Will Cameron come clean about his family's tax avoidance?

Will Cameron come clean about his family’s tax avoidance?

These facts are awkward for the Prime Minister: In the early 1980s his father Ian helped to establish an offshore fund, unabashedly named ‘Blairmore’ after the family’s ancestral family home in Aberdeenshire, which avoided ever having to pay tax in Britain.

These facts are awkward because they raise questions for a Prime Minister who has staked his reputation on tackling tax avoidance; who used his G8 speech in 2013 to argue for international transparency and said, “It matters because some people use complicated and fake structures to hide their profits and avoid their taxes”; who banned “bearer shares” – which allow the anonymous transfer of assets and opened up UK Companies House; who employs a man as his Chancellor who calls tax avoidance “morally repugnant” and whose office, in the light of the Panama Papers, issues a standard line which states that David Cameron is determined “to take action to tackle evasion and aggressive tax avoidance”.

Ian Cameron was obviously a successful father and by all accounts a decent and popular man but he took a different view on tax and made no secret of it in the context of Blairmore. He was the fund’s highest-paid director and is identified in a prospectus issued to wealthy investors which boasted that “the Fund will not be subject to United Kingdom corporation tax or income tax on its profits”.

That prospectus was printed and distributed in 2006, following David Cameron’s election as leader of the Conservative Party. So an awkward question: was David Cameron aware of the prospectus? And another: what knowledge does the Prime Minister have of his family’s off-shore interests? And if these questions will not be answered by Downing Street, there’s another: how does the Prime Minister reconcile his own approach to tax with that of his father?

And that question is most important because it’s a microcosm of an honest debate Britain should have about tax and foreign ownership.

Source: Panama Papers: The truth about the Blairmore fund – by the man who exposed it | UK Politics | News | The Independent

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