Sunday, 7 March 2010

Non Dom Status

Harriet Harman on this mornings Andrew Marr show was very keen to keep the spotlight on Lord Ashcroft. We now know that more than £10 million pounds has been donated to Labour coffers by Lords Paul, Noonan and others - all of whom appear to be non doms - as well as similar sources to the Lib Dems.

Harman argues that Ashcroft has broken 'assurances' given at his enoblement and misled his own party, calling Cameron's judgement into doubt. Yet both the Cabinet Office and Parliamentary authorities have given the peer a clean bill of health in this weeks report.

Leaving aside the fact that Cameron had no role in Ashcroft's peerage - it was well before his time - the question nobody has asked is why were such 'assurances' not obtained from Labour or Lib Dem peers prior to their appointment? Or is it that 'a future fair for all' applies only to those that vote Labour?

Harman also needs to explain why - after thirteen years in government - did it take the intervention of Cameron in proposing that all members of parliament - both commons and peers - should renounce their non dom status and pay full UK tax in order to stay members, before the government acted?