As we explained in detail some time ago, Britain changing the rules for non doms is, to put it lightly, not cricket.
Now, thanks to a FOIA request, we have a number to juggle with:
UK sees non-dom ‘exodus’ as £30,000 levy hits home
The number of UK “non doms” has fallen by almost 16,000 after a £30,000 levy was imposed on offshore earnings, official figures show.
HM Revenue & Customs said the number of UK residents escaping tax on income or capital gains held in offshore bank accounts had declined from 139,000 to 123,000 in the year prior and after the launch of the £30,000 remittance basis charge in April 2008.
The 11.5pc decline was the first for five years and is likely to have been repeated in 2010 as more long-term non-dom residents become liable to the change, lawyers said.
McGrigors, the law firm which secured the figures under a Freedom of Information request, said the “collapse” in numbers of non-doms should be a warning to the Government not to tighten the rules on how offshore wealth is taxed.
The Coalition has pledged a review to assess whether non doms were making “a fair contribution to reducing the deficit” and a Treasury spokesman said last night that the review was “ongoing”. “A further announcement will be made at the appropriate time,” he said.
These people leaving the UK is a rational, and predictable response to the threat of theft; take a look at the details that were published outlining the new, byzantine and insane rules that were being mooted. Even if all of them were not implemented, the threat of them would have been enough for people to get out while the getting was good. But I digress.
What does this 16,000 number mean? What impact will it have on the people who are left behind?
To take just one example, it means that the restaurant visits these people will make in London will now not be made.
If these non-doms eat at a restaurant twice a week, which is very likely, and each of these meals costs £150, which is a perfectly reasonable assumption given the bracket these people are in, we can multiply the number of non-doms by the cost of these meals by two, which is:
16000*2*150 = £4,800,000
Four million, eight hundred thousand pounds, per week, taken away from the London restaurant trade.
That is £249,600,000 taken out of the restaurant trade in a single year, just shy of a quarter of a billion pounds; and remember, the number of non doms escaping this insanity is increasing. Bear in mind also, that this is just the restaurant trade. Every day non doms are in the country, they are spending money just being alive, on a myriad of other goods and services. That money too, is now gone forever.
None of this factors in the connections, future connections, future investment and everything else non dom entrepreneurs and high grade workers
bring would have brought to the UK that would have been the seeds of future growth, that will now be planted in more fertile ground.
This is exactly the opposite of what HMG should be doing if they want growth to accelerate in the UK.
But you know this!