Yes, Oliver Wright in the Independent is dull.
He equated “public clamour for our politicians to reveal their tax affairs” with a unilateral decision – by MPs – to publish their tax returns. That isn’t what was demanded.
We want to know what MPs are leaving off their tax statements.
Publication of tax returns – especially the abridged versions that were put out by the likes of Cameron and Osborne – was a pointless waste of time.
And people have been making that point very clearly in the social media. The classic example was Frankie Boyle.
He tweeted: “A tax return is a pretty useless guide to whether people have money offshore that they don’t pay tax on.”
Perhaps Mr Wright didn’t think of that.
Or perhaps he intended to distract us all away from it?
So the mob got a bit of what it wanted. And, as a result of the public clamour for our politicians to reveal their tax affairs we, now know –in ascending order of interest –that:
5) David Cameron now owns no shares although he did before he was Prime Minister.
4) George Osborne owns a house and he gets a tidy rent from it each month.
3) The Chancellor also earns more than most families do in a year from dividends paid by his family’s wallpaper company.
2) That’s nothing compared to Boris Johnson who is surely being paid too much (£250,000 a year) for his weekly political knock-about column in the Telegraph.
1) And, most interesting of all, Jeremy Corbyn can’t fill in his tax form online and was three months late submitting the paper version, resulting in a £100 fine.
Forgive me if I’ve missed something, but it seems to me we have learned nothing of substance from this new-found spirit of openness. I’m not sure that what we do now know even amounts to prurient tittle tattle. It is all very dull.
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