Clegg’s wealth tax would provoke an asset exodus

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Nick Clegg – So so very very sorry excuse for a politician

Nick Clegg’s wealth tax would encourage wealthy Britons to move their assets out of the UK, which would reduce government revenue, warns the boss of the world’s largest independent financial advisory group.

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Clegg, speaking at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton, has called for a crackdown on “unearned wealth”, and told delegates that he is prepared to hobble the coalition’s next spending review, unless Chancellor George Osborne agrees to a wealth tax, including Vince Cable’s mansion tax of 1 per cent on homes worth more than £2m.

Nigel Green, the chief executive of the deVere Group, has slammed such proposals. He says: “The better off people in the UK already face a range of taxes including stamp duties on shares and properties, capital gains, inheritance taxes and high income tax rates.

“Extra taxes on wealth are likely to encourage high net worth individuals to move their assets and funds out of the country to jurisdictions with lower tax rates.

“An exodus of these assets would be bad for Britain as it would weaken other sources of government revenue. The income that assets held in the UK generate is a great potential stream of revenue which would be compromised if those assets were moved overseas.

“In addition, money held in the UK is a possible source of investment in British businesses which provide employment and income and boost consumer spending and tax revenues.

“In short, attacking the wealthy will dampen the UK’s economic growth and job creation and will send capital overseas.

Such compelling arguments, voiced today by Mr Green, persuaded many European countries, including Germany, Austria, Sweden and Denmark, to drop such wealth taxes in the 1990s and 2000s. Indeed, today the only major EU country to maintain such a tax on wealth is France – and it managed to raise just £3.4bn in 2011.

“It’s clear that Mr Clegg’s wealth tax goes against sensible modern tax policies.”

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