Remember Jolyon Maugham, the QC who had fifteen minutes of fame during the General Election campaign when he ‘advised Labour on its non-dom tax crackdown’? As the Telegraph reported at the time:
‘Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, cited Jolyon Maugham as an independent expert who had backed the policy and had forecast that it would raise £1billion. The Telegraph has established that Mr Maugham, a Labour supporter, has been in discussions with Labour about the policy for six weeks and played a role in designing it.’
Well next month Jolyon is off on a jolly to that well-known bastion of progressive taxation: Geneva.
He has just been unveiled as a star speaker at the Transcontinental Trusts 2015 conference in Switzerland. The Grand Hotel Kempinski will play host to tax efficiency experts from around the world, for a two-day seminar on the sort of tax practices Ed Miliband spent his five years as Labour leader slamming.
After paying up to £2,598, punters are invited to: ‘Hear from a host of expert speakers, including leading international trusts experts and distinguished legal minds,’ as well as take part in sessions such as: ‘Jurisdiction Hopping: Planning & Litigation’, ‘Privacy & Confidentiality Implications’, ‘Trust Law & Structuring’ and ‘Cross Border Planning for Divorce’.
Mr S will be intrigued to hear whether Jolyon dispenses the same advice to the Swiss crowd that he gave to New Statesman readers yesterday:
What about the changes to the non-dom rules? My instinct was to devise a quiet mechanic which maximised the tax take from those changes. How might you raise the taxes paid by mobile individuals in such a way that they might remain, and others remain inclined to come? And in anticipating criticism it sought political cover in certain technical incidences of design.
The Party spin machine had other ideas. Rather than leading with the changes as a revenue raiser it sold them as a matter of basic fairness: why should wealthy foreigners be taxed more lightly than Middle England? That, with hindsight, was the right strategy.