Did Tory London Mayor hopeful Zac Goldsmith REALLY speak up for tax avoidance?


Yes he did – on the BBC’s Newsnight on February 16.

It is a little more complicated than London Labour has suggested, though. Having spent more than 10 years as a non-dom, Goldsmith relinquished that status before becoming an MP.

He does, however, benefit from a discretionary trust of £1.2 billion, set up by his late father, the financier Sir James Goldsmith, run from Geneva.

So how much tax did Mr Goldsmith avoid while he was a non-dom? Does he still benefit from tax-exempt income?

Does he think avoiding tax is justified, as a member of the political party that used a financial crisis to squeeze cash from the poor while claiming “we’re all in it together”?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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13 thoughts on “Did Tory London Mayor hopeful Zac Goldsmith REALLY speak up for tax avoidance?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      “A person who lives in a country but is not legally domiciled in it, sometimes obtaining tax advantages in the country of residence.”

      1. Stephen Mellor

        Why is it selfish to want to keep your own money?

        Isn’t it more selfish to take, by force, other peoples’ hard-earned cash to spend on your favourite causes?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Like the Tories are doing at the moment?

        It isn’t your own money. You can’t make that money except as part of the wider society – you’d have nobody with whom to trade. Therefore it makes sense that everybody should contribute to the society that helps feed them. It’s not rocket science – human beings have organised themselves in this way since tribal times.

        That being said, if you want to keep your money, carry on. Don’t pay any taxes, but in addition: DON’T spend it in any shops. DON’T invest it in any banks or businesses. Keep it to yourself. See how far that gets you.

      3. Daniel

        Is it worth responding? It’s clear that Mr Mellor is entrenched in the “taxes are theft” neoliberal mentality, and no amount of reasoning will convince him otherwise.

        Of course, we could point to one of the other entrenched myths perpetuated by his ilk, which is that “deficits are imposing our debts onto our children” (which, by the way, are also completely wrong) and thus his belief that tax avoidance is a social good means he thinks denying the opportunity to pay off the debt and reduce the deficit must also be a social good, in spite of the fact it contradicts the “deficits are bad” mantra, but chances are his cognitive dissonance helps him ignore such contradictions anyway!

      1. Stephen Mellor

        Happy to.

        First, paying less tax shifts the burden of responsibility (slightly) from the state to the individual. This increases the freedom of the individual who can spend as he likes, not as dictated by the state. That’s a social good.

        Second, paying less tax means the gov’t has to focus on essential services, not politically favourable transfers, like, for example, child benefit, the taxes for which are paid by your average family of four, who then get the same money back. That’s a social good.

        Third, that family of four (or whoever) will have more money to spend. It costs money to put the tax in place, then to disburse the money back to the same people. Plus the government employees would have to find productive jobs. That’s a social good.

        Fourth, the politically unfavoured, such as people with no children, will keep their own money and not subsidise the unaffordable. That’s a social good.

        Fifth, globally, tax avoidance is competition. Again that reduces the total amount spent my governments. That’s a social good.

        In short, anything that reduces the power the state has to make your economic decisions is a social good. And that’s tax avoidance.

  1. Malcolm MacINTYRE-READ

    OH… I get it Stephen. There is no such thing as society, so long as you don’t have to worry where the next Bentley is coming from.

    Do you have acquaintance with Donald Trump? If so, do ask him how he managed to get Scottish police officers to apprehend a journalist questioning local plebs about having their electricity and water cut off so as not to upset the construction DT’s golf club.

    You could find that info useful in wanting to swan through life with no concern or responsibility for anyone else?

Comments are closed.