By Amanda Vigar, Managing Partner, V&A Bell Brown LLP
Britain is open for business… or is it? It certainly should be with unemployment rising and the economy in the doldrums.
a time when this country needs more taxpayers and more
wealth-producing, industry- investing people, we’ve managed to make rich
foreigners feel less welcome and it looks like they’re taking their
money elsewhere. The country needs that like a hole in the head!
to HM Revenue and Customs’ own figures, the number of non-domiciled
taxpayers has fallen by 2,000 in a year. It may have something to do
with the £30,000 annual non-dom levy they’re being asked to pay for the
privilege of putting their stake in the UK.
According to a
Freedom of Information request, the damning stats show that the number
of non-doms has plummeted from 140,000 in 2008 to 116,000 now. These are
just the ones that are paying the levy – so likely to be on the wealthy
end of the spectrum!
This group of highly informed, highly
mobile, enormously wealthy wealth producers is, not surprisingly, also
very well informed. And they have highly skilled people to do their sums
for them, and they have decided that the UK is not the proposition it
once was – we’re not longer seen as a “light touch” tax and regulation
Foreign investment is always important to a successful
economy and the need to stay attractive to international money is
imperative to our country’s recovery and growth.
annual tax levy on non-doms who have been in the UK for between seven
and 12 years is not helping us. The levy is only part of a raft of other
tax measures, introduced or being discussed, which are gaining us a
reputation for being less welcoming to people with real spending power
than we once were.
We need to keep access to investment open
and easy. To do otherwise seems contrary to the ideals of a free market
and at odds with our role as an international centre for investment and
These non-domicile taxpayers will continue to take to
their luxury launches and abandon the good ship Britannia if they feel
the weather is no longer set fair. While they’re aboard, they will
invest in the UK and create jobs. When they’re abroad, they will invest
their money abroad. Time for a change of tack!