Osborne refuses to deny foreign property tax plan

LONDON Fri Nov 1, 2013 9:21am GMT

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne speaks at a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event at Canary Wharf in London October 22, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne speaks at a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event at Canary Wharf in London October 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor George Osborne refused on Friday to deny a report that he is considering imposing capital gains tax on foreign property investors.

Ahead of Osborne's December 4. Autumn Statement on Britain's finances, local media have reported that Osborne is considering imposing a capital gains tax on the sale of second homes in Britain owned by foreign investors.

"Well I am only a month off my Autumn statement so I am not going to comment on specific tax affairs - it's not a leak that comes from anyone near me," Osborne told the BBC when asked about the reports.

"The only reason I don't want to deny it is because I don't want to then get into a whole list of other things you are going to ask me about," he said.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison)

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Comments (4)
simms450 wrote:
This has been a scandal too long as it has allowed very rich foreigners to corner the market in property, which unlike other markets we actually need to live in, and therefore pay the exhorbidant rents and prices we are then asked for. Its is a one horse race. Capital gains are almost in every country including Spain and France. Where else in the world can you park your cash and then take all the cash tax free at the end? This is a foreign mans ISA at the British taxpayers expense. At least CGT will help lower the burden but most of the damage has been done with working people pushed to extremities of London and needing to work all hours to pay the mortgage. I worry for the country when the base rate rises from 1% o 5% over the coming years and the working people with families will be in trouble to keep up with payments that are likely to be double what they are now. Property, which is a fundamental right should not be traded in this way as real people’s lives are affected.

Nov 01, 2013 9:54am GMT  --  Report as abuse
high_isp wrote:
Whether its confirmed or denied, this is something that should have been done years ago. The fact is that London has become the dumping ground for laundered funds resulting from dodgy (and probably criminal) business practices and social injustices. The result is a swollen local market, reducing the availability of local properties to residents and support to all kinds of nefarious international activities by those with the cash to spend. We should discourage this and a CGT on these properties would be a sound and moral statement of intent.

Nov 01, 2013 10:52am GMT  --  Report as abuse
mgb500 wrote:
Strange how someone waltzes in from ..oh…..the USSR dripping with money & the government, media etc swoon at their feet & no questions are asked. BUT if UK citizen who has lived all their life in the country wants to even take out life cover THEY are assumed to be criminal & are FORCED to prove their identification!

Never mind that the money coming from the USSR is probably bent as a 9 bob note!

Yes..I know the label isn’t USSR anymore..but leopards & spots come to mind..

Nov 01, 2013 8:31pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
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