QE-a Culpa

Recently I’ve been looking through some of the articles I’ve written about QE over the last few years. I spent much of the post financial crisis period learning about monetary theory and wondered about the extent to which this was reflected in my commentary. I feel that my understanding has increased significantly, and so I should reassess my previous claims. (more…)

7 policies the Labour Party should adopt in Opposition

The Labour Party is in disarray, and looking for a new leader. But being the official opposition party is an important duty, and can change the terms of the political debate. Here are the policy issues the party should concentrate on if it wants to make an impact in opposition, and eventually restore its electoral prospects.  (more…)

LFTRs: The Future of Green Nuclear?

The nuclear industry is abuzz with talk of an avant-garde next-generation nuclear concept, pundits are chattering and governments are starting to show interest; advocacy for thorium is gaining traction and LFTRs are stealing the show. Some, such as fervid thorium exponent Kirk Sorensen, are proclaiming this technology to be the innovation that revolutionises our approach to energy and invigorates our fight against climate change.[i] (more…)

The Collected Economic Nonsense

In his latest series of blogs, the Adam Smith Institute’s President, Dr Madsen Pirie took aim at 50 of the most prevalent and pernicious falsehoods about economics. Read them all here in this collection of all 50 pieces.


Non-Sense: Examining the arguments and rhetoric around non-dom tax provisions

  • Being a UK resident with non-domiciled status simply means that one does not intend to remain indefinitely. The tax system requires residents to be taxed on their foreign income. Non-doms resident in the UK elect to be taxed on either the arising basis (their worldwide income is taxed automatically) or the remittance basis (they are only taxed on worldwide income if they bring it to the UK). 2008 reforms mean that after 7 years of UK residence, non-doms who choose to be taxed in the latter way must pay a yearly fee of £30,000 (rising to £50,000 after more years of residence).
  • Ed Miliband has claimed that there are 116,000 non-doms but this ignores those of the UK’s 400,000 international students and 6 million foreign-born workers who did not have to file a self-assessment form and those who did file it but did not tick the non-dom box. It is estimated that something like 1 million are not permanent residents, so are by definition non-doms.
  • The rules introduced by Labour (and supported by the Tories) in 2008 ended up only hurting less wealthy non-doms and did nothing to really wealthy ones: electing to be taxed on a remittance basis benefits only those with very high foreign incomes.
  • The UK is far from the only country with an arrangement for taxing foreign incomes. In fact, of the 221 jurisdictions which have some form of personal income tax, a mere 35 tax only local income.
  • There is a substantial literature showing that tax systems are very important in deciding where top talent goes. It tells us that punitive changes to the UK tax system could discourage the most valuable potential immigrants from footballers to inventors.
  • Changing how we determine someone’s domicile is likely to have unintended consequences. First, making it easier to acquire a new domicile might reduce inheritance tax receipts, as UK domiciled residents of foreign countries currently pay UK death duties on their worldwide estates. Second, changes to the concept of domicile would have repercussions in other areas of law, such as matrimonial matters and determining the validity of wills.
  • The ethical justifications for Ed Miliband’s view that it is immoral that non-doms do not pay tax on their foreign income are deeply contentious. There is no principled moral case for taxing more than local income.