Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Non-Doms - In the Tories Own Words

"I think it time to pass a law that says that if you want to be in the Houses of Parliament, if you want to be a legislator, you need to be or be treated as a full UK taxpayer."

"There are members of the House of Lords whose tax status is unclear. If you want to sit in the House of Lords or Commons you have to be a fully resident UK taxpayer.

"We would pass that law if we get elected. We would pass it straight away, we would bring it into force as rapidly as we could. I think that would put the situation beyond doubt."

So said David Cameron in a Sky news interview on 12 December last year.

So what have the Tories said about non-dom status of MPs and Lords over the years? Especially over the status of major donor Lord Ashcroft.

David Cameron

1 December 2009 "[Zac Goldsmith]'s obviously going to end this status and become a full UK taxpayer and he needs to do that as rapidly as can be done." Adding that all candidates for Westminster should do likewise.

2 December 2007 "I am satisfied that the undertakings [Lord Ashcroft] gave are being met and I've reassurances.....that he is resident in the UK and pays taxes in the UK."

5 February 2008 "[Lord Ashcroft] gave assurances, I've sought assurances about them. I've been given them and I'm happy to leave it at that."

Lord Ashcroft

Statement before enoblement

9 December 1999 "Mr Ashcroft has told The Times that he recognises the concern about foreign funding and that he intends to reorganise his affairs in order to return to live in Britain."

William Hague

Apparently saying it was a done deal. Letter to Number supporting his peerage 1999.

"This decision will cost him 9and benefit the Treasury) tens of millions a year yet he considers it worthwhile."

George Osborne

On 14 February 2010 was asked in a Sky interview five times about Ashcroft's status, the best he could come up with about someone who's donated more than £4 million to the Tory war chest was, "Lord Ashcroft's tax affairs are a matter between him and the Inland Revenue."

Eric Pickles

5 December 2009 When asked about Ashcroft's tax status: "He'll be very happy to tell you."

9 February 2010 "This obsession with Lord Ashcroft is ridiculous."But refusing to mute such obsession. He claimed that the "scandal deep at the heart of politics" was not whether or not Lord Aschroft paid tax in the UK, but the extent of the reliance of the Labour party for funds on the trade unions.

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