The row over Tory proposals to charge a £25,000 levy on non-domiciled’s
intensified today, as shadow chancellor George Osborne demanded an apology from
Alistair Darling for using vague estimates to rubbish the policy.
‘Now the truth has been exposed, and it turns out that when Alistair Darling
made his claims about our tax plans he was doing so knowing that he had been
warned by his civil servants that those claims should be treated with “a great
deal of caution”. The chancellor of the Exchequer has some apologising to do,’
said Osborne today.
The non-dom issue has been at the centre of a massive war of words between
Labour and the Conservatives.
The Tory plan to charge non-dom for tax privileges was swiftly challenged by
chancellor Darling, who said Treasury numbers showed there were only 15,000
non-doms who would pay the charge rather than the 150,000 estimated by the
A letter from permanent secretary Nicholas Macpherson to Osborne, however,
revealed that the figures for how many non-doms could afford to pay the levy
were based on estimates and should be treated with caution.
Macpherson said that the Treasury costing of a non-dom levy was based on the
best estimates ‘in an area where data from both self-assessment tax returns and
the Office of National Statistics are incomplete’.
In the letter Macpherson said: ‘…such estimates are not routinely made as the
information required is not collected… there is no complete data set for the
unremitted foreign income of non-domiciles, and the costing does not contain
such an estimate.’
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