UK Scraps Plan To Tax Rich Foreigners

Finance industry's fears of exodus forces minister's hand
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2008 12:17 PM CST
Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown, left, listens as Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling speaks at the Prime Minister's monthly press conference at 10 Downing Street in London,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Facing criticism from Britain's financial establishment and within his own Labour party, Treasury Minister Alistair Darling yesterday scrapped plans to tax "non-domiciled" foreigners as much as $60,000 a year. Investors worried the levy would push rich foreigners out of London and compromise the financial sector, the Financial Times reports. The troubles at the Treasury have led to speculations on Darling's future.

A run on a bank and several about-faces on taxes—on top of global economic downturn—have made Darling look less a "safe pair of hands" than a magnet for disaster. But as the Telegraph observes, Darling is providing Gordon Brown one great service: he, and not the prime minister, is taking almost all the heat for Labour's bumbling financial program.