Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Zac Goldsmith tax status, blogviews

I was looking at the bloggers covered the story of Zac Goldsmith tax status. Zac is the editor of the ecologist, the son of billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith who founded of the Referendum Party.

I have yet to see much from Labour or the Greens on this, the Tories defend him, but its LD bloggers who are going to town on this, some in a nasty way. Perhaps because he is hoping to win the parliamentary seat currently held by Liberal Democrat Susan Kramer in Richmond Park.

Alex Wilcock ‘senior Liberal Democrat policymaker’ loveandliberty
In today’s ‘You couldn’t make it up’ news, multi-millionaire Conservative candidate tax-dodger Zac Goldsmith has furiously defended his “non-domicile” tax status… Because he gives away some of his tax-dodged wealth. As he nearly said, ‘How dare you criticise me, you plebs, just because you get taxed for working hard for a living and I dodge tax on my unearned millions! I spend all my money how I like, and if I’m bountiful enough to drop a few coppers to paupers, they should be jolly grateful, so I’m jolly cross they don’t doff their bally caps. Let them eat environmentally friendly cake!’

The CAPS loving millennium dome
You cannot have failed to notice the revelation that Conservatory golden/green poster-boy and anti-Liberal Democrat candidate Mr Zac Goldfinger, son of millionaire Bond Villain Sir Jammy Goldfinger, has been caught out avoiding tax. Meanwhile, ENTIRELY COINCIDENTALLY, Monday 30 November was the deadline (now extended to January) for UK citizens to tell Mrs the Queen's Customs and Revenue about any pots of cash that they have squirreled away in OFFSHORE TAX HAVENS.

liberalbureaucracy says Zac Goldsmith - not a fit and proper person to be an MP? Zac is guilty of a degree of hypocrisy. Proposing a range of green taxes when you are actively avoiding paying what many would see as fair levels of taxation smacks of 'one rule for you, another for me'.

LD Cllr Ian Shires says'Mr Goldsmith, who is also standing as a Tory candidate at the General Election, is avoiding paying hugs sums of tax on his estimated £200million fortune.'
If only we could all pay in hugs!

LD Andrew says 'Another week and another Tory being a complete hypocrite shock, this week it is the turn of Zac Goldsmith who has finally admitted being a 'non-dom'. George Osborne and David Cameron say one thing to the public to try and get votes and here we see how they act in private, utterly appalling and once again highlights their hypocritical approach and attitude.'

Steve Beasant says'Goldsmith’s 300-acre ecological farm in Devon and a house in Richmond are both owned by companies based in the Cayman Islands. The farm was bought in 2001 and the house in Richmond was bought in 2007 for £7.75m. A house in Fulham, west London, was bought in 2004 and is owned by an investment company based in Liverpool.'

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, Lib Dem Treasury spokesman, said
He’s not fit to sit in Parliament when he’s claimed non-dom status all his life to keep his offshore hundreds of millions free of income, capital gains or inheritance tax.”

You would think that having a dodgy benefactor like Michael Brown who donated £2.4m (from the proceeds of crime) and LD failure to pay it back would teach them some humility.

The Tories are defending him, Ian Dale describes any attack on Zac as 'Tofftastic'.
There was lots of sanctimonious guff on Twitter from assorted lefties last night about the Sunday Times story that Zac Goldsmith is a 'non dom'. What law has he broken? Yup, that's right, none. His tax status is a matter between him and the tax authorities.
Well thats not quite true, his tax status if of interest, or he wouldn't be changing it. This is not unlike the staus of major Tory donor Lord Ashcroft

Green Site Earth Stream says 'he insisted no new nuclear power stations would be built under a Tory government... He also said that if a Cameron government did not make progress on environmental issues after one term in power, then the Tories' political share price would go "through the floor". he admitted that he was seen by some as a wealthy Tory green toff, but refused to take questions on his tax status with reporters afterwards. He insisted: "I find it hard to imagine how I would be corrupted by power because I have no great career path planned out." He said the reputation of politics had fallen to a new low, but that politics was changing for the good due to the expenses scandal. The controversy over his tax status did not lead Goldsmith to hold back on expressing stark views on other issues. He called for a mandatory ban on plastic bags in supermarkets, a scaling back of the BBC to its core purpose and the closure of the food standards agency.

Some say twitter is going crazy on this subject, but Ive seen little evidence. You can read tweets on this here

His campaign website states: “Zac grew up in Richmond and went to school in Richmond. He has lived in Richmond most of his life.”

I think its up to the voters of Richmond Park to decide, some of whom will dislike but others will admire his skill at dodging tax. He gives the Tories some credibility, so if he were to stand down they would suffer from it. However he doesn't make their policy, he outnumbered by 'dinotories' like Lawson/Tebbit/Redwood.

There is an interesting debate on it here also.


Millennium Dome said...

"You would think that having a dodgy benefactor like Michael Brown who donated £2.4m (from the proceeds of crime) and LD failure to pay it back would teach them some humility. "

I'm afraid that's simply not true.

Your link is to the Times from a year ago; that story has been shown to be false by events in the last month


The electoral commission found that the donation was from 5th Avenue Partners, that is not Mr Brown but the company which he defrauded.

The Liberal Democrats were found to have acted entirely correctly and in good faith.

Large donations of this kind are bad for politics, so it may have been better in the long run not to have accepted it, but the Lib Dems were never anything other than entirely open and honest about the transaction, and there was never any question of 5th Avenue Partners (let alone Mr Brown personally) profiting by it.

I don't actually see how this relates to the question of a Tory candidate overlooking the need to the people he says he wants to represent that although he claims to be local he has been using non-domiciled tax status to protect an inherited, unearned fortune.

Thanks for the linkie, though.

Adrian Windisch said...

I thought there was a court caste about that one still going. Anyway the point is it was dodgy, just as Zacs tax status is a bit dodgy, neither appear to be actually illegal.

I find it interesting that no other party is attacking Zac, despite what Ian Dale said. Who knows how many voters try and avoid paying tax, they may well sympathise with him.

Adrian Windisch said...


The ruling may now be challenged in the High Court by aggrieved victims of Brown’s fraud who have described the Electoral Commission’s findings as a “whitewash” and a “disgrace”.