Wednesday, February 20

Rock Don Ron Is A Non-Dom

Northern Rock chief Ron Sandler enjoys privileged non-domicile tax status, it emerged last night (The Sun provides my title). For those not following the melt-down that is British Chancellor Alistair Darling, Northern Rock was nationalised Monday following a bona fide run on the bank last year. We tax payers find ourselves on the hook for £100 billion after the government failed to sell the mortgage lender despite several offers including Richard Branson. Furthering Alistair's misery today, he blatantly stole an ill-conceived Tory suggestion to levy a £30,000 annual charge for UK residents who don't declare foreign income (so-called "non-doms"). This is us and about every other American in London. The intention is to penalize the Russians and the other in-your-face rich but instead may net an exodus of talent from London's financial centre, perhaps the sole world class asset this country enjoys and a driver of the UK economy. Us ex-pats pay in over £2 billion per year in taxes, excluding what we spend on the high street or invest from abroad. While Darling rescinded several of his more onerous positions including tax on foreign trust and asset registration, the nut remains in place and we shall see the outcome.

Photo of Sonnet from 1975, I would guess. Perhaps Stan can give me the year? Tonight Halley joins us for the night and we are having drinks with her and other non-dom friends at The Lanesborough.