The revelation via the Panama Papers that the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has personally benefited from a secret offshore fund setup by his dad, and that he now admits that this is indeed the case, has provoked a bit of a political storm. From this flows some highly embarrassing (for him) details …
- He personally admits making £30,000 from selling share of trust in 2010
- He wrote a 2013 letter to the European Union arguing that offshore trusts should not be subject to the same transparency rules as companies. The official who was leading the EUs crackdown on tax avoidance said that left ‘a huge loophole’ in her plans
As you might expect in this age of austerity there has been a public response …
More than 125,000 people have signed a petition calling for David Cameron to shut down British-owned tax havens. The petition, by campaign group 38 degrees, says that “the mega-rich shouldn’t be allowed to get away with paying less than their fair share of tax”.
… and that response is not exactly something you can just ignore.
Now to be clear here, what has been going on is not illegal, so no laws have been broken. He also did not personally set this up, and did dump the shares he had inherited and got out back in 2010. However, having an investment fund located offshore is done to avoid paying tax and he did opt to keep very quite about all of this and shout about such tactics being highly dubious. When faced with Comedian Jimmy Carr being caught doing exactly this a few years ago, Mr Cameron suggested that such an arrangement was morally wrong …
David Cameron has criticised the comedian Jimmy Carr, describing him as “morally wrong” for seeking to avoid taxes.
Media reports of Carr’s financial arrangements suggest “straightforward tax avoidance”, said the prime minister, and it was unfair on the people who pay to watch him perform that he is not paying his taxes in the same way that they do.
… thus the public discovery that he had at one time being doing exactly the same is indeed both political, media and twitter fodder.
In other words, this has been a very very bad week for him.
Now the Fun part – #ResignCameron
This revelation has triggered a very entertaining twitter feed with the hash tag #ResignCameron and some of the tweets are real gems. He will no doubt do what he does best which is basically nothing and hope that it all blows over in a few weeks. Here are a few of my favourites … enjoy.
The road to power is paved with hypocrisy and casualties. https://t.co/ZBpgBT1eL8
— House of Cards (@HouseofCards) April 7, 2016
"You're trending Dave"
"Is it good?"
— Stuart Robertson (@stupendous223) April 8, 2016
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 8, 2016
— Noel McGivern (@Good_Beard) April 8, 2016
— HèySöutré (@HeySoutre) April 8, 2016
— Martin O'Neill (@DrNostromo) April 8, 2016
— Shane Rae FRSA (@shane_r) April 8, 2016
— India Thorogood (@indiathorogood) April 8, 2016