Tuesday, 16 February 2016
THE 4th Viscount Rothermere, also known as Jonathan Harmsworth, owner of the Daily Mail, loves England so much that he spends much of his time living as a tax exile in France. He is so in love with this country that he hides his riches in the world's tax havens and shelters in order to avoid tax.
Although he was born in Hammersmith, educated at Gordonstoun and has a business based in Kensington, London, he is a 'non-dom' (Non-domicile), who is French for the purposes of tax. His non-dom tax status was handed down to him by his father - 3rd Viscount, Vere Harmsworth, who acquired a French "domicile of choice" in the 1970's and became a tax exile in Paris - when Jonathan inherited the 'Daily Mail & General Trust plc' (DMGT) empire. Under non-dom status, an individual claims ultimate allegiance to another country - in Rothermere's case, France.
When he inherited DMGT from his father the 3rd Viscount in 1998, the company had been controlled through 'Rothermere Continuation Ltd, (RCL) a company registered in Bermuda but run from Jersey. RCL now owns all the voting shares in DMGT and receives more than £10m a year of the annual dividends.
In 2008, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) began an investigation into whether Rothermere had surrendered his non-dom status . While the family owned a mansion and 240 acres of grounds in Wiltshire as well as a chateau in the Dordogne, HMRC argued that as a freeman of the City of London, Rothermere had forfeited his non-dom status. "Following the intervention of the then HMRC tax boss Dave Harnett, the investigation was pulled."
Despite living as a tax exile in France (for tax purposes) and having much of his vast wealth, hidden away in Britain's Caribbean overseas territories, the Daily Mail newspaper wants the British public to vote in the forthcoming referendum to leave the EU and his supporting the leave campaign. While nobody can be absolutely sure, what affect leaving the European Union (Brexit), would have on the British economy, one thing, is absolutely certain, it would be welcomed by Vladimir Putin, who wants to see the break-up of the EU and the NATO Alliance and to destabilize the West. Already, Russian money is being loaned to anti-EU parties like Marine Le Pen's 'Front National' and since 2009, Russia has established links with the far-right 'Jobbik' Party in Hungry, Slovakia's far-right 'People's Party' and Bulgaria's nationalist, anti-EU Attack movement. A British exit could also lead to other countries wanting to secede from the EU and see Scotland, wanting independence, something that would almost guarantee, a Conservative hegemony in England. The U.S. Secretary of State,John kerry, has stated that it is in U.S. interests that the UK remains in the EU.
If Britain was to leave the EU, it could face possible trade barriers and see a slump in the pound. A recent survey carried out by the 'Bertelsmann Foundation' of British and German companies operating in the UK, found that almost a third would consider moving jobs out of the country following a vote to leave the EU. The survey of 700 British and German companies, found that 29% said they would either reduce capacity in the UK or relocate altogether, in the event of a Brexit..."only 13% believed that a Brexit could increase national employment levels."
The Chief Executive of 'easyJet', Carloyn McCall, has said that a Brexit would also raise the cost of foreign travel and that "British influence inside Brussels was essential to minimise disruption and administration between countries and keep down the cost of air travel."