LORD Ashcroft, the Tory deputy chairman and party donor, yesterday bowed to growing pressure and admitted he was a “non-dom” for tax purposes.
But he suggested he would soon give up his non-dom status, and pointed at a handful of Labour and Liberal Democrat donors and peers that are in a similar position.
Ashcroft, who had previously refused to answer questions about his tax status, rushed out a statement yesterday morning ahead of a response to a Freedom of Information request.
The Cabinet Office was poised to reveal the promises Ashcroft made when then Tory leader William Hague recommended him for a peerage in 2000. Ashcroft said he had told Hague he would become a permanent resident in the UK, but that the government had agreed that “the interpretation… of the words ‘permanent residence’ was to be that of a ‘long-term resident’”.
He confirmed he was a “non-dom” – someone who is resident in the UK but not domiciled there for tax purposes. But he said he supported Cameron’s plans to force those sitting in the Lords to be domiciled in the UK for tax purposes, adding he expected to be an active peer for “many years”. That suggests he is planning to relinquish his non-dom status.