A petition has been launched demanding Tory deputy chair Lord Ashcroft of Belize pay back the £127 million he avoided paying in tax since 2000.
A petition has been launched demanding Tory deputy chair Lord Ashcroft of Belize pay back the £127 million he avoided paying in tax since his elevation to the Lords in 2000. Today’s Mirror has calculated the sum, and quotes Lib Dem home affair’s spokesman Chris Huhne, who said:
“He’s avoided vast sums in a non-dom tax dodge. Anyone who wants to pass laws about tax in this country should pay the full taxes and not hide behind the special offshore status of non-doms.”
The petition says:
“We, the undersigned, call on Lord Ashcroft to pay to the UK exchequer the tax for which he would have been liable had he not decided to be non-domiciled in the UK for tax purposes since 2000, so that it can be spent on the NHS, schools, police and other front line services.
“Commentators estimate that this sum could be as much as £127 million.”
It follows the highly-successful Facebook group, which now has more than 1,250 members.
This is how the Mirror calculated the £127 million figure:
“Lord Ashcroft’s fortune is estimated at £1,100 million by the Sunday Times Rich List.
“A 5% annual return is £55m. If he kept 80% offshore taxpayers would miss income from £44m.
He can split his tax between capital gains and income tax.
“At 18%, capital gains tax on £22m = £3.96m, plus 40% income tax on £22m = £8.8m. That’s £12.76m a year or £127.6m in 10 years.”
Earlier today, Left Foot Forward reported the huge influence Ashcroft has over the Tory party, and the potential effect he may have on the election. Ashcroft’s money pays for 78% of Tory spending in marginals, far higher than the 2% of donations the Tories have claimed.
John Slinger, who set up the petition, has just told Left Foot Forward:
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“The Tories and Lord Ahscroft may think that they can put this story to bed with a belated Damascan conversion to transparency, but it won’t wash. I set up this petition because I hope that the British public will think long and hard about what the Ashcroft affair says about the modern Tories.
“Ordinary people are struggling in the current economic circumstances, paying their taxes and often relying on public services such as the NHS to improve their life chances.
“Yet the Tories have as their Deputy Chairman a billionaire who chooses to pay only a fraction of his taxes in this country yet seeks to influence the outcome of the next election. It may be legal, but it’s a disgrace.”