Trying to period Panama Papers issue, Cameron releases tax records

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Apr 11, 2016 21:40 IST
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron had admitted on Saturday he could have handled the fallout from the Panama disclosures better. (Reuters)

Under fire for allegedly benefiting from an offshore account in Panama, Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday sought to defuse the row by releasing a summary of his income tax returns for the last six years, but critics claimed it raised further questions.

Considered an ‘unprecedented’ step, the release showed the various sources of Cameron’s income running into hundreds of thousands of pounds. He is also set to announce a task force to examine the revelations made in the Panama Papers on Monday.

The summary, prepared by his tax accountants, covers Cameron’s income as the leader of opposition and the last five years as prime minister. It reveals that he earned only 3,089 pounds as royalties for his 2008 book, ‘Cameron on Cameron’.

However, he soon faced questions over whether his family took elaborate steps to minimise the amount of inheritance tax that would eventually be due on their estate after his father, Ian Cameron, passed away in 2010.

Responding to the tax summary, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Cameron was “not finished yet” and still had questions to answer about his finances. Corbyn has promised to publish his own tax returns “very, very soon”.

On Cameron’s shares in his father’s Blaimore Holdings, Corbyn said on Sunday television that he needed to explain “what benefit he or his trust received before 2010”, as well as “why the money was put in an overseas tax haven in the first place”.

“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. These are questions that he must answer,” he said.

Cameron is under pressure to make a statement to parliament on the issue on Monday.

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