Crown dependencies should keep their heads down until after-election

Date: 18 Mar 2015


James Quarmby, partner and head of the Stephenson Harwood’s private wealth team, comments on UK 2015 General Elections.

How do you think the election campaign may affect how London is perceived by WM clients?

Definitely, clients are not buying in super prime London property market at the moment. Everyone is waiting for election outcome. Also the anti-rich rhetoric is affecting decisions to move to the UK or to leave. The environment is not good.

What do you think about the Crown dependencies being brought into the political debate about Wealth?

It’s inevitable that they will be used as a political football. My advice is that they keep their heads down until the election is over.

What is a “fair share” of tax and is it an election winning idea?

If I hear the phrase ‘fair share’ one more time I’m going to scream. The top 1% of earners already disproportionately contributes nearly 30% of total tax revenues. Is that ‘fair’? Arguably it’s not fair on high earners, but you will never hear a politician say that in public.

What do you think will be the result?

I think a Conservative minority government propped up by Unions and UKIP and the Lib Dems. In other words – an unlovely mess.

What risk and upside do you see?

Upside is that when we get certainty then clients can come out of hibernation and start making investment decisions. Risk is that the outcome is ananti-wealth, high tax government which scares people away from the UK.

Do you agree it is a foregone Conservative conclusion?

In this election, nothing is foregone. I’m going to stay up all night on Election night to find out, are you?

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