Corbyn win to trigger HNWIs exodus from UK

Pedro Gonçalves
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Corbyn win to trigger HNWIs exodus from UK

Some of the wealthiest in Britain are already planning their exit if Labour come to power next month, as Corbyn promises to "go after" the wealthy elite with new taxes, possible capital controls and a clampdown on private schools.

Millionaires and billionaires are said to be deluging their lawyers and accountants with calls about how to smoothly move their assets overseas. The threat of a Labour government is more of a worry for them than a no-deal Brexit, according to advisers.

"Lots of high-net worth individuals are worried about having to pay much higher taxes on their wealth and have already prepared for the possibility of a Corbyn government," he said. "Transfers of wealth are already arranged - in many cases, all that is missing is a signature on the contract," Geoffrey Todd, a partner at the law firm Boodle Hatfield, told the Guardian.

Transfers of wealth are already arranged – in many cases, all that is missing is a signature on the contract"

"There will be plenty of people on the phone to their lawyers in the early hours of 13 December if Labour wins. Movements of capital to new owners and different locations are already prepared, and they are just awaiting final approval," he added.

Josie Hills, senior tax manager at Pinsent Masons, said she had clients thinking about moving to Switzerland because of their fears. She told the paper: "I would say 80% of our clients have thought about the implications of a Corbyn government.

"They tend to say they sincerely hope it won't happen but they want to be ready if it does. If that means uprooting themselves and their families then so be it."

One of those considering plans to leave is billionaire John Caudwell, who founded Phones4u and has an estimated wealth of £1.6bn. He said if Corbyn becomes PM, he would "just go and live in the south of France of Monaco."

Corbyn has singled out members of "the elite" that a Labour government would go after in order to rebalance the country. The Labour leader named the "greedy banker" Crispin Odey, the hedge fund manager who made £220m betting against the pound in the run-up to the EU referendum. Odey responded by telling the Daily Telegraph: "Luckily they [Labour] can't even run a campaign, let alone the country."

Labour hasn't revealed its manifesto yet for the General Election set to be held on December 12. However, the 2017 manifesto included a pledge to increase the number of people paying the 45% tax rate on income.

Instead of being levied only on those earning more than £150,000, it would instead kick in at £80,000 with an additional 50% rate above £123,000. The party is also developing plans to "go after" banks and hedge funds which are "financing climate change".

 

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