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David Cameron Admits Profitting From Father’s Offshore Accounts Exposed In Panama Papers.

David Cameron finally admitted to benefiting from the Panama-based offshore trust set up by his late father. He confessed that he owned shares in the tax haven fund, which he sold £31,500. Admitting that the past few days have been difficult, Cameron said he held the shares together with his wife, Samantha, from 1997 and during his time as leader of the opposition. They were sold in 2010 for a profit of £19,000. He paid paid income tax on the dividends but there was no capital gains tax payable and he said he sold up before entering Downing Street “because I didn’t want anyone to say you have other agendas or vested interests”.

 

The Labour MP John Mann, a member of the Treasury select committee has called for the prime minister’s resignation, claiming that Cameron had “covered up and misled”. Cameron admitted, however, that he did not know if his £300,000 inheritance from his father had benefitted from tax haven status due to part of his estate being based in a unit trust in Jersey. “I obviously can’t point to the source of every bit of money and dad’s not around for me to ask the questions now,” Cameron said. Speaking about his personal wealth, Cameron told Peston: “In all of this I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a very lucky person who had wealthy parents, who gave me a great upbringing, who paid for me to go to an amazing school. I have never tried to pretend to be anything I am not. But I was keen in 2010 to sell everything shares, all the rest of it so I can be very transparent. I don’t own any part of any company or any investment trust or anything else like that.”

 

This is the fifth explanation in four days from Cameron and his aides about the benefits he had from the offshore funds. He initially insisted that the offshore funds were a private matter, then he said he had “no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds”. His spokesman later clarified: “The prime minister, his wife and their children do not benefit from any offshore funds.” Downing Street then said there were no offshore funds or trusts the family would benefit from in future, leaving questions about the past. After keeping mum on the matter, Cameron granted his first interview days later and questioned on whether there was a conflict of interest between his father setting up the Panama-based Blairmore Investment Trust, which did not have to pay UK tax on its profits, and his professed policy to crack down on aggressive tax avoidance. “Rules have changed, culture has changed,” he said. “And I welcome that. I want to be as clear as I can about the past, about the present, about the future, because frankly, I don’t have anything to hide.”

 

Richard Burgon, the shadow Treasury minister, said Cameron’s admission showed a “crisis of morals” at the heart of the Conservative government. He said: “After four days of refusing to answer this question David Cameron has now finally been forced to admit he directly benefited from Blairmore, a company which paid no tax in 30 years. He must now further clarify whether or not he or his family were benefiting directly or indirectly in 2013 when he was lobbying to prevent EU measures to better regulate trusts as a way to clamp down on tax avoidance.

 

“David Cameron needs to properly put the record straight in full on this matter and issue a statement to parliament on Monday. We can’t let this crisis of morals at the heart of the Conservative government further undermine public trust in the office of prime minister or the principle that those who govern us should pay their tax like the rest of us.”

 

The Panama Papers were leaked to the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared them with the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the Guardian, BBC and other media organisations. Four days into the torrent of revelations, regulators stepped up their response.

Photo Credit: 
independent.com.mt

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