Businessman hired to save Northern Rock is a non-dom

Ron Sandler, the troubleshooter brought in by Gordon Brown to oversee the rescue of Northern Rock, has been revealed to be a non-dom who does not pay UK taxes on his offshore earnings.

Mr Sandler will be paid £1m a year for turning the nationalised bank around, and will be expected to pay taxes on his UK earnings. But the revelation of his non-domiciled tax status constitutes an embarrassment for the Government which recently announced measures to penalise non-doms by imposing a tax of £30,000 a year after they have lived in Britain for seven years. The Zimbabwe-born Mr Sandler, who holds a German passport, has lived and worked in the UK since the mid-1980s, and would be eligible for the £30,000 annual payment.

The Treasury said it was unable to discuss an individual's tax arrangements, but a spokesman added: "If he were a non-dom, we would be quite relaxed about that. We have got a tax regime which allows people not domiciled in the UK to come here and work. Regardless of what people's position is, they pay tax on their income in the UK."

The Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vincent Cable said: "The Government does seem to have an extraordinary search engine which it finds banana skins to fall on. All the Government's favourite businessmen, including Sir Richard Branson and now Ron Sandler, appear to have so little commitment to the country, let alone the Government, that they prefer to pay their taxes somewhere else.

"Ron Sandler presumably is now becoming the second best-paid person in Newcastle after Michael Owen – at least Michael Owen pays his taxes here." Mr Sandler's chief financial officer at the bank, Ann Godbehere, is also reported to be resident abroad for tax purposes.

The Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott, who has campaigned for non-doms to be taxed, said: "Taxpayers peering into the Northern Rock black hole will insist Mr Sandler pays full British tax on the £1.08m a year we pay him. He is the top-paid British civil servant by a mile and he must only get a performance fee when Northern Rock has paid every penny of our cash back."

Yesterday the Government pushed ahead with legislation to nationalise Northern Rock despite howls of protest from MPs of all parties that the Bill was being forced through in a matter of hours. MPs had only four hours to debate the principle of nationalisation. Detailed debate on the legislation – which gives ministers the theoretical power to take any crisis-hit bank into public ownership – was allocated less than an hour-and-a-half. Peers will debate the Bill today before the Bill returns to the Commons on Thursday when MPs will have just one hour to discuss any amendments from the Lords.

Philip Hammond, the shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said the debate was a "travesty of a scrutiny process".

But Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, insisted: "It is essential we proceed quickly... It is impossible to run a bank – let alone any other company – unless it is clear who is in charge of that bank."

George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor, said: "We don't know how much we are buying this bank for, we don't know what we are buying in terms of its assets and liabilities, we don't know how long we are buying it for. What does the Government plan to do with it once it's been bought?"

Meanwhile union leaders held talks with MPs from the North-east, amid demands for a ban on compulsory redundancies. Leaders of the banking industry also expressed concern that the nationalisation would lead to unfair competition.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing