Wealthy Brits are preparing “fire escape” tax plans if Labour enter government, a tax advisor has claimed.
David Lesperance, an international tax adviser, told the Telegraph he is acting as a “concierge” for well-off UK residents who want to protect their wealth after the next election.
It comes after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer promised fresh tax policies if he wins the next election, including wiping hedge fund preferential rates and scrapping ‘non-dom’ status
Lesperance, the Telegraph reports, said he is advising clients how new policies could impact their income and suggesting they sell off assets more than seven years prior to their death.
He told the paper: “They’re just watching the ‘tax the rich’ wildfire. The morning after the election, they’re going to say: ‘Okay, it’s at our doorstep and the political winds are blowing it our way. Let’s get out of here before it burns down our fiscal house.’”
He claimed clients who settled here for tax reasons to start with say they are willing to leave.
“The people who entered into a second marriage with the UK are even more likely to leave,” he said. “I can tell you because I’m the concierge leading them out the door.”
“They either have already left or have plans to leave and are just waiting to see which way the political wind is blowing.”
Starmer’s party, with shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves holding the purse strings, has insisted its policies on the NHS and school meals must be fully costed and meet fiscal rules.
Wealth taxes will not be imposed on property, the party says, and there are not thought to be plans to raise capital gains tax.
Research by the London School of Economics (LSE) says scrapping ‘non-dom’ tax status would not lead to an exodus from the UK – but the Treasury has disputed this finding.
A Labour spokesman said: “Labour believes that if you live in Britain and make your life here, you should pay your taxes here.
“We will abolish the 200-year-old, antiquated non-dom status, and introduce a modern scheme for people who are genuinely living in the UK for short periods – putting in place a system similar to other countries like Japan, France and Canada.”