Tax is really annoying, isn’t it. Your employees spend all day and night working hard on minimum wage to make sure that your property empire or coffee shop chain or online bookstore makes you really rather rich, and then the tax man thinks he has a right to take half of it away from you. Even worse, the tax isn’t just spend on sensible things like cleaning out MP’s moats, it’s used to pay for schools, hospitals, police and roads.
Like many of the super rich, David Cameron has done his best to avoid paying tax. He’s done this by investing his money in an offshore tax haven run by his dad. So far Cameron has admitted to making £19,000 in profit from those shares, which he sold without paying any tax just before he became Prime Minister. He sold them because he knew what he was doing was wrong – he was living in the UK, but avoiding paying tax in the UK. He knew it looked bad – in fact he told Jimmy Carr that he was “morally wrong” for doing exactly that. Would Cameron have sold the shares if he was not about to land the top job in the country? Unlikely. Cameron has offered to publish his tax returns dating back to 2010. The clever thing about that is it looks like he’s doing the right thing, but he’s not publishing any details of his dodgy dealings before he was PM, and anyway, by it’s very nature it only covers the tax he has paid, not the tax he has avoided.
David Cameron may personally have made a fair amount of money by hiding it from the tax man, but the real evil genius is his late father, Ian Cameron. He managed tens of millions of pounds, all shielded from UK taxes. David Cameron claims that he doesn’t stand to benefit from that fund in future, but it did pay for his Eton education, paved the way for his entry in the Bullingdon Club (pun intended), and generally paved the way for his path in to politics. And with 50% of Tory MPs having gone to private school, it’s easy to see that money does indeed help when it comes to entering politics.
The most evil part of David Cameron’s week is his attempts to trick the British public with what he thought were cleverly worded responses that the public would be too stupid to see through.
- When confronted with his behaviour, he first of all he said that his tax affairs were “a private matter”. That’s not exactly true of course – you are meant to tell the tax man about the money you earn.
- When people wouldn’t stand for that, a Number 10 spokesman said “The prime minister doesn’t own any shares”. That might be true, but it was such a very specific statement that led everyone to wonder if he had simply transferred them all to his fabulously wealthy wife.
- The next statement was “I have no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that. And, so that, I think, is a very clear description.” By saying that, he was pretending to give a definitive all encompassing statement, while actually giving no more information than before.
- Next a spokesman clarified “There are no offshore funds/trusts which the prime minister, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future”. So that cleared up that he hadn’t transferred his shares to his wife, but that whole “in future” statement was a bit telling.
- Finally, after backing himself into a corner, Cameron admitted that he had previously had shares in offshore funds
To top it off, David Cameron has previously lobbied the EU to block a crackdown on offshore trusts. He wanted to crack down on companies like Google and Starbucks, but wanted to keep in place the very loopholes which allowed his family to make so much money. Mwhahaha.