Wednesday, 8 April 2015

End to non- dons..

Ed Miliband is stepping up his war on wealth creators by pledging to put an end to the "non-dom" tax status enjoyed by those who are British citizens but do not pay tax on earnings made outside the United Kingdom. The promise has already made a splash, featuring on the front pages of the Guardian, Independent, Mirror, the FT and the Times. 

The pledge marks the latest twist in Labour's "Rocky Horror" relationship with business. Miliband makes Labour jump to the left, with populist announcements like a freeze on energy prices. Others like Chuka Umunna then take Labour a step to the right, with their markedly more business-friendly approach. The shadow business secretary has said that Labour has no problem with people making "a lot of money", while Miliband has declared he wants to "bring back socialism" to Britain. The contrast couldn't be clearer. 

So what about Miliband's big announcement? Many wealthy Britons with interests overseas take advantage of the legal means of reducing their tax bill. The Treasury says there are about 110,000 "non-dom" residents, including some very well known business leaders and investors, and many others working for banks, hedge funds and private equity firms. 

Banning non-doms may make for good politics, but it's dangerous economics. The proposal could lead to a flight of talent and leave the exchequer hundreds of millions of pounds out of pocket, as well as massively hampering Labour's efforts to win around a sceptical business community. Labour say it is "impossible" to estimate how much the move would raise, and their "ban" may not be quite as comprehensive as would seem. The Guardian reports that Labour "will stress that foreigners in the UK for a genuine temporary short period will be able to retain non-dom status", with estimates for that "period" ranging from four to five years, leading George Osborne to mockingly conclude: "They are not actually abolishing non-dom status". 

Meanwhile, business leaders from 30 of the country's biggest companies have added their names to a letter to the Telegraph warning about the consequences of a Labour governmentIt means that 150 company bosses – including more than ten from FTSE 100 firms - have now signed the letter. The new critics include, rather embarrassingly for Miliband, former Labour supporter Simon Woodroffe, founder of YO! Sushi and a former Dragon's Den star. 

Under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, Labour regularly received the backing of Britain's biggest companies. Blair, who popped by his old Sedgefield constituency yesterday to talk about the EU, has previously said that Labour failed to win the 2010 election as "tellingly, we lost business". Britain's business leaders are rushing to back the Conservatives, while Miliband risks leaving his party out in the cold.


Tony Blair has suggested the public can't be trusted to make the "sensible choice" on Europe. The former Labour premier said that the Prime Minister's EU referendum will mean "exit will define his legacy". He added: "And, following the Scottish referendum, he knows the perilous fragility of public support for the sensible choice". Here are more detailsIt also emerged that Ed Miliband's top policy adviser recently attacked Tony Blair's "dystopian sink or swim" politics and called on the party to abandon the "soulless" ideology pursued by New Labour.


David Cameron has insisted the "Union is secure" despite the prospect of the SNP winning dozens of constituencies in the general election. He said that last year's independence referendum was "the chance of a lifetime" and will not happen again. The Prime Minister told The Telegraph that he is not concerned by the prospect of Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, attempting to force another vote. Meanwhile, Sturgeon was booed in the first Scottish leaders' debate when she refused to rule out a second referendum. Auslan Cramb has more


Natalie Bennett (no relation) has struggled to explain her flagship policies of government handouts for everyone in Britain and dismantling the Armed Forces in yet another difficult interview, Matthew Holehouse reports. The Green Party leader confirmed that the 'Citizens' Income' – a pledge to give every person in Britain £72 a week, at a cost of around £280 billion a year - would be in the manifesto. "Come back Caroline Lucas, all is forgiven", says Rupert Myers.


Parents will be given maths lessons in schools so that they can help their children with homework, under Conservative plans. Senior sources told The Telegraph's Peter Dominiczak that a Conservative government after the general election will look at an American-style scheme which offers lessons at parents' evenings because so many adults struggle with modern maths curriculums.


Nicola Sturgeon has pledged that the SNP would help make Labour's Ed Miliband prime minister if the Conservatives fail to win a majority in next month's general election. The Scottish First Minister made the offer as she clashed with Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy in the first televised Scottish leaders debate, who insisted his party did not need any "help". Charlotte Krol has the video


David Cameron has subtly accused the Liberal Democrats of leaking a memo that appeared in the Telegraph alleging that Nicola Sturgeon wanted to see him remain prime minister. An adviser to Alistair Carmichael, the Lib Dem Scottish Secretary, is expected to be questioned by Cabinet Office officials conducting a leak inquiry, according to the Independent.


This season, sandals, smocks and beards are out. Green Party activists have been asked to dress in a "mainstream" manner while meeting the public in order to put potential supporters at ease. The party's foot-soldiers are instructed to appear "level-headed", to not stand too close to people's front doors and to express their admiration for voters' homes. Here are more details


The Chancellor has refused to rule out cutting child benefits payments for millions of households by wrapping them into the Universal Credit system, Emily Gosden reports. Such a move could strip about 4.3 million middle and upper-middle income families of more than £1,000 a year, according to the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies. 


David Cameron and his wife Samantha visited the Titanic Studios in Belfast, where they saw the film sets for the TV drama Game of Thrones and were given a guided tour by weapons master Tommy Dunn. Here is footage from the visit, which came as part of Cameron's four countries election campaign trail.


British Jews will vote overwhelmingly for the Conservatives, an exclusive poll by the Jewish Chronicle has revealed. Asked who they would support in next month's general election, 69 per cent of Jewish voters said they would support the Tories. Only 22 per cent said they would vote Labour. The findings may be especially awkward for Miliband, who has a Jewish heritage, and he has spoken of his ambition to be "Britain's first Jewish PM". 


Nigel Farage said he was pleased Tony Blair had raised the issue of European Union membership. The Ukip leader said: "Bravo Tony Blair for raising the issue because for the last four or five general elections EU membership has been barely mentioned at all. I'd love to have a big debate over the next 30 days about the EU and about why we think Britain would be far better with a completely different relationship." Here are more details. Our view is "it's time to resolve this once and for all". 


The Conservatives have accused Labour of orchestrating a letter from doctors claiming that the NHS will not be safe if David Cameron wins the General Election.The letter says that five years of "flat-line funding" and "chaotic reoganisation" have "crippled the NHS", and claims that the Tories will reduce it to a "poor service for poor people". Steven Swinford has more. 


Support for the UK Independence Party, which emerged last year as a major force in British politics, has slipped back seven months, the party's leader has admitted. Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, told Chris Hope that the party's support was now back to levels last seen in August last year, after the party won the European Parliament elections but before the party returned two MPs to Parliament.


Not sure who to vote for yet? The Telegraph has teamed up with Vote Match, the UK's biggest voting advice app, in order to help you find the party that best matches your views. The app is quick and easy to use, and the results may surprise you...


Average of polls as of Sunday, April 5: Lab: 33.1%, Conservative: 33.1%, UKIP 13.9%, Lib Dem 8.7%, Green 4.8%. The data is from: YouGov, Populus, Opinium, ComRes, Survation, Ipsos MORI, ICM, TNS-BMRB. 


@TVKev: Is the "chaos" Tony Blair predicts if we quit the EU the same as the chaos he predicted if we didn't ditch Pounds for Euros?


From The Telegraph

Mary Riddell - David Cameron has most to fear from the return of Tony Blair, the apex predator

Dan Hodges - Is Tony Blair an asset or a liability to Labour? Ed Miliband needs to decide

From elsewhere

Lester Holloway - The Tories are becoming the party of ethnic diversity – Labour has to respond

Ryan Bourne - The NHS will have to become much more productive to survive. Not that you'd know it from this election campaign.


Passport checks are to be enforced for passengers leaving the UK

Russian President Vladimir Putin is to meet Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Moscow

Two years since the death of Margaret Thatcher

Ngel Farage campaigns in Grimsby

Nick Clegg visits Wiltshire

0920 Yvette Cooper on LBC radio about 999 call response times

1900 Culture Minister Ed Vaizey and shadow deputy prime minister Harriet Harman take part in a debate on arts and creative industries 

2100: Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Willie Rennie, Scottish Green Party co-convenor Patrick Harvie and David Coburn MEP take part in a Scottish leaders' debate on BBC One Scotland

The Office for National Statistics publishes the economic review for April 2015



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