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Increased Corbyn fear driving wealthy here

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A GROWING fear of Jeremy Corbyn taking power in the UK is motivating wealthy Britons to look to move to Guernsey.

The prospect of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn being the next prime minister has renewed interest among wealthy people in Britain moving here. (Picture by Aaron Chown/PA Wire)

Concerns that a left-wing Labour government could introduce new wealth taxes is one factor, according to the incoming director of Locate Guernsey, which promotes the island as a place to live and to do business.

Jo Stoddart said there had ‘definitely’ been a Corbyn factor for several months when it came to people looking to move to the Channel Islands.

‘People are worried. They are concerned about wealth taxes,’ she said. ‘I have heard and a lot of other advisors have heard that is continual factor. It’s a motivator for quite a few people thinking about moving to Guernsey and Jersey.’

Dominic Wheatley, chief executive of promotional agency Guernsey Finance, said: ‘This is not the first time we’ve heard these type of reports from the UK and I suspect it won’t be the last.

‘I understand that Locate Guernsey is also very aware of this situation and, of course, it could be good news for the island in terms of attracting entrepreneurs and high level talent to the island.’

London’s ultra-wealthy are moving assets out of the UK and some are preparing to leave the country, according to the Financial Times, amid growing worries about the Labour leader entering Number 10.

Monaco, Guernsey and Jersey were named as locations being considered by wealthy individuals as places to move themselves or their assets amid suggestions that a Corbyn government is a much bigger worry for them than Brexit.

The FT also reported that some individuals were moving money out of trusts in the Crown Dependencies over worries that they could lose their tax advantages if Labour takes power.

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Earlier this year, Economic Development president Charles Parkinson said that a ‘Corbyn factor’ was increasing interest in people moving to Guernsey and Jersey. ‘I believe from what I’m hearing that there is an upturn in the level of enquiries,’ he said in February.

‘And I think we are going to see a bit of an exodus from the UK of high net worth individuals. To me, somewhat surprisingly, that seems to be being driven by a Corbyn factor, because I find it hard to take Jeremy Corbyn terribly seriously. But people evidently do.

‘Both in Jersey and Guernsey we are now seeing a steady stream of enquiries from high net worth individuals wanting to move to the islands – and I think that will be a positive trend for this year.’

At the time, Labour said it saw this as a way in which the well-off were looking to avoid income tax – and promised to clamp down on the use of ‘tax havens’.

‘The next Labour government will introduce our tax transparency and enforcement programme, which will bring about serious measures to tackle tax avoidance, and ensure that the super-rich and giant corporations that seek to duck their responsibilities to society will pay their fair share,’ said a Labour Party spokesman.

Will Green

By Will Green
Business Editor

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