When he quit the UK in protest at the government's introduction of more penal tax rules for wealthy individuals, Terra Firma boss Guy Hands may have been hoping for a nice, quiet, controversy-free retreat on the Channel Island of Guernsey. Hmm.
According to a report in the Times newspaper, Hands last October reportedly paid around £7 million (€8.2 million; $11.7 million) for the 11,000 sq ft Ocean House – a record sum for a Guernsey property. The house has fine views over the Western Channel. Let's hope the view isn't spoilt by protesting locals. Apparently, the current residence was built by a prior owner on the site of a previously more humble abode – and when the new version went up, there were howls of protest that it ruined the coastal view.
Furthermore, Hands' arrival has apparently sparked debates on the island about whether – to borrow a phrase from the Times report – “Guernsey should really be a Monaco-style low-tax bolthole for refugees from the financial crisis”. While some residents would apparently welcome such a development as benefitting the economy, others say it prices locals out of the housing market.