Arabian Business Weekly Update 21st September 2004

The British Prime Minister may introduce a global tax for expatriates. The plan is absurd.

  • E-Mail
By  Anil Bhoyrul Published  September 21, 2004

Editorial Leader|~||~||~|

Taxing Times

You can run, but you can’t hide. That, it would appear, is the chilling message from Tony Blair’s UK government to British expatriates working in the Gulf. As we highlight in the coming issue of Arabian Business, there are growing fears that Blair and his Chancellor Gordon Brown are considering introducing a global income tax. In other words, wherever in the world you live – if you are British – you must still pay taxes. The idea is not only a disgrace, but one that will have dire consequences for the region. The disposable income of expatriates working in the Gulf would sharply drop, impacting heavily on local economies. Take the United Arab Emirates, which has about 150,000 UK expatriates. Based on earnings of US$53,000 a year, a single person working in the Middle East would be billed for US$8,950 a year. Given the average earnings of expats is US$62,650 a year, the UAE would be drained of US$1.164 billion a year. That equates to 1% of the UAE’s forecast GDP for 2004. The figures are even higher in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Such a tax would of course not just be unfair to the Gulf states, but equally so for all UK expatriates. Many left the UK for several reasons: the bad weather, rising costs, soaring crime and drug-infested cities, to name but a few. But most of all, to get away from crippling taxes. Rather than chasing after the Brits who were lucky or brave enough to leave, the prime minister should try fixing his own crumbling country. ||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code