Domicile campaign gets serious backing

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My focus on the tax amnesty means I have not mentioned the serious backing given to the campaign to rid the UK of the domicile rules on taxation in yesterday's paper.

Nick Mathiason covered concern on this issue from the Lib Dems and questions being asked about whether Gordon Brown's most senior City advisor, Sir Ronald Cohen, takes advantage of these rules. If so, it would be serious. I do not see how anyone who does can be engaged as an adviser to senior figures in government. Put simply, they have declared their main allegiance is elsewhere and that precludes them in my view.

Then Ruth Sutherland addressed the issue, saying:

The problem is one of perceived unfairness, as people have seen taxes increase, and of widening inequality. The capital is becoming a city state detached from the rest of the UK, and the divisions within London itself are becoming starker. The danger is that we create an enclave economy with the super-rich behind gilded fortress gates.

As she said, noting the IMF report, to which I first drew the Observer's attention last week:

The popular image of a tax haven is one of lax regulation and dodgy money. We like to think this is not true of Britain, but if a country comes to rely on footloose tycoons for its prosperity, the incentives are there to lower standards.

Finally, the paper ran a major feature on why the domicile rules are a problem. In this they noted that Vince Cable of the Lib Dems is now asking questions of Gordon Brown about progress on the domicile review that has been ongoing since 2003, and on which I made submission as long ago as August 2003. This is great news. It's time the government was brought to account on this issue - as well as whether these rules comply with discrimination legislation.

This campaign is growing in momentum. It's one of those issues whose time has come.