Tuesday 24 April 2018

Jimmy Carr uses David Cameron's words to poke fun at offshore trust furore

Jimmy Carr apologised for his own
Jimmy Carr apologised for his own "error of judgment"

Comedian Jimmy Carr, whose financial dealings were criticised by David Cameron, said it would be "morally wrong" to comment on another individual's tax affairs as the Prime Minister faced criticism for benefiting from an offshore trust.

The Prime Minister publicly rebuked Carr in 2012, claiming the stand-up comic and TV presenter was "morally wrong" for taking money from the public who buy tickets to his shows and putting it into "very dodgy" tax avoidance schemes.

But Mr Cameron has been dragged into the row over the Panama Papers leak after it emerged he profited from a Bahamas-based investment fund set up by his late father Ian.

Carr wrote on Twitter: "I'm going to keep it classy. It would be 'morally wrong' and 'hypocrytical' (sic) to comment on another individual's tax affairs."

In 2012, the Prime Minister said schemes such as the one used by Carr were "completely wrong".

He said: "People work hard, they pay their taxes, they save up to go to one of his shows. They buy the tickets. He is taking the money from those tickets and he, as far as I can see, is putting all of that into some very dodgy tax avoiding schemes.

"That is wrong. There is nothing wrong with people planning their tax affairs to invest in their pension and plan for their retirement - that sort of tax management is fine.

"But some of these schemes we have seen are quite frankly morally wrong."

He added: "It is not fair on hard working people who do the right thing and pay their taxes to see these sorts of scams taking place."

Carr later admitted he had made a "terrible error of judgment" over his tax arrangements and has apologised for his actions.

Mr Cameron disclosed that in April 1997 he - jointly with his wife Samantha - bought a stake in Blairmore Holdings, an offshore fund set up and run by his late stockbroker father Ian, for £12,497.

In 2010, with Mr Cameron poised to enter Number 10, they sold it as part of a wider disposal of such assets for £31,500.

Income tax was paid on dividends from the holding but the £19,000 profit from the sale was just below the capital gains tax threshold which stood at £20,200 for a couple.

Mr Cameron also faces questions about whether any of the £300,000 legacy left to him by his stockbroker father came from offshore sources.

He told ITV News: " I obviously can't point to every source of every bit of the money, and dad isn't around to ask the questions now."

Press Association

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