UK - British Billionaires Move to Tax Havens

Arno Froese

Nearly a third of Britain’s billionaires have either moved or are relocating to tax havens, where some have broken UK law by bankrolling political parties, a major investigation said.

The Times newspaper published a series of reports detailing allegations of Britain’s ultra-rich hiding billions of pounds from the UK Treasury in taxes over the past decade.

The report came out days after the government drew public fury for delaying a vote on proposed legislation aimed at ending secret company ownership in offshore territories.

“We must stop tax evasion so that the wealthiest pay their fair share,” Margaret Hodge, a leading lawmaker from the main opposition Labour Party who co-sponsored the tax haven measure, tweeted in response to The Times’s reports.

“Public registers and more transparency are the next big step for fairer tax.”

The Times said that 28 out of the 93 British billionaires it found through public records “have moved to tax havens or are in the process of relocating.”

The Times said those in the process of moving included Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man and a major Brexit supporter. His chemicals firm is valued at £35 billion ($46 billion).

The Sunday Times reported that Ratcliffe’s move to Monaco, where it said 10 British billionaires and 408 UK business owners live, could cost the Treasury up to £4 billion.

Companies registered in offshore tax shelters such as the Channel Islands or countries like Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates pay little to no tax.

The Times said the exodus was spurred by a hike in income tax rates for top earners to 50 percent in 2010, which was reduced to 45 percent in 2013.

New rules from 2013 making a switch in tax residency easier also contributed, The Times said., 7 March 2019

Arno's commentary

One would think that democratic countries have sufficient laws on their books to collect taxes due. That, however, is not the case. Regardless of how many loopholes are closed, there always seem to be new ones opened for those with a high level of greed to take advantage of, in order to gain more. These super-rich seem to have little to no interest in their own nation. Wikipedia lists the top ten countries with billionaires as follows:

US 585
China 476
India 131
Germany 114
Russia 96
Hong Kong 67
United Kingdom 54
Brazil 43
Italy 42
Canada 39

It is of interest that the fastest growing billionaire group is located in communist China. Doubtless, that is only the beginning, for it seems all but logical that China and India will lead the world in billionaires in the not-too-distant future.

What is the Church’s concern with the rich? Here the answer is found in James 5:1-8: “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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