Sunday, 21 March 2010

In praise of Lord Ashcroft

With all the vilification of Ashcroft going on, I thought I'd offer a brief and different perspective. As far as I can tell, Ashcroft's businesses are all legitimately based in the Caribbean. He is not doing anything illegal or contrary to the tax code.

At the same time as he is legally minimising the money he pays to this profligate and useless government (and the useless and profligate governments that preceded it!) he still finds the time and pocket depth to fund charities that he believes are important and education in the UK -- with his own money.

Also, quite unlike many other rich Lords, he hasn't been sticking his hand into the taxpayer's pocket for fraudulent "expenses" (as far as we know, and I'm pretty damn sure Labour would have been all over him if he had!)

Now, as far as I can tell, the business of him being a non-dom is also entirely irrelevant. It's not illegal and frankly, I have no idea why people think it's an issue. Ask any ex-pat from any country in any of their new domiciles whether they still have a keen interest in the homeland and almost all of them will. So it's not unnatural for Ashcroft to be interested in UK politics even if he has no business interests here.

As far as I can see, Ashcroft is doing nothing that is morally different from you or I taking the full benefit of the pitiful tax-free allowance that Gordon deigns to give us all.

He may have faults, he may be a closet ogre, he may be a fool for supporting the Tories rather than LPUK, but his tax affairs are not any reason to vilify him and he does have many praiseworthy qualities.


APL said...

Like you, I too see nothing to justify all the hysteria.

The agreement the Labour party and the BBC make all the fuss over is one supposedly made between the Tory Party and Ashcroft to get his peerage. That peerage was not awarded by the Tory party ( although they sponsored him ) so even if Ashcroft is not adhering to the agreement it is the Tory party that got stiffed, nobody else.

There are worse 'peers'' that we never hear about, oddly enough they seem to be Labour sponsored; Lord Paul and Mittal although I don't know if the latter is a peer just now. But Paul is alledged to have bought a united Kingdom company and asset stripped the company, destroying the pension fund in the process.

Not a squeak out of the 'honest sons of toil' in the Labour party on that one.

Joe Public said...

At least Lord Ashcroft is British born & bred.

sixtypoundsaweekcleaner said...

My suspicions are always aroused when someone becomes on object of NuLiebour vilification. It often means that they are doing something right, something worthy of praise and something those dimwits in power are just plain jealous of.

wv: mentyl

Well, yes...

Mark Wadsworth said...

Agreed. I don't like him at all, but all this non-dom argument is heading in the wrong direction.

While I fail to see any justification for taxing dom's and non-doms any differently, instead of saying "He should pay more tax, same as us" we should be saying "We'd like to pay less tax, like he does".

Call me Infidel said...

Well said Obo this whole Ashcroft affair is horseshit. I seriously doubt anyone with Ashcroft's income would want to see it spunked away on the job dodgers and parasites that infest most of Britain these days.

Ashcroft may not be a likable chap. I don't know not having met him. However he doesn't make my skin crawl the way that the odious slimy fuckrat Mandleson does.

formertory said...

You believe it or not at your own discretion, of course, but it was reported recently that Ashcroft has attended the Lords something like 800 times (I forget the exact figure) at zero cost to the taxpayer. Fellow non-dom Lord Paul has attended something like 1200 times, claiming £281,000 in expenses.

Also (same article) Ashcroft buys each and every one of the VCs sold by the families of the winner, and then presents the medal to the country.

Not bad for someone who seems to be disliked just because it's fashionable.

APL said...

Mark Wadsworth: "we should be saying "We'd like to pay less tax, like he does"."


No one, least of all the Tory party makes the case for less tax.

Mitch said...

Panorama are making a film about him now!!! rushed out before the election is called no doubt and an even handed look rather than a hatchet job at labors behest.

thefrollickingmole said...

Years ago Australias richest man humiliated a senate enquiry/witchunt which summonsed him to explain how he managed his tax liabilities.
Unfortunately I cant find a single clip of it.

Heres the quotein question, it should be repeated every time some statist call for more money.

“I pay what I’m required to pay, not a penny more, not a penny less. If anybody in this country doesn’t minimise their tax, they want their heads read because, as a government, I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra.”

Kerry Packer in 1991 at Senate: Select Committee on Certain Aspects of Foreign Ownership Decisions in Relation to Print Media quoted in Sydney Morning Herald 18-19 February 2006 p 41

It made the assembled politicos look like a bunch of clowns, beautiful!

John Pickworth said...

I've never really understood this non-dom business to be frank.

Sure, if you're earning your crust here then you should be subject to our taxes. If you're doing the same thing elsewhere then you should be subject to that country's tax. Where it all seems to get complicated is when each country claims you must pay a share to them both. Why?

What sticks in my throat is the notion that the State 'owns' you, that you must pay tax because... well, because they say so, because YOU owe them something even if your profits are derived purely on the graft and resources of a foreign land.

I'm sorry, but unless I have a incomplete understanding of the issue then its wrong, unnatural and illogical.