It is beginning to emerge that the Government is hopelessly under-prepared for the surge in super-wealthy economic migrants brought on by the cut in top rate income tax from 50 to 45 pence.
The opposition, dubbing this latest coalition cock-up as a "pluto-shambles", believes that the Government has failed to properly estimate the numbers of super rich who are choosing to move to the UK. It is claimed that millionaires are arriving and finding overcrowded VIP lounges and a shortage of waiting limousines and helicopters. Queues of millionaires have been seen at Heathrow and extra caviar and champagne has been rushed to the lounges. Some millionaires have been turned away thus negating the Government's planned increase in economic prosperity.
There is concern that a mansion shortage could develop requiring stately homes to be sub-divided to house two wealthy entourages where there was only one previously. Insiders report that Chancellor Osborne is already considering withdrawing part of the 5 pence cut from millionaires who have 15 or more spare bed-chambers in their first mansion. They would be required to take in stately lodgers or move to a smaller country pile leaving the old place for a bigger financial dynasty. Leading affluence charity Help the Wealthy has protested that there are just not enough smaller stately homes available.
Ministers are to meet with the Association of Stately Home Builders to develop measures to stimulate the grand homes industry. In recent years the sector has been sluggish and the standard of mansion has tumbled, with just a few footballers, pop stars and lottery winners creating any real demand. Incoming millionaires can expect to find these properties, which feature automatic gates and an outdoor and therefore unusable infinity pool, are situated as little as 30 miles from the homes of ordinary people. This is slightly offset by some of the worlds best electronic games rooms.
Another side effect the Government appears to have overlooked is the negative impact on the tax evasion industry. Nigel Edwards for the Institute of Tax Evasion Practitioners says the industry has already seen a major fall in dodgy business. “Who” said Mr Edwards “is going to invest in tax evasion if the government doesn't take enough of our earnings in the first place? We are already losing some of our craftiest and most underhand evasion strategists to nations with higher tax regimes.”
No statement has been forthcoming from the Government but rumours are circulating that ministers are considering running negatively biased TV commercials in tax havens in order to dampen millionaire demand for living in the UK. These will focus on the lousy British weather, the shortage of stately homes, a coastline with overcrowded marinas and waters too cold to bathe in and the likely demise of a higher-taxpayer-friendly regime at the next election.
The higher rate tax adjustment was a key feature of what many millionaires in his party see as Chancellor Osborne's liberal plans to place 99% of the UK's wealth in the hands of 1.1% rather than the current 1% of the population. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said it came as no surprise that a Mickey Mouse coalition would create a Pluto-shambles.