According to the Sunday Times 104 billionaires with a combined wealth of £301billion now live in the UK. London alone has 72 billionaires (39 of whom were not born in the UK), more than any other town: Moscow (48); New York (43). They have bought property, employ staff, and spend money – all of enormous benefit to the British economy. Be quite clear these people disperse huge sums in the economy.
They must not be taken for granted. Or despised for their wealth. They are after all, Golden Geese, and they can fly out as easily as they entered, to the benefit of other economies. But what do the Labour and LibDem politicians want. To introduce a mansion tax, and plan all sorts of other snide taxes to “squeeze them until the pips squeak”. Not that the populists in the Conservative Party are much better.
Of course the visiting super-rich can afford to pay what is to them a drop in the ocean. However, what they see is not a tax grab, rather that they are being treated with contempt, or worse that they are seen as beneath contempt by the politicians who are playing to the masses in order to drum up votes. These are proud people, and be quite sure they will move on. Then the great unwashed, who as in France scream ‘good riddance’, will find themselves having to make up the shortfall in tax revenues.