Boris Johnson’s tax ‘plan’ is half-baked: deVere CEO


10 Jun, 2019

Boris Johnson’s tax ‘plan’ is half-baked: deVere CEO

Boris Johnson’s vow to cut income tax for higher earners is ‘half baked’, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

Nigel Green, chief executive of deVere Group, which has 80,000 mostly high-net-worth clients, is speaking out after the former foreign secretary has pledged to slash income tax bills for people earning more than £50,000 a year if he wins the leadership contest to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister.

Mr Green comments: “I’m normally in favour of reducing taxation – more money back in people’s pockets is always a good thing for individuals, households, businesses and the wider economy. 

“I’m firmly of the opinion that soaking the rich, waging a war on wealth, and taxing the wealth and job creators out of the country is simply misguided on many levels.

“However, I believe that the UK’s likely next Prime Minister’s vow to cut income tax for higher earners is half-baked at best.”

He continues: “Mr Johnson’s tax cut for higher earners – seemingly a direct plea to those eligible to vote for him to become leader – is ill-thought-through for two key reasons.

“First, there would be a significant net cost for the Treasury; and second, it is unlikely to get through parliament – it’s therefore just Boris virtue signalling to his base.”

He goes on to add: “Someone who famously said ‘f**k business’ is arguably not the most economically savvy person, since it’s private sector activity that provides the growth that drives tax revenue for increased spending on the NHS, education, police and other public services. Unfortunately, Mr Johnson looks set to destroy the Tories’ greatest claim on the electorate: economic competence.”

Last week, the deVere CEO affirmed that an already weak pound would fall further if Boris Johnson is PM due to his positive approach to a no-deal Brexit.

He noted: “The pound will be delivered another bloody nose should Boris Johnson become Prime Minister. The significant drop in the value of the pound has contributed to reducing people’s purchasing power and a drop in UK living standards. Weaker sterling means imports are more expensive, with rising prices being passed on to consumers.

“A low pound is, of course, bad news for British holidaymakers and travellers abroad - with trips to Europe and the U.S. increasingly expensive.  Even destinations such as Dubai and China are more expensive as their currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar.

“Arguably, the key issue for the UK, however, is that one of its biggest and most important sectors, financial services, will suffer from another knock to the pound. It will be hit because it is built on foreign investment that puts its faith in a strong pound.”   

Nigel Green concludes: “There are legitimate and justified reasons to shake-up taxation but Boris’ plan is not really a plan at all.”