An interesting discussion from Robert Peston divulging what he hears from his banker friends, who admit that they see the UK as the world’s biggest, most developed tax haven“.
Now given the Tories constant moaning about how much tax billionaires have to pay (which for some of them doesnt even include council tax) and hence why they dare not raise it any further (or perhaps crack down on tax avoidance and get them to pay the taxes they are legally supposed to) this might seem a little odd.
After all if a billionaire wants to avoid tax altogether, as Ive pointed out before, he need only go to somewhere else in the world and pay almost no tax, like Russia or Dubai. Indeed the tax rates in Ireland just across the water from the UK are actually lower than in London. Of course the real reason why such billionaires are here is because they see London as a safe haven. They dare not store their wealth in a country like China or Russia, because they know that if they fall out of favour with the regime that will be the last they ever see of theyre money…before being invited to lunch with Putin in a sushi bar! 😳
Of course equally I would argue that if there are other reasons why they are here, taxing them a little more heavily, e.g. bring back the 50p tax or altering council tax such that property investors pay it also. Indeed we have the hypocrisy of the Tory bedroom tax on working class londoners, while many mansions are left empty for years in London with not a penny paid in tax. Ive long argued a local income tax or a property tax system would be fairer anyway. Either way these and various other measures would not necessarily drive many of the rich away, but it would net a substantial quantity of much needed cash for the exchequer.