Socialist Worker

Tory posh boy admits he IS a rich tax dodger

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2499

Toff-shore Scameron

Toff-shore Scameron


The grudging release of at least some of the information about David Cameron’s finances shows he moves in a world of great wealth.

He profited from an offshore fund, but he also grabbed far more.

After a week of prevarication the prime minister released a summary of his tax returns for the past six years.

Cameron was handed £200,000 by his mother because, it is claimed, she felt his £300,000 inheritance from his father was not large enough.

Mary Cameron is believed to have inherited shares in her husband's Blairmore fund, which was based in Panama and then in Ireland, and money he left in Jersey, another tax haven.

Gifts from family members are not liable for inheritance tax seven years after they are made. This means if Cameron’s mother lives until 2018, the prime minister will pay no tax on the money.

Records show Cameron sold shares worth £72,000. No details were immediately available over what these shares were, or if they had any link to offshore investments.

As well as his money from his prime ministerial role (over £140,000 a year), Cameron and his wife Samantha made in excess of £430,000 over six years from renting out their west London home.

It took Cameron six days to admit profiting from his father's offshore holdings. On Monday of last week, a spokesman said, "That is a private matter."

Offshore

On Tuesday morning, Cameron said, "I have no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds." That afternoon a spokesman said, "To be clear, the prime minister, his wife and their children do not benefit from any offshore funds.”

On Wednesday Downing Street said the Cameron, his wife Samantha, and their children would not benefit from any offshore income in future.

But on Thursday Cameron finally admitted the couple bought their holding from his father in April 1997 for £12,497 and sold it in January 2010 for £31,500.

On Saturday Cameron said, "I know that I should have handled this better, I could have handled this better. Don't blame No 10 Downing Street or nameless advisers, blame me."

The returns reveal that his lifestyle is enhanced by a series of financial perks only usually available to the super rich.

Ian Cameron managed funds in Panama, Switzerland and Jersey and was estimated by The Sunday Times to be worth £10 million. Yet, when he died in 2009 aged 77, he left only £2.74 million in his English will.

David Cameron intervened personally to prevent offshore trusts from inclusion in an EU-wide crackdown on tax avoidance. In a 2013 letter to the then president of the European council, the prime minister said that trusts should not automatically be subject to the same transparency requirements as companies.

Downing Street has failed to release details of the preceding five years, from the time he became leader of the Tory party, making it impossible to calculate the total amount of income the prime minister derived from his father's offshore fund, Blairmore Holdings during the period he owned shares.


New boss is the same as the old boss

The head of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) was previously a partner at a law firm which represented a number of offshore companies. They included Blairmore Holdings, the fund set up by David Cameron's father.

HMRC has been given in a lead role in the £10 million taskforce launched by Cameron to investigate the Panama Papers.

Edward Troup, the new executive chairman of HMRC, is a former partner at Simmons & Simmons.

Simmons & Simmons' name appears on dozens of emails and documents in the Panama Papers.

Apparently Troup had never had dealings with Mossack Fonseca and none of the individuals or organisations named so far in relation to the Panama Papers were clients he advised.


The Tory chancellor and his old money backers

George Osborne says he doesn’t have any offshore holdings. Osborne, heir to the baronetcy of Ballintaylor and Ballylemon, County Waterford, has a mortgage on his £2 million London home with the 338?year old bank Hoare & Co

This didn’t stop him “flipping” his expense claims and avoiding capital gains tax on a London house.

We do know he has around £4 million as the beneficiary of a trust fund that owns a 15 percent stake in Osborne & Little, the wallpaper company.

Clients are expected to have a minimum personal income of £250,000 a year. They also usually need to bring at least £500,000 in cash.

Osborne & Little made a £6million property deal with a undisclosed developer based in the British virgin islands tax haven.


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