Treasury withholds non-dom facts

The Treasury has refused to reveal when it first proposed its £30,000 charge
on residents non-domiciled, amid claims that the government stole the policy
from the Tory party.

Despite boasting in response to a similar request that it had been working on
proposals for an overhaul of inheritance tax before the Tories had, the
government turned down similar questions on the non-dom policies.

At their October party conference, the Tories outlined a £25,000 charge for
non-doms to pay for raising the IHT threshold to £1m. Alistair Darling then
announced IHT changes and a £30,000 charge for non-doms the next week.

‘You have asked for information on the timing of when particular stages in
the formulation or development of a policy measure occurred, and the titles of
documents. Our information is not recorded in that way as a readily available
series of discreet information,’ the Treasury response to Accountancy
Freedom of Information request said.

When The Daily Telegraph asked about the government’s IHT changes,
it revealed it had been working on them as early as January, and published its
response to the request on its website.

Tory shadow chief secretary to the treasury Philip Hammond said: ‘When it
suited Gordon Brown, the Treasury responded to an FOI request on the origins of
their Inheritance Tax policy with amazing speed. Those documents showed that the
IHT idea was only advanced by government after the Conservatives raised it.

‘People will draw their own conclusions about where Labour got the non-doms
idea from.’

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