It seems so incredible. Why would you consider standing for the UK parliament if you are a “non-domicile” of this country?
Why would you even want to be an MP if you are a “non-domicile”?
And what about the candidate selection procedure? We’ve had all that hoo-ha about Ms Truss in Norfolk, over alleged non-disclosure of an affair some years ago. What on earth was said at Zac Goldsmith’s selection meeting at Richmond?
Were the selection electorate aware that he was a “non-domicile”? Did he disclose it?
Often in the past, candidates have made solemn promises to move to the constituency if selected. But it seems quite outlandish that Mr Goldsmith may have been required to make a promise to become a full domicile of this country if selected as a candidate.
One wonders if perhaps Mr Goldsmith just sailed through the selection procedure without touching the sides.
Update from the Richmond and Twickenham Times Monday 30th November:
Zac Goldsmith today hit back at reports he had dodged taxes – and insisted he would not give up the chance to be Richmond’s next MP.
It had been reported Mr Goldsmith, Conservative candidate for Richmond Park, was avoiding large tax bills on his fortune, estimated to be about £200m, because he claimed non-domicile tax status.
Lord Oakeshott, Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman, said Mr Goldsmith was not fit to sit in Parliament because he had “claimed non-dom status all his life to keep his offshore hundreds of millions free of income, capital gains or inheritance tax”.
But the potential MP has described the reports as “misleading” and said any suggestion he owes large sums of tax were “defamatory”.
Non-domicile status is usually reserved for foreign nationals or people with roots overseas and allows them to avoid tax on money earned outside the UK unless they bring the money back into the country.
Mr Goldsmith explained his father, Anglo-French billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith, created an international trust for all his children and his family has use of two homes that are owned by that trust. He said his non-domicile status was a reflection of his father’s international status but he had chosen to be tax resident in the UK.
He added: “Virtually everything I do is in the UK, and therefore the vast majority of my income comes to the UK, where I pay the full rate of tax on it.
“I do not derive any benefits as far as either capital gains tax or inheritance is concerned since I am registered for the latter in the UK.”
Mr Goldsmith, who hopes to win the parliamentary seat currently held by Liberal Democrat Susan Kramer at the next election, confirmed he had instructed his advisors to end his non-domicile status in April.
He added: “Because of choices I make, the status offers very few benefits.
“If there have been any savings at all, they are massively exceeded by the fact that a very large proportion of my post-tax income goes towards supporting environmental and charitable causes that I believe in.
“I do not believe family wealth accords any entitlement whatsoever in democratic politics.
“But nor do I believe it should be a barrier to my continuing to work for the things we all believe in.”