Ed Miliband announced his plan to end the 'non-domicile' tax status that allows for wealthy UK residents to limit the taxes paid on foreign earnings, if his party is able to form a government after the general election, on May 7th. He explains that the idea that everybody should play by the same rules, is a key British value and the 'non-domicile' status is a "200 year old loophole" used by some to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
During his speech at the University of Warwick, this morning, the Labour leader revealed that there are now over 116,000 'non-domicile' residing in the UK, making Britain "an off-shore tax haven for a few" and costing the country "at least hundreds of millions of pounds in taxes".
The 'non-domicile' are British residents whose permanent home is deemed to be outside of the UK and therefore don't have to pay taxes on income generated overseas, unlike the UK domiciles who have to pay taxes on all of their income and earnings even if generated abroad.
The Guardian revealed, last month, the example of HSBC's chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, who is able to claim 'non-domicile' status because he has previously worked in Hong Kong, although he was born and raised in the UK, has been working in Britain for the past 12 years and his children go to school in the UK. Another famous example of a 'non-domicile' claimer is Chelsea's Russian billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich.
The Conservatives accuse Miliband and his party of being confused releasing a transcript of an interview, three months ago, by the Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls where he claims that abolishing the 'non-domicile' rule would "end up costing Britain money because there will be some people who will then leave the country".
Ed Miliband has responded by saying that independent experts guarantee that abolishing the 'non-domicile' rule would raise hundreds of millions of pounds and that "even the Tories are not claiming that it won't raise money". He added that ending the 'non-domicile' rule is the "right thing to do", since it would abolish a privilege and force everyone to play by the same rules. #Government