make it look good they now bring back good ideas from the past and dress them up as their own (Jack Straw and others seem to forget that some of us have memories) - when they pooh-poohed ideas and suggestions before, they now try and present them in a different way and say it is a good idea (protecting home owners is an obvious example) - but nothing has actually changed in the intervening time to justify their policy change. And when theydo it, like so often, it will be delayed and eventually botched, but someone else will get the blame.

Of course Alistair, etc, will pooh-pooh and say they don't add up - they would say that! If the election does not come soon, then be sure that Labour will now bring back the idea of doing just what the Tories are suggesting and it will be presented with a view to claiming that they are working for the best of the country. Sorry, we have had enough of this government spin and trashing.

Gordon wont go to the country now because he knows that a lot of failures will be raked up and dishonesty challenged over the failure to follow through previous promises - that Referendum, those ID cards, the NHS so-called reconfiguration, the obsession with targets which destroy the incentive of the doers, the wasteful and unaccountable quangoes imposed by Prescott, the planning laws, the failure to have any results for the Transport of the future, the Dome, the Olympics, our devalued pensions, our excessive taxes, the excessive and politically correct over-regulation ... I have no reason to trust anything this Government says - they have had long enough and we will all pay for it for far too long. This Government trusts NO ONE and therefore should never be trusted.

No, I am not a Tory, nor am I Labour, but a socialist who cares about failures of both of the main parties and their vested interests.

  • 31.
  • At 08:33 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Phil wrote:

Raising the inheritance tax threshold to £1m is hardly Robin Hood esque. Inheritance tax currently applies to less than 10% of estates. The wealthier the person who dies the more their off-spring, who are likely to already be wealthy given the lack of social mobility in Britain, will gain from this proposal. Clearly then the Tories' priority for wealth redistribution are the already wealthy.

  • 32.
  • At 08:45 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • E Welshman wrote:

Why do you think you have caught your cold, Nick ?

Is it because the Conservatives' new policies have made you run-down ?

If so, I suggest that you stay in bed, with your head in a steam bowl, because the week ahead is not going to improve for you !

But then again, you didn't look too ill on the Telly tonight when you were spouting exactly what Alistair Darling said about 'unaffordable' later in the News. Makes a change from him saying that 'they voted against that when we suggested it' though. 'Unaffordable' is going to be the title of Labour's new disc - I don't think it will catch on though.

  • 33.
  • At 08:47 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Peter wrote:

It doesn't matter how it is done as there is always more than one way of balancing the books - why do the press keep peddling the Labour mantra that the sums do not add up - neither do theirs as the CSR will prove. The Government has not had to consider this tax change as it has been successful at raising practically every other tax so what difference does it make missing this obvious benefit to hard working citizens. It is tactically shifting the ground and will provide a contrast between high taxation and waste and the return of a low tax economy and slim government.

  • 34.
  • At 08:51 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • mike owen wrote:

Nick, Just consider how quickly house prices have risen in Britain over the last ten years, and reflect on the slower rate of change on IHT thresholds, thus IHT has caught more households through fiscal drag, Darling and Brown chose not to alter thresholds in line with house price inflation. Osborne has simply identified an unpopular stealth tax, and proposes to do something eye catching.

  • 35.
  • At 09:05 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Burt Bacharac wrote:

The reason they haven't done it is because it is not in their instinct to allow people to keep the money/wealth they have earnt.

  • 36.
  • At 09:13 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Tony R wrote:

Of course, Broon and Darling will say it can't be done. Then in a few weeks, they will announce a brand new labour policy, which will look very much like a warmed over Conservative policy.

I wouldn't mind labour stealing Conservative ideas, if they actualy carried them through, but let's recognise the fact that they never do.

  • 37.
  • At 09:16 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Dr Alan Hunt wrote:

The major flaw with this plan is the naive assumption that these "super rich" will retain their status as non-domicile and elect to pay an additional £25,000 p.a. for no gain. Common sense and fickle human nature suggest they will simply up sticks and change status. Instead of an average current £25,000 income that we currently already receive from 140,000 of them the mathematical reality is stark. If they all change, the "neutral effect" of "3.5bn out and 3.5bn in" goes to one of 3.5bn new tax cut PLUS 3.5bn loss of old revenue and a 7bn hole in finances. This equates with a lot of cuts in public spending and Labour will wipe the floor with the Tory plan. If only a quarter of the non-doms packs up and leaves it still becomes a 1.75bn deficit. Every one person who elects to change leaves a £50,000 gap and they soon add up! The sums simply don't add up and the mathmatically literate.... sadly few among most fervent Party activists... know the truth and vote accordingly.

  • 38.
  • At 09:18 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Russell wrote:

Of course the government will say its impossible, who would shoot the goose laying the golden eggs?

British taxpayers have been to easy to walk over; they have been so busy living their lives on credit that every extra chunk of tax ripped from their pockets based on some lame excuse or scientific claptrap and shamelessly wasted in one way or another has gone unnoticed and don't think the government haven't twigged that fact either!

The credit line is drawing to close and suddenly people will realise how much tax is being taken from them, its a shame that British taxpayers are so spineless, any remember the Brixton riots? the Poll tax riots?
Lets be honest we need a good old fashioned riot, there are so few police nowadays as they have been replaced by metal boxes and plastic plods (CSO's) and those that do turn up to break up the riot will have to go back to the office and fill out 12 forms and undergo a health and safety assessment course before takling the rioters!

Now has never been a better time...;o)

  • 39.
  • At 09:18 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Graham Knowles wrote:

Sorry. Am I understanding the words I am reading? Are you telling me that foriegn footballers pay no tax on the millions they earn in the UK?

  • 40.
  • At 09:23 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Jay wrote:

The reason why Labour have not done it in the first place is because it will stop their money printing press. Labour have realised that stealth taxes do not necessarily make the head lines which gives them freedom to print money i.e, tax us without us really knowing.

Alistar Darling will probably say it doesn't add up because he doesn't want to make it look as if he hasn't got his number's correct.

  • 41.
  • At 09:25 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Eoin wrote:

"...something which many on the left (including Gordon Brown when he was shadow chancellor) have demanded for years."
Reminds me of the old Labour election broadcast with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie:

  • 42.
  • At 09:25 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

"Though there was plenty to cheer and to inspire his own party - pledges to increase the minimum wage, extend maternity pay and student grants"
That was last week, so where was the comment about their costing Nick?

  • 43.
  • At 09:27 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Keith Lindsay wrote:

I was born a Tory in 1956. I'm afraid I couldn't vote for the current lot. I couldn't vote labour so that's a wasted vote.

  • 44.
  • At 09:28 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Andrew Jones wrote:

The reason why the Government has not done this is because it would not be a good move to keep the Non-Dom Donors on board or the trade unions for the private sector welfare to Work Programs.

Labour are protecting their donor's interests to ensure they have a continued amount of dependable funding. Did not a Nom Dom Donor Lord Paul say he would finance a Labour election campaign?

Did Gordon Brown not acquire to the unions on private sector involvement in motivating the long-term jobless back to work?

  • 45.
  • At 09:36 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Adrian wrote:


Why so crtitical or is this the usual Labour / BBC bias? Tories come up with a fully funded, novel, innovative and highly attractive proposal IN DETAIL which everyone has been demanding, and you automatically say...cannot be done otherwise Labour would have done it!

NO they would have not, Labour have been all spin, very little substance, what big detailed policy initiatives did Gordon come up with?

Well done the Tories, for i) keeping it under wraps and ii)providing some very good and detailed policies which sets them distinctly apart from Gordon "trying to convince voters I have not been part of the 10 years" Brown.

Come on Nick, a little more thought!

  • 46.
  • At 09:49 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Richard Marriott wrote:

Well, at least the Conservatives are giving us some fireworks. What on earth did the Labour Conference give us apart from the personality cult of Chairman Brown?

  • 47.
  • At 09:52 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Philip Hatcher wrote:

The goodies offerred by the Tories seem like a work of fiction.
Nothing but offers.
But in reality how are these to be paid for?
Quite simply back to the old game of cuts in public services as there is n no such thing as a free lunch.
How do they have the cheek to offer such

  • 48.
  • At 09:58 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • john white wrote:

New Labour has literally wasted billions of pounds of taxpayers funds on public sector IT projects that have failed to deliver. From doctors contracts to the ID card nonsense this govenment has treated billions like small change. So to hear Alistair Darling railing against a proposal to tax foreigners or non-domiciled Brits who enjoy the benefits of living in one of the most civilised countries in the World is humbug. If anything Cameron should go further and copy the American example and make it compuisory for anybody holding British citizenship of working age to file an annual tax return no matter where they are living. New Labour has squeezed the middle classes with stealth taxes and hurt ordinary working by losing control of the borders.The only people who have massively benefited from this shower have been the super rich. It is time for a change and recognising that inheritance tax is a death tax which can unfairly affect lower middle class people is a good start. Cameron could finance this proposal by clawing back the annual £1300 per head which Scots receive in public funds more than their English counterparts but for now I am content to let the wealthy cough up. The financial injustices of devolution can be addressed once New Labour is polishing the opposition benches.

  • 49.
  • At 09:59 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Richard Marriott wrote:

Well, at least the Conservatives are giving us some fireworks. What on earth did the Labour Conference give us apart from the personality cult of Chairman Brown?

  • 50.
  • At 10:02 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Pete Twickers wrote:

It is quite simple. Brown is too scared to steal his parties natural clothes in case of negative headlines from the Daily Mail!

I for one will be very interested to see how the Mail now backtracks and supports Cameron.

  • 51.
  • At 10:12 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • gordon not broon wrote:

well nick, £3bn is small change to brown and darling,browns wasted billions and billions,so a relatively small sum should be easily
found,here's a check list to save about £20bn, put income tax on benefits,time limit benefits,tax on more than one home (sorry mp's),charge all immigrants a one off payment to enter the uk £500, that should raise about £5bn on its own,with some going towards the extra cost to the public services and schools.I think the tories have come up with a reasonable idea,but knowing gordon it just may have been his idea first!

The present government probably will take the money from the European workers, who are working here without paying tax, and fund something else.

Forget what the polls say about Labour winning again - I use to be a Labour supporter and carrying card member, not anymore I am now a conservative.

I work in the NHS, and the hospitals are still dirty. Nurses can't get jobs anymore, and we know that things are really bad!

Now the price of petrol has gone up, and Livingstone has no bounds about wasting money.

I have no confidence in Brown.

How many of the big Labour Donors are Non-Dom I wonder? It is widely rumoured that Sir Ronald Cohen would be Lord Cohen were it not that he is non-Dom for example?

  • 54.
  • At 10:30 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • David Simmons wrote:

Fear may be one reason that the government hasn't made such cuts, Nick - but the more likely reason is that they are just simply addicted to tax...

  • 55.
  • At 10:31 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

My wife and I were born in the UK and are UK citizens. We lived in the US for decades and became citizens several years ago. It's our home.

We returned to live in the UK recently as our parents are elderly and we wanted to be close to them for the next few years. My US employer allowed me to join our European subsidiary to work here in Britain. We have non-domiciled status.

The notion that we are some kind of rich non-doms playing the tax system to protect large overseas incomes is absurd. A 25,000 GBP annual tax levy because of our status would require us to leave the UK - we simply could not afford to live here. It represents a huge proportion of our annual income.

We have other friends in similar situations.

It's wonderful populist politics to propose this kind of change, but it truly is not well-considered.

  • 56.
  • At 10:59 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Tristan Wibberley wrote:

Something the media doesn't seem to have noticed is that, in order to get people to stop bringing up unruly children the conservatives are proposing to tax childless singles to give to the childless married (along with the barely less reckless taxing of single parents to give to married parents). Is it just me or does this make no sense? Is it just vote buying - robbing the poor to give to the rich?

  • 57.
  • At 11:31 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Nick wrote:

That one is easy - the government does not give money back that it has slowly but surely been extracting from everyone who works to pump into Education, NHS, Benefits etc...the shame is that it is all been flittered away with nothing to show for it!!!! It is there to be seen.

  • 58.
  • At 11:38 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • gordon not broon wrote:

given that gordon brown has managed to squander billions and billions,£3bn looks like last weeks benefits bill,its a good idea ,better than tax everybody more,more,more and then beyond the grave.

  • 59.
  • At 11:40 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • A Hallam wrote:

"If the Tory tax plan's easy, why hasn't the government done it?"

How about it's because the government are Labour and have 'Labour' policies and the opposition are Conservatives and have 'Conservative' policies.

Are you seriously suggesting that Labour and the Conservatives don't have any of there own traits anymore?

Its a bit like saying "The Tories plan to cut income tax, well if its possible to do that why hasn't Labour already done it".
- Labour hasn't done it (and won't do it) as its not a labour trait to cut tax, its a Conservative one.

Do you think seriously think there is absolutely no difference between the 2 parties then? and the only difference is who comes up with 'the same' policy first?

  • 60.
  • At 11:41 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • wgm wrote:

You bet the government would have done it were it possible. This is a rushed policy by a Party caught in the headlights of a speeding car they say they have been waiting for for months. Most people will be reminded of the Tory figures that didn't add up in 2005, and Osborne doesn't even have half the gravitas Letwin did, which wasn't much.

  • 61.
  • At 11:43 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Chris , Malaga wrote:

It amazes me that anyone from the Tory party still gives interviews to your company. After the announcement today regarding inheritance tax it seems most, if not all, of your NEWS staff couldn't wait to point-out that the figures "Don't add-up". I don't recall any of these same people commenting on the great gold give-away, or the great pension theft, in the same manner. No Party should be free from criticism Nick but, a corporation that is funded by the tax payer should be seen to behave a little more impartially.

  • 62.
  • At 11:52 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Neil Small wrote:

What's wrong with scrapping IHT? To me, it is a double tax in almost every case.

£3 billion is not a huge amount for the Government. Fear does not come into it with regards to IHT. The Government (sorry, Gordon Brown) is more fearful of taxing the domiciled non-tax paying UK residents.

  • 63.
  • At 11:53 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • kevin wrote:

Sorry to hear ur ill Nick.

If the Tories can live up to this and many other of their policies I think they could pull off a win at the next general election.

However as always the parties are always all talk, no substance...

What i'd give for a party that follows its policies...

  • 64.
  • At 12:10 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • martin wrote:

This is a good move for the tories.

  • 65.
  • At 12:26 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Perivale Elvis wrote:

The Tories seem to be just using gimmicks to attract voters. Abolishing stamp duty on property below the £250k threshold will simply inflate the property market. Putting this forward as a policy just after the credit crunch panic doesn't seem the most prudent proposal. The inheritance tax change is just another short term measure. Where's the meat in their policies?

  • 66.
  • At 12:49 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Max wrote:

I'm a twenty-something foreign expat working in London. I'm certainly not 'super rich', but I am a registered non-domicile. This means any overseas earnings which remain outside the UK don't have to be declared to HMRC for UK tax. In my case, I have a savings account in my home country earning interest, and I don't have to record this on my UK tax return.

I calculate that at an estimate of 40% for income tax and National Insurance, I'd have to be earning £62,500 in overseas income before it's worth paying the levy to avoid tax. At 5% interest, that translates to £1.25m in my savings account! You've probably guessed my savings are rather more modest.

Contrary to what's been said in the media, I suspect most non-domiciles are closer to my position than could be labelled 'super rich'. Assuming I'm correct, very few would opt to pay the levy.

It's also worth considering that undeclared earnings that remain in overseas banks and assets are probably very hard for HMRC to detect and tax. It would be fair to assume some currently legal 'non-doms' may simply fail to declare their foreign earnings under a Tory Government.

I'm certain any revenues gained out of this policy will fall far short of the Tory's proposed tax cuts.

  • 67.
  • At 01:29 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Joe Courtney wrote:

The tax “cuts” proposed by the Tories is actually a profit tax for the would be government as I don’t believe that any were near 9million people will go to meet there maker leaving a million pound house, in any one year more like an average 10% of that in any one year if that many-- N/D people living here I believe have to register as they do a £25,000 bill given if not they pay Tax on monies abroad easy to charge.
Taking first time buyers out of the stamp duty for first 250,000 is a wonder full idea as I as many others have children who are wondering how they can get on to the property market, this will be a good step towards helping them.

Regards Joe Courtney

  • 68.
  • At 08:28 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Ron King wrote:

It may be before your time but during the 1964 election campaign Reggie Maudling, the then Chancellor, spent the entire time rubbishing Labour figures, to no avail. Labour won, albeit with a small majority. If Darling plans to do the same, he should be aware that voters dont go with simply sniping at other peoples proposals, they want to hear the real alternatives that are on offer.
For the record, I am a conservative, and voted as such in 1964, and was on the "losing"side.

  • 69.
  • At 08:38 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • jont wrote:

Nick, "most people" don't pay death duties. Anyone whose estate is worth less than £300k won't benefit. That takes me out, and I'm middle class and reasonably well off.
Did Osborne or Cameron consider using the super-rich's taxes to benefit people who are a bit lower down the scale. After all, the Labour party has created so much "poverty", haven't they? Or maybe we'll all benefit because this tax rebate will allow the "middle class" to spend more, and we all benefit from Tory-style growth don't we? "Trickle-down" wasn't it called? Or "Trickle away"?

  • 70.
  • At 08:43 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Oz wrote:

The reason they haven't done it is because Mr Mittal keeps kindly giving them donations of £1m plus. It would be a bit rude to tax him.

  • 71.
  • At 09:07 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • City Boy wrote:

Why hasn't the Government done it? Because these people *are* paying - to Labour Party coffers. Ron Cohen, Mr Mittal et al all pay millions to Labour buy their tax privileges. Some would say this looks like corruption, but that's another debate.

What the Tories have done, which is clever, is to say to these people "hey! you don't need to pay your big fees to Labour to buy your tax priviledges. You can just pay £25K a year to help fund the cost of public services."

It'll be interesting to see if these non doms will still feel the need to buy the Labour Party or whether they will prefer the Tory idea.

  • 72.
  • At 09:09 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Quietzapple wrote:

So far no one I have read belives the figures add up.

When did Death Duties start being called Inheritance Tax? A presentational make-over if ther ever was one, however it was achieved. A masterpeice of spin if deliberate . . .

Senisble Tories like the late Mr Heath realise that death duties, set at a reasonable level, are among the least painful taxes on the whole, and affect only a tiny minority of people, ever.

If there was a "Tories on your Blog Tax" Nick would catch a real cold.

  • 73.
  • At 09:28 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Michael Gray wrote:

Alastair Darling has already appeared on TV to say that the figures don't add up! A conservative estimate of 150,000 non-doms each paying £25,000 appears to me to add up to £3.75 billion. Will Darling be allowed to get away with his lies?

  • 74.
  • At 09:32 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Bill Holden wrote:

The only thing that will happen by raising the stamp duty kick in level is that house prices will go up AGAIN, a real way to make houses more affordable would be to limit the way in which house prices rise (Discuss).

Raising the Inheritance tax kick in will do very little to assist the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next due to the fact that most of the average persons capital is paid to provide for their costs when they eventually go into a home for the elderly. the only way to stop the capital drain would be to look after our older generation when they need us and I dont see that happening any time soon.

As for the next election, I intend to be an independent candidate and therefore free of party dogma.I would represent my local electorate. What do you think of my chances of keeping my deposit ? ( I lost it last time !!).

I hear that you have a cold, I suspect that in a few weeks time that many politically minded people will have caught a cold.

  • 75.
  • At 09:40 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Keith wrote:

Is it too simple to talk about sums having to "add up"? We always here about the "Cost" of a tax cut of however many Billion, with no mention that that money is then available to be spent elsewhere in the economy, it doesn't all disappear into a blackhole.

  • 76.
  • At 10:05 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Dee wrote:

Has anyone else noticed that whenever Labour announce an increase in benefits or one2one in education etc. they never say how they will pay for it, however whenever the Tories produce a policy Labour and what was once an Treasury independent of politics say that the costings don't add up.
That is from a government that is in fiscal deficit after the country has had 15 years of uninterrupted growth.

  • 77.
  • At 10:11 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • paul wrote:

I think the tories have been forced to present their crown jewels, and brown will (where he can) steal their clothes - and go when he is sure he will win.

Come the election there are only two rational choices:-

- vote against brown to show that elective manipulation will not be tolerated, and will not work.


- accept that manipulation is OK, and prepare to live in our new one party state under brown.


I see that Brown is going on a 'surprise' visit to the troops in Iraq. How tacky to use British soldiers in a poltical stunt. But it gets worse. Remember Gordon Brown saying that he would announce big decisions in Parliament? Now he is announcing troop withdrawls.

As for figures adding up, Ed Balls said a few months ago 'Information is not held on overseas income and gains that do not give rise to a
tax liability in the UK', but a few hours after the Tories announce their proposals the 'figures' appear, as Jeremy Paxman would say 'yessss'.

  • 79.
  • At 11:18 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Tony Platts wrote:

Every financial adviser with about three years training knows the loopholes being exploited.

Labour could close them at any time but they don't. That is their choice.

I love the fact that Nick predicted it and 2 hours later Alastair Darling was wailing "The numbers dont add up".

Yes Alastair, they do add up. We know exactly how much IHT comes in and we know exactly how much could come in from non-dom cases.

Osborne might not be the best gifted mind out there but Im 100% certain he isnt putting this plan to the public without enough research to not have himself looking like an idiot if it proves untrue.

  • 80.
  • At 11:24 AM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Justin wrote:

This Tory policy has something of the "Lib Dems" about it.

They're probably only saying they can save £3 gezillion because they know they don't have a hope in hell of winning the next general election.

Thus, they can say what they like because it aint gonna happen.

It is one of those savings that look good on paper. However if we start taxing the super rich £25k every year, the reason for them being here will vanish, and so will they.

It is impossible to measure the good for the economy the super rich do through their business interests, but it will be a lot more then the money "saved" over the years as more and more people leave these shores.

It is a bit like taxing the upper bracket at 80%, sounds like a good idea, but in actual fact you get less tax

  • 82.
  • At 12:26 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Neil C wrote:

Am I missing the point, but won't the increase in IHT threshold from £300k to £1m save George O & Dave C a tidy £280k each (£700k at 40%)!?! When Nick Robinson says Robin Hood-esque policy coup, doesn't he mean the Self Serving Pigs in a trough coup! A straw poll of the office (Manchester) here thinks we all might be unaffected by this policy.

  • 83.
  • At 12:27 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

Jont, post 37: may be most people havn't paid death duties up to this point, but with rising house prices most children inheriting their parents' houses will in future.

Perhaps £1,000,000 is a tad generous though. Were I the chancellor, I'd wack it to £500,000 in my first budget, then put it up another £50,000/year for the rest of the parliament.

  • 84.
  • At 12:31 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Ben Shaw wrote:

Hey Nick,

Glad to see the Conservatives are pledging to increase the number of Army battalions, i think this now represent a massive shift politically in terms of how important the Army is and how badly Labour has let down our men and women.

I Like it.


  • 85.
  • At 12:52 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Oz wrote:

The hype about Non-dom's leaving the UK is hilarious - If you go to Gibraltar you pay £20,000 pa and then its tax free on your worldwide income - if the tories win you pay £25,000 to be in the UK - its actually quite clever because a lot of the non-doms are not going to leave and they may actually decide to switch funding to the tories because the future risk is that Labour's only choice now is to say that they will tax them at higher rates and then of course the non-doms will leave and why donate money to a party that is going to tax you more. No wonder darling's crying.

  • 86.
  • At 12:55 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

The proposal on non-doms makes more sense that some on here seem to think. Those who aren't on high earnings of course can't afford the £25K payment, but they would simply have to start paying UK tax instead. The super-rich however, can continue to take their high earnings out of the UK as before, but can make this contribution to allow them to continue the benefits of the low income taxes they are paying elsewhere. If you're working in the UK, living in the UK, and earning in the UK, you need to make some contribution to the infrastructure of the UK. Simple.

  • 87.
  • At 01:05 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • graham wrote:

If it was worth doing Labour would have done it? I don't think so!

  • 88.
  • At 01:17 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

OK Nick,
I try to be as objective as can with regards to politics; I try to understand all sides of the argument even if I have personal objections; I even read a newspaper that tries to be objective (not just on the fence); I used to view the BBC/website as one of my key objective resources. I know the BBC have to justify their existence, but please just deliver an objective assessment of the news rather than trying to make it.

I usually just read other peoples posts and smile, but the one-sidedness of this forces me to comment. The BBC spend an eternity asking when the Conservatives will release any policies, and when they do all you can ask is "why haven't Labour done it?"

Take off your red glasses and do what the BBC should be paying you for and help us all make an informed choice from the facts.

  • 89.
  • At 01:24 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • haider wrote:

A day or two in Basra should Help! Never been there myself, but the sea air....I digress; I thought having been critical of the tax cutting electioneering earlier, I should perhapse add some constructive comments too. Raising the threshold or in fact abolishing IHT is not so daft even if it stood on its own without a, so called, ballancing the books trick.

There is a good chance that it would encourage more folk with the investment bug to come here with a posetive effect on the tax coffers over time. There would also be a feel good factor in the city and whole nation would in fact gain too.

Buy me a vintage guitar and I will be elated and want to see you more often, tell me that you only paid a £10 deposite and I have to pay the monthly installments then I might feel slightly violated!

Oh by the way I have read all the posts now and I still cant see how on earth the non-doms thing will work. Many are brain drainers from countries we have damaged and they dont really earn that much relative to footballers. They are the only ones that really need looking at.

  • 90.
  • At 01:32 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

"During the BBC 24 some called to say that they earn less then £60,000"

And they get £40,000 expenses, their wife (secretary) gets another £40,000, their eldest (adiminstration) gets £35,000.

Then there's the company yacht, car, plane as per requirements.

Oh, and then you have shares printed out from the company and paid up.

The £60,000 may be only what they don't siphon out of the UK too, so they may get their Dominican Republic branch income to spend when abroad or import to the UK.

There are lots of fiddles, and many of them are visible in the "expenses" claimed by MPs.

  • 91.
  • At 01:43 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

"Hooray - I have no incentive whatsoever now to leave any money to charity in my will."

Um, you can still give money to charity. If the only reason to give was to make sure the tax man didn't get it then you're a poor excuse for a human.

  • 92.
  • At 02:02 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Albert wrote:

I have another question for the shadow chancellor Nick.
Where is the list of these non doms. At one time he talks of 200,000 and the next he says quote "a conservative estimate is 150,000" unquote. This is the same argument about Brown's reduction in tax from 22p to 20p. The Tories say that they would have done it. WELL, THEY HAD 17 YEARS OF BILLIONS COMING INTO THEIR COFFERS FROM PRIVATISING EVERYTHING TO DO THIS! Where did all that money go? Surely not in schools and the NHS! Maybe Cameron could enlighten us, when he was Lamont's advisor on BLACK WEDNESDAY.

Thanks to most, if not all of these non dom. are employing British citizens and if this tax is IMPOSED they will only have to leave and go somewhere else. Does Osborne think that ex Tories are so stupid to believe that these non dom. billionaires do not do their homework well to avoid such stealth taxes from the Tories? These people pay thousands to avoid disclosing any of their income!
Nick, I repeat what I said before, if according to the Tories, Brown is (a shrewd, stealth tax wizard) did not do it, IT IS NOT WORTH BILLIONS, otherwise he would have done it, and then, even if he did, the Tories would have said, "Here we go again, a new Dennis Healey squeezing the rich until the pip squeaks"!
The great majority of the people in U.K. are not as gullible as Osborne might have thought and do not have short memories either! Have a nice day Nick.

  • 93.
  • At 05:29 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Tony Platts wrote:

They won't up and leave because there is nowhere else for them to go.

Every tax juridiction has it's rules but the richer non-doms are exploiting the cracks between the two countries.

If they return home they will be taxed in their own countries.

The grass isnt greener on the other side.

  • 94.
  • At 06:16 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Albert wrote:

No tax for first time buyers on houses under £250,000, says Osborne, Nick.
Now let's see what I would do if this policy is implemented. Instead of selling a house say for £150,000, I'll put it on the market for £151,995, and no tax to pay. Oops, so who gets to have the benefit of this policy Nick?
Quite right Nick, THE VENDOR!
I have it from good source that after the £250,000 under the Tories the tax will be more then 1% and your second house you buy, even if you sell your present one will not be exempt.
Looks like Osborne missed a few lines from what he was CONSTANTLY reading from the script in front of him. Good night Nick.

  • 95.
  • At 08:21 PM on 02 Oct 2007,
  • Quietzapple wrote:

If the Tories get an election in november, which month would they like the next one in 2008?

May is often suitable.

And what about Leader? Hague in ‘08? IDS and Osbourne in tandem in ‘09?

And will their party political broadcasts be based on the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

"Come on, closer . . . I"ll nut yer . . ." as their limbless torso is drawn into the ground . . .

Bit like the Tories on here really . . .

  • 96.
  • At 01:00 AM on 03 Oct 2007,
  • Krishn Shah wrote:

policy coup? Well its definitely proving popular.

I think Brown et al were planning on taxing non-domiciles themselves but hadn't worked out how to do it.

Whether the figures add up or not is irrelevant. In fact its impossible to calculate as the cost of the policy and the earnings from taxing non-domiciles is a fluid thing.

The point is, is that the Conservatives have managed to propose popular tax cuts/reforms while avoiding the usual accusations of making spending cuts in public services to pay for them.

Very clever. If I was a Labour MP in a marginal in the south east I'd be very worried.

  • 97.
  • At 09:30 AM on 03 Oct 2007,
  • Albert wrote:

No tax for first time buyers on houses under £250,000, says Osborne, Nick.
Now let's see what one would do if this policy is implemented. Instead of selling a house say for £150,000, one would put it on the market for £151,995, but hurray, no tax to pay. Oops, so who gets to have the benefit of this policy Nick?
Quite right Nick, THE VENDOR!
There is no mention that after £250,000 the tax would remain at 1%, and what about having to move to another place in UK, that would be your second house Nick, even if you dispose of the first one.
Looks like Osborne missed a few lines from what he was CONSTANTLY reading from the script in front of him.

  • 98.
  • At 05:40 PM on 03 Oct 2007,
  • Philip Freeman wrote:

Of course the numbers do not add-up. Abromovich et al will be happy to pay £25k, but many of these non-doms are not super-rich may well leave. The reason taxes are so high in this country is not becuase of a few loop-holes, but the grotesque amount that is consumed by the state. Many people on farly moderate incomes are paying around 50% of their incomes in all taxes to keep our bloated state going. Until this is addressed, there will never be any meaningful reduction in the tax burden. Unfortunately I don't see this ever happening as too many people are now happy to leech off the state. Gordon Brown has effectively bought the vote of millions of people who either work for the state or receive their "income" from it. Shirley Porter got into trouble for this for doing something similar but on a much smaller cale. Gordon Brown is called a political collosus. It's doesn't take a genius to take other people's money and waste it.

  • 99.
  • At 10:22 PM on 03 Oct 2007,
  • Robert wrote:

Mark (post 87) hasn't quite picked up the point that I am being rhetorical.

Much of the charity industry operates its cash raising based on saving tax - including avoiding death taxes.

No IHT liabilty means no incentive to try to avoid tax by giving to charity.

The real pressure will come from the families of the relatively wealthy who will see any donation to charity by their parents in their wills as being straight out of their grasping little fingers and not tempered by the fact that with the current £300k limit they might have been taxed on it had it not been given to charity.

  • 100.
  • At 11:17 AM on 04 Oct 2007,
  • Liz H wrote:

Yet again I am utterly, utterly astounded by the lack of support for a fair level of inheritance tax.

Why on earth would anyone with a sense of fairness and social justice believe I should be entitled to have a windfall of £999,999 for doing absolutely nothing (other than having a fortunate accident of birth which would probably have also already led to me having a pretty well paid job anyway) and pay not a penny tax on that windfall? Yes, tax has been paid on that income before (assuming that to accumulate that wealth your parents haven't employed a clued-up financial advisor to exploit a few legal loopholes) but I myself would not have paid a penny of tax on this rather large boost to my personal income.

It seems, to my dismay, that Maggie Thatcher was on to something when she said 'there is no such thing as society'. No one seems to want to support the system that enabled them to make and keep such wealth. Obviously, if everyone was altruistic enough to leave a fair proportion to good causes rather than their 'little darlings' there'd be no need to IHT at all but the majority of humanity unfortunately isn't like that.

By all means, let's have a debate about where the inheritance tax coffers should be spent. Perhaps we could introduce a mechanism whereby it is given directly to local hospitals, schools, the police or a scheme to provide funding to help those without rich mummies and daddies to start up businesses. But let's not pretend that being so unwilling to put anything back once you're dead is anything more than selfish. It undermines socialist ideas of fairness and undermines capitalist ideas of encouraging hard work and speculation by allowing trustafarians to sit on their backsides waiting for mum and dad to pop off and leave them their million tax-free. Getting £300K tax-free is more than enough in my humble opinion. £1 million is disgraceful.

If the Tories really want the be the party of lower taxes, let's see some commonsense economics and reduce some really unfair taxes - VAT, which is a completely regressive tax, council tax, or even reduce the income tax bill to encourage us all to work a bit harder (keep GB's 1% reduction in BR and bring back the 10% rate!).

As someone with little chance of getting on the property ladder for some time, thanks for noticing me David but I doubt your stamp duty cut'll have any effect. Rather than giving it to George Osborne, I'll just end up giving it to another of the ever-increasing crew of property magnates. How about realising we need more houses, many, many more, and start applying a bit of pressure to the NIMBY planning committees across the UK?

And as for fixing our 'broken society' don't even get me started. Don't believe everything in the Daily Mail - it's no more broken than it's ever been. Let's stop moaning and start having some pride in it and thanks for it. Burma instead, anyone?

  • 101.
  • At 11:24 AM on 04 Oct 2007,
  • Anne wrote:

The level of ignorance about the media hyped "non-doms" on this comments page is shocking. Any non-domiciled UK resident is a foreigner (usually from outside the EU) who has chosen to live and work (and contribute by paying taxes!) in the UK, often for a specific duration. Many non-doms, including myself, do not intend to settle in the UK permanently. We are already taxed on our overseas earnings in our home countries. Why should we pay UK tax on money earned entirely abroad, which has nothing to do with the UK?

Most of us are not the super-rich that the media (and commenters) keep harping about, but ordinary people with full time jobs, contributing to the UK economy. The idea that we are all "tax-dodgers" is frankly absurd and insulting. The Tories have shown shocking ignorance and incompetence in proposing the 25k annual levy, which should surely only be applicable to the relatively few multi-millionaire non-doms among us. The rest of us working professionals would have no choice but to leave the UK.

  • 102.
  • At 12:14 PM on 04 Oct 2007,
  • Anne wrote:

The level of ignorance about the media hyped "non-doms" on this comments page is shocking. Any non-domiciled UK resident is a foreigner (usually from outside the EU) who has chosen to live and work (and contribute by paying taxes!) in the UK, often for a specific duration. Many non-doms, including myself, do not intend to settle in the UK permanently. We are already taxed on our overseas earnings in our home countries. Why should we pay UK tax on money earned entirely abroad, which has nothing to do with the UK?

Most of us are not the super-rich that the media (and commenters) keep harping about, but ordinary people with full time jobs, contributing to the UK economy. The idea that we are all "tax-dodgers" is frankly absurd and insulting. The Tories have shown shocking ignorance and incompetence in proposing the 25k annual levy, which should surely only be applicable to the relatively few multi-millionaire non-doms among us. The rest of us working professionals would have no choice but to leave the UK.

  • 103.
  • At 05:52 PM on 04 Oct 2007,
  • Quietzapple wrote:

It is entirely natural, I think, to hope and work to help one's chidlren to become capable, happy, fulfilled and to hope that some characteristics will be passed on through them, cultural and genetic, without those being too much of a disadvantage of course!

Passing on a pile of bricks may be a useful add-on, but it is not a spur for inheritors to work hard, to aspire, or to become whomever they can become.

Entirely reasonable for the state to impose death duties, most especially as we have few signiicant property taxes, while incomes are taxed moderately.

Little wonder that so much of the arguement of the toryraggies who have taken this up reads like work of the dung beetles - repetitive and pretty far down the scale of complexity for social beings.

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