Tuesday 27 September 2016

Cameron publishes tax records showing £200k gift from mother

David Hughes

Published 11/04/2016 | 02:30

David Cameron has been under pressure since the Panama Papers leaks. Photo: Reuters
David Cameron has been under pressure since the Panama Papers leaks. Photo: Reuters

British prime minister David Cameron will face questions from MPs today for the first time after the row over his personal finances.

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Mr Cameron will make a statement in the House of Commons on steps to investigate the Panama Papers revelations and tackle tax evasion as MPs return to Westminster following the Easter break.

In an attempt to be transparent about his own finances, Mr Cameron took the unprecedented step of publishing details of his tax returns, but Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn insisted Mr Cameron still had "big questions" to answer about an investment in an offshore trust set up by his father.

Downing Street also revealed that Mr Cameron had been given a £200,000 (€247,561) gift by his mother following his father's death, a move which could potentially reduce inheritance tax liabilities.

Inheritance

Number 10 said that the two payments of £100,000 in 2011 came on top of the £300,000 Mr Cameron inherited from his father Ian as the prime minister's mother Mary attempted to "balance" the sums received by their children.

The information about the prime minister's finances showed that he paid more than £400,000 in tax on an income of more than £1m over six years from 2009 to 2015.

The disclosure followed the furore over the Panama Papers data leak and the revelation that Mr Cameron and his wife Samantha made a £19,000 profit on shares in an offshore trust set up by Mr Cameron's father which were sold in 2010.

The prime minister has been angered by the focus on his father's offshore business interests, insisting it was a "fundamental misconception" that the Blairmore Holdings trust had been set up to avoid tax.

Defence Minister Penny Mordaunt told BBC One's 'Sunday Politics': "I don't think it's damaged his credibility. I think - I don't have any other insights other than you do, but I don't think he has done anything wrong.

"I think what this is about is trust. And he has to now demonstrate and build up that trust and rapport with the general public."

Mr Corbyn said more people in public life should publish their tax returns and suggested the prime minister still had more to disclose, particularly about the period before he entered No 10.

Liable

He told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "I want to see the papers. We need to know what he's actually returned as a tax return, we need to know why he put this money overseas in the first place and whether he made anything out of it or not before 2010 when he became prime minister."

The payments by Mary Cameron to her son in May and July 2011 were given tax-free, and will only become liable to inheritance tax of up to 40pc if the prime minister's mother dies within seven years of handing over the money. There is no suggestion that they have broken any rules.

The information released by Number 10, in a schedule drawn up by accountants, showed the Mr Cameron had a taxable income of more than £200,000 in 2014-15 and paid almost £76,000 in tax.

The information shows that he earned enough to benefit from the cut in the top rate of tax in the last budget from 50p to 45p, and reveals that the Notting Hill home vacated by the prime minister and his wife when they entered Number 10 has been let out for more than £90,000 a year.

Mr Cameron said he was publishing the information to be "completely open and transparent" about his financial affairs.

Irish Independent

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