Monday, March 17, 2008

Cross-bench support for Members' Taxation Status Bill

All members of the House of Lords will be forced to pay full British taxes on all their income or leave under a Bill which received its second reading last Friday.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson, Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott, said:

“Lords with millions stashed in tax havens from Liechtenstein to the Cayman Islands must not vote on laws for hard-pressed British families paying their full whack of tax.

“I have joined forces with Labour MP Gordon Prentice to get a Bill through Parliament this session, to make peers who dodge British taxes pay up or pack up.”

Labour MP Gordon Prentice has agreed to sponsor Lord Oakeshott’s Bill should it pass the Lords before his own similar Bill clears the Commons. Lord Oakeshott will return the compliment if the Prentice Bill reaches the Lords first.

Lord Oakeshott’s Bill will require Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to consider all members of the House of Lords as resident and domiciled in the UK for tax purposes.

Its supporters include Lord Strathclyde, Conservative Leader in the Lords and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC (Labour).

There is one openly non-resident member of the House of Lords, Lord Laidlaw (a Conservative donor), and one openly non-dom, Lord Paul (a donor to Gordon Brown's leadership campaign). Other members who refuse to confirm whether they are fully resident and domiciled in the UK for tax purposes include Lord Ashcroft, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.

Trouble ahead?

Peter Black quotes a Guardian report that the Establishment may support the Prentice Bill but not the Oakeshott one, in spite of Gordon Prentice's declared support for the Lords Bill.

It will be interesting to see whether this is purely down to party political spite, or whether the-powers-that-be find that the Prentice Bill affords more loopholes.
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