After no less than four different statements on the subject, David Cameron is still no closer to telling us whether he is really going to benefit from his father’s tax avoidance.
Three statements yesterday – and now a fourth one today (April 6) – have claimed that he and his family do not currently receive money from offshore funds and trusts, and will not receive money from offshore sources in the future.
But Blairmore Holdings, the company created for tax avoidance purposes by Cameron’s late father Ian, moved to Ireland in 2010, according to the Telegraph. Does that count as offshore, in the mind of the person or people who wrote those statements?
Nobody seems to be asking about the reasons for creating Blairmore to avoid tax in the first place. Certainly Cameron Sr wanted to enjoy the benefits of a reduced tax bill in his lifetime, and nothing has been said about the financial affairs of his wife, the prime minister’s mother Mary. It seems highly unlikely that she does not benefit from Blairmore or a similar fund. What happens when she passes away?
In short: If David Cameron is not receiving funds from this tax avoidance venture, then who is?
Cameron has certainly gained financially from Blairmore in the past – he received £300,000 from his father in Cameron Sr’s will, after Ian Cameron died in 2010. This means there are questions still to be asked about the Conservative Government’s lax attitude to tax avoidance, which can be summed up in four words: “Talk hard, be soft.”
For example, Chris Bryant – who was responsible for overseas territories and dependencies when Labour was in power – was involved in a standoff with them over transparency. He had pressed them to be more transparent and tried to put pressure on them by refusing to authorise loans, but the standoff ended when the Conservatives took office in 2010. The Tories simply dropped the matter.
Perhaps most importantly of all, with an election now just one month away, this affair has shaken voters’ confidence in the Conservative Party.
How can we believe Tory election promises when we know they don’t act on those pledges?
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