Is Cameron still relaxed about publishing his tax returns?
“The Prime Minister is relaxed about the idea of the tax returns of senior Cabinet Ministers being published, but wants the opportunity to explore how this might work,” someone authorised to speak on David Cameron’s behalf said in April 2012.
In that month, threats to make tax affairs public were everywhere. Grant Shapps, who was then local government minister, had talked about BBC presenters and highly paid public officials being forced to publish their returns. David Cameron and Boris Johnson were leading the charge against Ken Livingstone, who funnelled his earnings through a private company. Nick Clegg declared he was all for ministers’ finances to be made transparent.
Ten months on, we are no further. There is no sign that David Cameron has even begun to ‘explore how this might work.’
The Labour MP Stephen Pound attempted to prise the question open in the Commons today by asking the Prime Minister a loaded question: “Will you personally benefit from the millionaires’ tax cut to be introduced this April?”
The top rate of tax, which will fall from 50p to 45p in April, applies to incomes over £150,000. So if Cameron has only his £142,500 salary as Prime Minister to live off, the answer is no, he will not feel the tax cut. If he has other income, for instance from the £300,000 he is known to have inherited from his father, he will.
But Mr Cameron was not telling. “I will pay all the taxes that are due in the proper way,” was all he had to say.
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