Ashcroft finally admits, “I’m a non-dom”

The BBC reports:

Conservative donor and deputy party chairman Lord Ashcroft has admitted he is “non-domiciled” for tax in the UK. He said he agreed with David Cameron that anyone sitting in the Lords must be “resident and domiciled” in the UK.

He said he expected “to be sitting in the House of Lords for many years to come”, suggesting his status would change if the Tories win the election. Mr Cameron said, in another statement, he was “pleased” that Lord Ashcroft had decided to clarify his position.

Lord Ashcroft has donated millions of pounds to the Conservatives in recent years, much of which has been spent on campaigns by Tory candidates in marginal seats. He, and senior Conservative Party spokesmen, have refused to say what his tax status was over recent years, saying it was a private matter.

So, at long last, Lord Belize Ashcroft has finally admitted what had long been suspected: that he avoids paying as much tax in the UK as he can. Yet for the past decade he has seen nothing wrong with being a member of the House of Lords who legislates on how the rest of us get taxed, and how the money raised from us is spent.

As Chris Huhne commented back in December:

… it looks increasingly like the Tories see taxes as something that happens to other people. … If Zac Goldsmith must give up his non-dom status to stand for Parliament, how can Lord Ashcroft be a non-dom and sit in Parliament?”

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10 Comments

  • Martin Land 1st Mar '10 - 11:28am

    So what’s the legal position on all his donations?

  • As Dr Johnson remarked ” Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”. So now we know where the TORIES STAND.

  • It makes me want to puke.

    As for Hague – “Lord Ahscroft has fulfilled all his undertakings” – what a pathetic liar.

    In his statement Aschcroft says:

    >As the letter shows, the undertakings I gave were confirmed in a memorandum to William Hague dated 23rd >March 2000. These were to “take up permanent residence in the UK again” by the end of that year.”

    >In subsequent dialogue with the Government, it was officially confirmed that the interpretation in the first >undertaking of the words “permanent residence” was to be that of “a long term resident” of the UK

    So, in subsequent discussions, did the words, “by the end of that year” become – “not at all in the next ten years”?

  • For almost a decade William Hague has known precisely what commitment Michael Ashcroft gave. It was to ‘take up permanent residence in the UK’. It was not to be domiciled for tax purposes in the UK.

    All those involved in the award of Ashcroft’s peerage either did know or should have known the difference between taking up permanent residence and being domiciled for tax purposes.

    Having rejected the award of a peerage to Ashcroft once those responsible for the honours system nevertheless went on to award him a peerage and they did so without extracting a firm promise from him to settle in the UK for tax purposes. They need to be publicly identified and questioned about their behaviour.

    The award of the peerage stinks! And the rot responsible for the stink must lie at the very core of our political system.

    It is at least as great a scandal as the abuses of parliamentary allowances and expenses, revealed by the Telegraph. And it is a political scandal that has been fermenting for much longer and doing even greater damage to our political and economic system.

    No one with any sense and integrity could possibly doubt that any politicians who were privy to Michael Ashcroft’s tax status were anything other than hypocrites if they claimed to be campaigning to clean up UK politics while failing to come clean about this dirty secret.

  • Is the man down the pub talking about this?

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