Between two fires: The rich flee Britain to save their capital

Between two fires: The rich flee Britain to save their capital

With Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calling an election for July 4, wealthy people in Britain – from foreign billionaires to City of London bankers – are rushing to protect their money as the ruling Conservative Party and opposition Labour Party have promised to abolish preferential tax treatment for non-domiciled residents – wealthy foreigners known as non-doms. This is reported by Bloomberg.

It is noted that some of the rich cash out investments, pay bills that threaten to grow soon, or simply leave the UK. This is evidenced by interviews with more than two dozen wealthy people, who asked not to advertise their names, and wealth advisers, the newspaper said.

The Tories and Labour have promised to abolish preferential tax treatment for non-domiciled residents (just non-residents for short) – wealthy foreigners living in Britain. Labour leader Keir Starmer also has plans to tax the rich, and polls show his party ahead of rivals.

With some clients “panicking”, Sunak has “pulled the cheque out of an electoral grenade”, Polish tax and immigration adviser for the super-rich David Lesperance commented on the prime minister’s decision to call an early election.

“This will be a serious mistake that can be avoided if these changes go through as announced,” said Dominic Lawrence, a partner at international law firm Charles Russell Speechlys in London.

“Britain is expected to lose 3,200 wealthy people in the past year, the highest number in Europe and double the level in 2022, citizenship consultancy firm Henley & Partners has calculated. Britain’s reputation for legal and political stability has been damaged by the upheaval associated with Brexit and the succession of five different prime ministers-tory since 2016,” the paper said.

In addition to losing ground to popular destinations for the wealthy such as Monaco, Dubai and Switzerland, Britain also has to compete with Italy and Greece, which have rolled out programmes to attract wealthy foreigners. The UK scrapped the so-called “golden visa” programme in 2022.

The publication recalls that non-dom status was introduced in 1799 to protect colonial investments. Recent high-profile non-doms include former HSBC Holdings Plc chief executive Stuart Gulliver and former Conservative Party deputy chairman Michael Ashcroft. Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murthy, was also granted the status in 2022.

Labour has previously estimated it could gain about £3 billion ($3.8 billion) from the regime’s abolition, given that research suggests less than 1

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