A non-dom speaks: ‘The Swiss, Hong Kong, the Singaporeans, they are all saying “Come”!’

Indian magnate Nirmal Sethia on what the English get wrong about tea and taxation

26 September 2015

8:00 AM

26 September 2015

8:00 AM

‘Milk?…Milk!’ rages Nirmal Sethia, clutching the side of the table in ill-disguised apoplexy. ‘If you put in milk and sugar then you have destroyed the taste! Destroyed it!’

I apologise and say I will happily drink my Earl Grey black. The truth is, I don’t have much choice, because I am trapped in a basement near Smithfield meat market with an impassioned tea magnate.

I never knew there was such a thing, but there really is. Tea is an art form, you see, and although we Brits think we know quite a bit about it — well, we like drinking it morning, noon and night — we actually don’t know anything because we no longer drink proper tea, by and large, and have thus betrayed our great tea heritage. Mr Sethia is very cross about this. So cross that he borders on throwing a full-on tantrum when I ask for semi-skimmed.

To show me what real tea is, the founder of Newby Teas pours me out a small bowl of bright amber-coloured liquid and insists I slurp it with a silver spoon.

As much as 95 per cent of the taste of cheap tea is lost in transit due to poor storage and packaging methods. So a lot of our tea is to proper tea as Blue Nun is to wine, he says. And did I know, he says, pointing his finger in the air, that 99 per cent of that so-called builders’ tea — ‘Pah!’ — that I am buying will have black fungus in it? ‘Black fungus causes cancer!’ he cries, enjoying the look of fear on my face. I did not know this, I say, and I promise Mr Sethia I will be more careful the next time I am in the tea and coffee aisle.

To Sethia, a fine tea is a good deal more complex than a glass of Pétrus. He has his staff make the teas with a thermometer and a stopwatch.

And lo, when you sniff the steamy wet leaves of his deep, strong-tasting Majestic Himalaya it is like being transported to the foothills of Bhutan.

When I sip the bright amber Earl Grey with its pungent Bergamot orange, crisp and delicious, I declare it the best Earl Grey I have ever tasted. ‘And what is wrong with the others?’ demands Mr Sethia, standing over his teas like a proud father who has been told one of his offspring is brighter than the rest.

I am definitely nervous as I taste his most lavish concoction, a tea called Muscani which is priced at around £1,500 for a 100-gram diamond-encrusted caddy. That has got to work out at £50 a swallow, so I sip it frugally.

‘No, no!’ says Mr Sethia — I must slurp, loudly. He grabs the bowl and makes a noise like a gurgling drain being unblocked by a plunger. I try to imitate him.

The taste is so subtle I cannot make head nor tail of it. He tells me there is a hint of musk, now illegal, so it isn’t actually musk but a secret ingredient he cannot possibly tell me about.

After a dozen teas, I beg his indulgence and say I cannot take one more sip. My palate is suffused. I have run out of adjectives. Mr Sethia seems happy with this. He is in a state of extreme excitation as he tells me how he is trying to give something precious and wonderful to the British, but they don’t always seem to want to cooperate. He talks of tea, at first, but then suddenly we are on the subject of politics and the precious thing he seems to be offering is not just tea, it is his whole operation, nay himself.

You see, Mr Sethia, in common with a lot of other Indian tycoons, is feeling increasingly upset at being targeted by the Exchequer, egged on by a public baying for rich foreigners to pay more tax.

He regards the noises being made by George Osborne about a forthcoming clampdown on ‘non-doms’, as deeply rude, crass, ungrateful, a personal affront.

The Chancellor announced in his budget that people like Mr Sethia — effectively resident in Britain but still legally domiciled in their native land, for tax reasons — will no longer be able to have permanent ‘non-dom’ status and that anyone resident in the UK for 15 of the past 20 years will pay full UK tax from April 2017, a move which he estimated would bring in an extra £1.5 billion a year.

It is the tone more than anything that upsets Mr Sethia. The idea of a clampdown panders to left-wing prejudice and the politics of envy, which ill behoves the Conservatives, he says.

He points out that he already pays UK taxes. He also donates 30 per cent of the profits of Newby Teas to charity. He funds the robotic surgery research centre at University College London. His business employs 4,000 people worldwide with 40 in his London headquarters. What’s more, he is not the idle rich, he is a self-made man.

At 14, Sethia worked as an apprentice tea taster. At 16 he engaged his entrepreneurial spirit and started his own tea-buying business in Calcutta.

He loves Britain and feels at home here. He could go to Switzerland and his sons would pay virtually no inheritance tax but he stays in London, creating wealth here, spending his money here, paying income tax and capital gains on everything pertaining to here. So why are we not grateful? Why is a Conservative government baying for billionaires’ blood? Why indeed.

‘Osborne is sounding the voice of the dying Labour party. Like Robin Hood, you rob the rich to feed the poor.

‘So they are getting rid of non-doms. But then they are letting in all these people who come in and live on the dole. We are sending the right people away and getting the wrong people in.’

Sethia makes clear, however, that if Osborne really doesn’t want non-doms, then they can always leave.

And if anyone thinks this is an idle threat he has news for them. He says he is being head-hunted to move his family home and headquarters to another jurisdiction. Many of his Indian friends are also being interviewed by foreign delegations coming to London to lure them away before 2017. He reels off the names of industrial magnates being targeted, then forbids me to repeat them, which I have to promise to do.

‘The Swiss, Hong Kong, the Singaporeans, they are all saying “Come!” The Singaporeans are coming to see me to make their pitch in a few weeks.’ It is a startling revelation. There are, it seems, secret visitations going on all over London right now, as foreign delegations attempt to lure our persecuted rich away.

Will he go? He shrugs. ‘I don’t know how long I am here, but my children are already saying “Dad, it is getting harder. We want to go to Dubai, or to Hong Kong where we will not be harassed and the weather is better.” The Abu Dhabis want the Indians. They have allowed the construction of the first Hindu temple there, did you know that? They know we Indians are a good thing.’

More than a thousand non-doms in all will leave Britain, he predicts. ‘The big boys, they are all going to run. They will move their headquarters to other countries. They will say no, I’m not going to do more expansion here.’

It wouldn’t take much more than a scribble of basic arithmetic on the back of a tea packet to work out that if all these tycoons did go, it would be a disaster for Britain. In fact, when you think about it, it seems utter lunacy for politicians to have calculated what it will bring in if all the non-doms pay up more, but not to have calculated what it will take away if they all leave instead.

Mr Sethia has real hurt in his eyes as he laments the hounding of wealth-creators. Suddenly, I am put in mind of his face as he poured out a sample of his precious elixir and I asked if I could add milk.

He has the same baffled look now. It is a look that says: ‘You just can’t help some people.’

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Show comments
  • Gilbert White

    What shit is this?

  • WFB56

    I am attending a conference next week in Zurich where a number of the speakers are pitching their services on changing domicile from the UK to Switzerland. I don’t know how many will take them up on this but few will wait until 2017 to decide.

  • sandy winder

    I don’t like to be told how to take my tea any more than I like tax dodgers.

  • twi5ted

    I agree that we are persecuting wealth creators but then again they have lobbied corrupt politicians to ensure they pay a far lower percentage of their income in tax than the resident population. They are essentially parasites and now with the always dubious trickle down economic bunkum completely dis-proven they need to cough up or persuade their crooked political friends to reduce the burden on the rest of us.

    Sure you will enjoy Singapore, Dubai or Switzerland. Exciting places to count your pennies.

    • ArashUK

      they are parasite!!!!
      no mate, it is the state that a parasite and wants to steal from the more talented and pay it to the lazy people, refugees and funds its useless projects. Wake up man, we are not in 19th century and they all go to better places when there are not many needy people who just want to loot!!!

      And dont think state just loots from the rich people wiht Rolse Royce and in mansion houses. No mate, a very ordinary middle class now see about 30% of his income ripped off by the state for inefficient and corrupted services!!! At the end we are all equal in poverty

      • twi5ted

        I agree the states the problem but the same state answers to these peoples as they have the money to buy influence hence It is no coincidence they enjoy such advantages. They can go so what the only people that will miss them will be politicians who take their cash.

        • ArashUK

          i agree with you in regard to crony capitalists. Actually, big businesses usually are the biggest fans of socialism. But not all of them and not the small and medium size businesses that do not have the money and connections to influence the state.

          When someone emigrates to Singapore with much less state intervention in economy, I dont think he was using state for its benefits.

          The solution is not more state, it is less state in a way that all businesses have to compete in a free market.

    • Bella99

      I hear Singapore is lovely at this time of year, if you can ignore the air pollution caused by illegal burning off of Indonesia’s native forests. I am sure Europe did the same…100 years ago.

  • James Gleave

    Thanks for your points Mr Sethia. But the UK is an economy of significant size and with a significant amount of capability to it, in some areas world leading. That has been built through both the actions of the public and private sector. Just as much as the Government benefits from your taxation, your business enterprises have benefited from government spending both directly and indirectly. Spending which we have all contributed to.

    I am not saying that the fact that you are a self-made man is not due to the Government. Your long hours, hard work, and tough decisions must be commended, and yes most of it is due to your work. But public spending supports the economy, and you have benefited from it. The unwritten social contract states that if you benefit, you should pay your fair share. What that consists of is up for interpretation, and shockingly sometimes other people’s and the Government’s view is different to your own.

    Anything else that you spend in the UK is at your own discretion. What is also your own choice is your non-dom status. You chose that to reduce your own tax liability, and it is an advantage that the majority are both unable to access and consider to be unfair. A democratically elected government has realised this, and is looking to tackle it. Guess what, democratically elected governments do things you don’t like sometimes. Its part of the deal with democracy.

    So the point is this. If you want to move to Hong Kong or Singapore, fine. That is your own choice. Many others have made the same choice. The UK is a large economy with a lot of capability to it, so I am sure that many other companies are people are willing to fill the economic hole that you fill. So, as someone who loves the country and benefits hugely from it, do you want to give up on that opportunity because the Government is doing something you don’t like?

    Oh, and implying all immigrants come here to claim the dole is a cheap shot that makes you sound stupid. Try not to mention it again.

    • ArashUK

      public spending does not boost the growth, it distorts the market and creates artificiall winner and losers,

      Dear comrade, if you dont care about emigration of talented from the UK it shows how ignorant and out of mind are you as in long run UK will not have anything just bunch of looters and benefit consumers. You can compare the state of the its economy with 100 years ago. All EU is sinking and you still think that nothing wont happen. Because the likes of you think progress is something autmoatic and is not related to the work, innivation and harder try.

      Majority cannot have anything by vote. it is an illiberal democracy and dictatorship of public which is much worse than the dictatorship of kings. You cannot legalise theft and murder.

      Be ready to pay more to your beloved state as there will be more needy people and less working ones!!!

      • Des Demona

        ”public spending does not boost the growth, it distorts the market and creates artificiall winner and losers,”
        You don’t sound like a native Britain. Where are you from? One of those countries with little public spending who end up with a small super wealthy elite, most of whom probably have large houses in Europe where they spend most of their time, and a vast impoverished underclass, like India for example?
        It ill behoves an Indian billionaire to criticise public spending in this country when for the vast majority of his own countrymen life is short, grim, poverty ridden and brutal.

        In other words, if he doesn’t like it here he can eff off with my blessings. As can you.

        • ArashUK

          It is none of your business where I am from and it is not relevant to our discussion. Instead of saying nonsense try to use reason and logic in your comments as you did not reply to any of my points and just tried to intimidate me.
          And try to be more educated about how economy works and operates to see that your beloved welfare state leads to a totalitarian state in which government decides for your love affairs. You can see it even now that state decides for every single aspect of our live and dont be so naive that State will just go after wealthy peope, it already picks on all of us
          Finally mate, be prepared to apply for Indian or chinese skilled worker visa, just a matter of time. Nothing is free comrade!

          • Des Demona

            ”and it is not relevant to our discussion.”
            Oh but it most surely is. As far as ‘talking nonsense” is concerned, look to your own rather weird screeds.

          • ArashUK

            dont have anything to say just blah blah blah, try at least to learn chinese as you cannot work as waitress without knowing the language!!!
            last reply as I dont have time to waste on the likes of you, have a nice day!!!

          • Des Demona

            Have a nice day my little troll.

          • Kizaz

            Weird how the Chinese, Russians and Indian elite flock away from those places with their money.

            The usual “the West is dying” “learn chinese” nonsense.

          • ArashUK

            just a matter of time, look at emigration of talented statistics as well and see the trends and you can see that you are wrong. West is still more attractive but is losing its place gradually due to communist plolicies.

          • Kizaz

            “The West is doomed! The Dollar will collapse!

            Its just a matter of time!”

            Nah..it’s a nice fantasy for you sure. But the West has some of the most uncorrupt governance and institutions in the world and produces the bulk of the worlds advanced science and most of the world’s top universities and brands.

            The west is also much more open to criticism unlike places like India or China. The west criticises itself and exposes those criticisms – which people like you capitalise on.

            The EU growth slows to 0.5% will be interpreted as – India is taking over!

            When in fact, India and China are mostly poor, corrupt, full of graft and bribery, with weaker institutions and lightyears behind.

            Enjoy Dubai while it lasts, free money from Oil in the ground subsidising an unsustainable state of luxury isn’t going to win against innovation and uncorrupt institutions over the long term.

            Maybe someone at MIT (it wont be India or China etc) will invent a new way to harness non-fossil fuels too! Then it’ll be curtains for Dubai and other resource kleptocracies.

          • ArashUK

            ok you can put your head into sand mate but look at the statistics. See what are the biggest players, see how western countries have lost their economic power in the last 50 years. See how many of your living products are not made in your beloved west.

            I am sorry to tell you this but you live ina fantasy world. The world has changed and US will be overtook by China in a matter of years. You can see it know. If Argentina now claims the Falkland, UK cannot do anything, its Navy is weaker than India!

            And about the corruption and poverty yeah after couple of years of living in your beloved paradise I can see the UK state told me more lie, intervened more in my life and stole more of my money than any of those corrupted governments. Yeah the poverty here is less than china as state in china does not steal from the talented and pay to the lazy and uncompotenet. So there is more incentive to work hard. whereas here there is more incentive to stay at home and do more deceive to get more of others’ people. You can call it equallity but I call it looting.

            You did not read my previous posts, yeah at the moment you may be right. But look at figures and trends, day by day, more innovation and science is being created in east. China is not a just copy maker of the world, it is going to have its own high end brands. India will have more PhD in computer than USA in a decade and most western country like UK will not be able to cope with their issues without skilled workers of the east.

            The main reason for all this downfall is the fallacy of the likes of you that think progress is automatic, never thought why west was so much powerfull in the past and still think everything happens just in London or New York. No mate, your biggest bank are preparing to go to Singapore, the very hated bankers who pay the highest taxes.

            Most of you dont know anything about east or middle east apart from nonsenses in BBC or other media. You think your life is so posh and luxurious in compare to them. So uneducated are you.

            Good luck buddy.

          • Kizaz

            Youre the one who has no idea.

            HSBC moving to Singapore – HSBC is an asian bank.

            London is the financial capital of the world and has just overtaken New York – it’s lightyears ahead of anything else on earth. That’s just one metric.

            You are impervious to the truth other than “The west is doomed” narrative that you are trying to sell so hard.

            If you are that convinced of it – why are you trying so hard to sell it?

            Engaging with people who don’t know what they are talking about or perhaps wilfuly choose to believe things that are not true is pointless but I thought I’d point out that Indias navy is rubbish.

            The UK is a more organised and sophisticated, significantly richer and far more effective military power than Argentina. There are also measures in place to prevent that ever happening which you have no idea about and never will. Which is fine. Because even if you knew, you’d say THE DOLLAR IS DOOMED, LONDON WILL BE A WASTELAND AND BOW DOWN TO YOUR DUBAI/CHINESE MASTERS.


          • ArashUK

            already replied that. London maybe the capital for now but again mate look at trends and see the facts.

            The fact that you think HSBC is an Asian bank because of its name shows how out of reality are you. No mate, it was established in Shanghai and Singapore when the glorious British Empire were everywhere in the world and it was a British bank.

            I am not trying so hard to sell it. I just want to make you think which seems you dont want to think. You have not heard of Emirates stadium in London, Emirates line in east london, you have not heard that Harrods is a more Qatari store now. You dont know Standard Charteres has moved to he east many years ago (oh it is not a Britsh bank either?). You have not heard that millions of barbars are invading the europe and you are so desperate about them? It seems you have not heard about the economic mess around the EU and its failing corruted welfare states and and yeah UK has a much better position for now.

            Children of the very same men and women who defended this free and liberal continent with their bloods and now their children are just wasting their outcomes.

            West was the mother of liberty, freedom especially economic freedom and innovation. But it was, not is anymore,

          • Kizaz

            Actually, reading between the lines, it looks like you hate tax. And that is the main reason you hate the west, because the UK HMRC “looted” from you and gave it to the poor.

            Im going to go out on a limb and say that perhaps you owed that tax and in your home country, bribery and tax avoidance is normal, hence the corrupt state, weak institutions and awful public services. So when you came to the UK, you perhaps got in trouble by trying to import your 3rd world tax avoidance ways and are now bitter.

            Might be true.

          • ArashUK

            my personal matters is none of your business. Yeah tax is a looting by government and I learnt from great WESTERN thinkers such as Adam Smith, Ayn Rand and Ludwig Von Mises. Capitalism and free market are the greatest achievement of the west. Property right was introduced first in west. Getting from talented by the force of gun and pay to the incompetenet is not a real liberal western thing.

            Also, dont make me laugh about your public service which are in complete mess, so expensive and of very low quality. I am not going to teach you on socilaism and capitlaism but this lefties nonsense as I said before one of the main reason of your downfall. Dont ever think that talented people are cows you can milk them forever.

            UK was at its heights in 19th Century when state was just a night watchman and there was not any of these beloved public sector and the fact that you can be proud of yourself as a briton lies in all achievements of victorian era. UK has not had anything to offer after WWII. You were finished after actually WWI and then the downfall process was completed after WWII. Nowadays, you are nothig in compare to victorian era comrade. face the fact that UK now is not even a shadow of British Empire.

            On the other hand, being slave of the state, public of masses are products of ancient east.

            And its funny that the likes of you have abandonded the real western values and are sticking to failed eastern concepts of universal state and still think that west is superior!!!!

            It is really the last reponse so you are so in denial who does not need what to defend mate.

            Study and think more and use more reason wont kill anyone.

      • James Gleave

        “public spending does not boost the growth, it distorts the market and creates artificiall winner and losers”

        Whereas the free market benefits all to such a degree that Adam Smith considered that there was no role for the state to play. Oh sorry, I got that wrong.

        Public spending plays a role ensuring that all parties – individuals or companies – have at least the same opportunity to succeed as others by providing basic things like justice, education, healthcare, transport links etc. Things important to the functioning of any market economy. And things were often the business case is poor for the private sector to do it alone.

        To say that it doesn’t boost growth is as logical as saying your ability to catch isn’t hampered by your arm being cut off. Anything that has cash flowing through it is an economic entity and can affect growth to a greater or lesser extent. Let alone when that entity is responsible for over 30% of economic expenditure.

        The problem with any system, free market or socialism or social democracy or whatever, is the same – people. To say that any system or any means of expenditure does not artificially create winners or losers is frankly daft.

        • ArashUK

          you got it wrong comrade and I am not going to teach you economy.

          The fact that state is responsible for 30% of our economy does not mean that it should have a big role, it is the very problem that I am talking about!!!! Your whole debate is based on the fact that State is necessary and also based on Keynesian fallacy that any cash flow is useful!!!!!!

          No comrade state is distorting the market, it does not provide opportunity for everyone, it creates artificial winners and losers and I am not going to repeat my previous comment again. All services you mentioned could be provided by private sector much better, more efficient and cheaper. NHS, education system and transport in the UK are all corrupted system which are too expensive for those who pay for them and of very low quality. We pay a fortune each month for london underground to end up with strikes by a bunch of looters. I pay each month a great amount of tax to fund your beloved NHS and then it took 3 months in order I was referred to a specialist and at last I paid for a private one!!!!

          And exactly due to the big role of state it reserves the right to interfer in all aspects of our lives. for example, you should not eat sugar too much. why? becayse it causes many diseases and as NHS is free, state should force you to be a healthy man!!! But in a free market, when the insurance is private, you know that if you are not healthy you will have to pay higher premium for insurance and so it is up to you. The same is true for everything else and so as Von Mises said all welfare states end up in totalitarian states which is so true and you can see how gradually UK state is controlling every single moment of our lives and ask for more money as there are more people in need!!!

          These issues could be found in free market as well but you have choice and you can punich the private companies by refusing to use their services. They are competing with each other and so try to offer the best. but in state, you dont have any choice, you have to pay for the government useless expenses. As a middle class worker I have to pay 30% of my income (I do not consider other taxes such as council tax, VAT, etc.) to the state to pay it for lazy people or waste them on useless projects and at time of retirement I will get the insulting amount og £112 per week like everyone else!!!

          I cannot understand by all these signs how the likes of you still supporting corrupted state. No comrade, state does not make growth, its GDP is a artificial figure to pretend that there is a growth, Keynes was a silly charlatan who was even worse than Marx.

          It is just in free market that people work and get according to their try not their needs and they accept responsibility for their mistakes and do not expect others pay for their life. There wont any artificial winner or loser in free market as anyone with good service is rewarded and anyone with bad service would be out of business. there wont be any distortion as market regulates demand, supply and prices not some dumb officials in a governmental buidlings who are so old fashioned which still use old fashioned way to do their jobs.

      • montana83

        Elect Corbyn in a few years and the UK will be Venezuela with a Queen. Want to see people leave the UK – elect a Marxist. Should be fun to watch at a distance.

      • Texas Sunday Morning

        Britain is a far, far richer country now than it was 100 years ago.

        • ArashUK

          you can tell it to fool yourself comrade, but the numbers are not in agreement with you!!!! you could deny history and facts but you are already denied!!!!!

    • ill-liberal

      Calling someone stupid after the guff you’ve just written. Ha, good one.

    • come here to claim the dole
      Many do, though; and there will be more of that now because the Deadbeats are coming, thanks to German wilful blindness.

  • Teacher

    Anyone who prefers Dubai to London must need their head examining.

    • Johnny Foreigner

      It has more sunny days, the end.

      • Muireach MacGilleChaluim

        And probably less Arabs than London….

      • So does Florida. Guess where I live?

    • ArashUK

      have you been there? I definitely prefer it: no tax, no people in need, very safe society and very nice beaches. What does London have to offer?

      • Jonathan Clark

        to each his own of course….I don’t know any who would chose to live in Dubai over London (for many reasons not needing enumeration).

        • ArashUK

          I already mentioned some. I’ve been living in both and Dubai is a better choice in many ways and I am thinking to come back there in near future and for your information there are many britons and americans who enjoy living there. For me, zero tax is a deal breaker.

          • Texas Sunday Morning

            Who needs freedom and democracy eh?

          • ArashUK

            democracy!!! dont make me laugh. each 5 years go to vote stations to choose between the worsts and the worse and then after election the elected forgot many things? no mate I dont care about it. And about freedom please explain more as I cannot see much freedom in a country that state intervens more in my life day by day, steals more taxes and there is less freedom of speech! 😀

            I never assume a country with no or limited property right as a free country. And for your information I have a much better feeling and more freedom at Dubai’s beaches. When I first visited a beach in UK it was so fanatic in my view.

            Dubai is not prefect but in many ways is far better than this politically correct people state of Little Britain.

          • Kizaz

            Dubai buys your support with tax breaks and plastic luxury.

            You can then ignore the abuses and backward cultural aspects because you are comfortable and pampered.

          • ArashUK

            and west buys my support with just a beautiful presentation and no actual value. Many westeners are still thinking that we are in 19th century but when travel to other countries you can easily see west is in backward in many ways. Many simple things are much worse in west. Just as an example, BT line connection takes 3 weeks in UK and about couple of days in many middle eastern countries.

            I dont know what do you mean by abuses and backward cultures? I see more women with burka and halal restaurants in London streets. I see more women with bikinis on Dubai’s beaches.

          • Kizaz

            You see more women in Bikinis than on London streets.

            The West is more backward than the middle east, what planet are you on? The I hate the West planet?

          • ArashUK

            the real planet mate. go and see the world has changed and westeners still think they are the best!!! And no much left before establishment of Islamc Republic of EU.

            PS: I talked about the beaches and the fact that Dubai’s are much better. Also, I was talking about Dubai and not the whole middle east.

          • Kizaz

            You’re weird.

            A weird mix of Fox news, Russia Today and CCTV.

            Well enjoy your “downfall of the west!” commenting spree.

            The oil is running out soon you know. What does Dubai do other than inefficiently spend billions of oil wealth on sinking islands, bribes and empty vanity projects?

            Hope you enjoy using the no doubt hundreds of western inventions and products you use every day. Cheers weirdo.

          • ArashUK

            instead of being rude and stick to intimidation try to have a proper debate based on facts. As it seems you just want to keep saying nonsense it is my last reply mate.

            Yeah oil will finish one day, but if you had done more research you would have known that the share of oil from UAE income is getting less day by day. UAE has established a modern and well known business and service hub in middle east which will continue to produce wealth after finishign oil in about 100 years.

            Also, this debate started about which place is better to live. It was not about philiosophical reason of status quo of them. Dubai is a better place to live now withouth huge looting from government and plenty of lazy people in need.

            And you try to read less of Guardian, BBC and New Stateman with their imperialistic, hyprocrite mindset.

          • Kizaz

            Not beingrude. Just pointing out your hypocrisy and blindness to the fact that yourhate the west and are on a spree trying to sel that idea to anyone who will listen to your comments.

          • ArashUK

            already replied comrade. have nothing to say? ignored!

          • Kizaz

            Nah the battery macbook was running low so I wasn’t able to make full use of the ARM chip inside to reply to your chippy nonsense over the American created invention we call the internet.

            Enjoy your free market capitalist heaven of the UAE where emiratis get given fake jobs to do nothing for huge salaries (government benefits). When the oil runs out, its game over.

            investing in a few central London businesses and buildings with free resource wealth – thanks, that money is now in the UK, won’t prop up a wasteful system that you pretend is the ultimate embodiment of free market principles. What a joke.

          • ArashUK

            ok comrade. you dont understand what I said, enjoy your welfare people state of little britain and have good dreams!!! hahaha

          • Kizaz

            Lol ok

            Enjoy your 3rd world dictatorship propped up plastic luxury with oil.

            Don’t worry the market forces in the west will innovate and make oil obselete before 100 years. Then its game over for you lol

        • davidofkent

          Then you don’t know the right people. Dubai is a magnet for the British. Personally, I have always found it too humid in the summer and the massive amount of building has ruined the skyline.

      • Toy Pupanbai

        Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

        If he can afford it!

        • ArashUK

          hahahah good point

  • sir_graphus

    If it benefits the country that a few rich people don’t pay tax, why not cut taxes for everyone else too; we’ll either spend the money (boosting the economy), invest it (creating jobs) or use our money to reduce our burden on the state.

    • Mary Ann

      You would have to increase pay and pensions so everyone has enough to live on and pay for their own health and social care.

      • You don’t understand economics, do you, Mary Ann?

  • PerplexedSardine

    Personally I prefer most tea black, but only someone who has never tried Earl Grey before would attempt to put milk and sugar in it*. Mr Sethia is right to despair of you.

    You’ve really rather let us all down, you know.

    *At least, that is my hope. The alternative, that you actually prefer Earl Grey with milk and sugar, is too ghastly to contemplate.

  • Junius

    ‘He…makes a noise like a gurgling drain being unblocked by a plunger.’

    That is just what my gut sounds like this morning. I blame last night’s chicken tikka.

    And I drink tea with milk to slake my thirst, not to be transported to the foothills of Bhutan. Just as I drink Morrisons Australian red at £3.80 a bottle to… well, you know why, sport.

  • thomasaikenhead

    “A non-dom speaks: ‘The Swiss, Hong Kong, the Singaporeans, they are all saying “Come”!’

    Then please do yourself and the English a favour and go?

    • MichtyMe

      When he does go I doubt if he will enjoy non dom status. Believe it exists in no other jurisdiction.

      • Ken

        That doesn’t matter. From 2017, it won’t exist here either. However, these other jurisdictions have significantly lower tax rates – income taxes, capital gains, inheritance and sales taxes. In some Swiss cantons, the total tax rate you pay can be as low as 12.5%. Compared with the near 50% here, that’s a no-brainer.

        • Mary Ann

          But how do the Swiss pay for health care?

          • Ken

            You should ask the Swiss.

  • Lawrence James.

    From the Viceroy downwards, the British in India were not exempt from Indian taxes nor from the law. This man seems to expect both. Let him brew up in Singapore, but be wary of dropping any litter in the street.

  • huw

    well piss off then :O)

  • edlancey

    “effectively resident in Britain but still legally domiciled in their native land, for tax reasons”

    Go on bugger off then.

  • Bring Back Free Speech

    Only a deeply corrupt country such as Britain has become would give a more favourable tax regime to foreigners than its own people. We’d all like lower taxes – the idea that the richest should pay the least is offensive. Non-doms cause massive house price inflation in London, impoverishing those of us who have to pay the full panoply of socialist taxes.

    • ill-liberal

      They still pay tax in Britain, just not kn money they make elsewhere right ?

      Seems to be a case kg cutting our nose off to spite our face. Waving them off to spend their wonga elsewhere seems foolish.

  • aspeckofboggart

    Black fungus is one of my favourite vegan foods. Protein rich. White fungus costs more but not as crunchy.

  • jim1999

    FIFA was in Switzerland and the USA picked them off for sport. Hong Kong – or do you mean Beijing? Singapore – they ban chewing gum. Can you see yourself in a country that is the living embodiment of an anal retentive control freak

  • pobjoy

    Personally, I’m sure Mr Sethia is right when he says he knows about tea. His tea is nowhere near the most expensive, but is definitely better than most, so is arguably good value. But the price puts it out of the question for many, even as a one-off purchase. It’s probaby true that many British people will not appreciate the difference, anyway; at present. So his best strategy is surely to persuade that his product is better value, to advertise, subtly; as perhaps this article intends!

    Sethia makes clear, however, that if Osborne really doesn’t want non-doms, then they can always leave.

    Leave for where? To a country where people cannot afford his tea at all? What Mr Sethia and others like him must understand is that, unless money is kept in circulation, product cannot be bought. That’s why taxation is essential, and countries that tax lightly are cheating, to the detriment of all. It’s why some business people in the UK (and even the USA) support higher taxation for those with the most disposable income.

    • Mary Ann

      It sounds a bit like all those jobs that were going to be lost if we had a minimum wage, the same is being said of the living wage!!!

  • Texas Sunday Morning

    The people who grow the tea create that wealth, he just controls it.

  • Sarka

    Mmmm. I should have Mr. Seitha’s problems! I am a British citizen who has lived abroad for years – with tax domicile abroad.

    The UK proposes to tax my just-come-due tiny but for me significant monthly pension from a UK fund (occupational, from contributions years ago when I lived in the UK), but will not allow me a British bank account. The tax I do not mind – apparently I can go through a lengthy procedure to get myself formally recognised by the British revenue as being non-resident, and then have the pension taxed – as it happens at a lesser rate – with the rest of my income where I live. But automatic tax when I cannot have a UK bank account seems churlish, and above all the not-having-an account allows the UK bank chosen by the pension fund to send the money abroad to profiteer. I was flabberghasted when baldly told that this bank will charge 20 quid (or more as time goes by), on every transfer – i.e. every routine standing monthly payment to another sterling account in Europe – to the end of my life. This is considerably more than the transfer charge on ordinary one- off international transfers between accounts, which require a little more effort on the bank’s part than any individual routine standing order payment. This bank is laughing all the way to itself!

    • Mary Ann

      It’s not difficult to register to pay tax in another European country, the forms are on the inland revenue website. It wasn’t nearly as difficult as we were led to believe by friends, mind you, I asked at my local tax office, they are generally very helpful if you speak the lingo, or at least give it a go.

  • tolpuddle1

    I had heard about right-wing journalistic crawling to the super-rich, but had only doubtfully come across it.

    But this article is REAL crawling, real sycophancy.

    Thanks Melissa.

    But the truth is that Brits are as unimpressed by Mr Sethia and his pals as by his taste in tea, so no deal.

    We’ll try not to lose any sleep over “the real hurt in his eyes.” His £12 billion net worth and extensive mining interests (unmentioned in the article) will, we trust, console him.

  • Frank

    Melissa, not one of your finest pieces!

  • Frank

    Bloomberg states that Mr Sethia has been living here since 1966. If he likes Britain that much he can pay tax like the rest of us, or go and enjoy Switzerland / Dubai / etc.

  • Ken

    Irrespective of what you think about non-doms and the tax they pay, there are many thousands of jobs here that depend on their presence and their spending. If the non-doms leave, it’s not just the tax they pay that will be lost but also the tax paid by these thousands of people.

  • slamdac

    Let them Go. I’m a Conservative voter, but Non Dom’s have an unfair advantage on native Brits. It’s just not cricket. We’d be better off without them.