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Cameron will force MPs and peers to pay tax in UK

Conservative leader David Cameron promised to introduce legislation to require all peers and MPs to pay tax in the UK, over the weekend.

Cameron appeared to take the move in a bid to end the ongoing controversy over the tax status of leading donor Lord Ashcroft and Tory candidate for Richmond Zac Goldsmith.

Lord Ashcroft has not made his tax position clear, insisting that it is a private matter, while Goldsmith was recently revealed to be non-domiciled for tax purposes. Goldsmith has since said he will pay UK taxes.

The announcement means that a number of peers across the main parties will have to change their taxation status if they want to remain in Parliament.

Cameron said: “I think it is time to pass a law that says that if you want to be in the Houses of Parliament, if you want to be a legislator, you need to be or be treated as a full UK taxpayer.

“We would pass that law if we get elected. We would pass it straight away, we would bring it into force as rapidly as we could. I think that would put the situation beyond doubt.”

The Liberal Democrats have criticised the Tories for objecting every time they raised this matter in the past.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, LibDems Shadow Home Secretary Chris Huhne said: “[David Cameron] frankly has been bounced into this by the revelation that Zac Goldsmith has avoided probably nearly $6m through non-dom status.

“The Conservatives objected on every single occasion and on no occasion did they make the objection that this is such a complex matter that it has to be done by Government

“This is a very simple matter saying that if someone is a legislator they ought to be paying full UK tax on their worldwide income.”

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  1. The Tory Shadow on Today this morning kept repeating that a “Legislator” in the Lords or Commons would have to be treated as a UK Resident and Domiciled for UK Tax. He stressed the “Legislator” bit so often that it raises the question as to whether a Peer entitled to sit in and vote in the Lords could escape this clause simply by neither tuning up nor voting after the measure is introduced.
    Can any Constitutionalists confirm whether it is possible for a Commonwealth Domiciled Citizen to be appointed to the Lords ? I think Commonwealth citizens are entitled to have other Honours bestowed upon them by the Queen, does this ( or would it prior to this proposed Act ) extend to Life Peerages ?

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