Global Independent Analytics

British PM David Cameron on Panamanian trust: Nothing to hide

David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, profited from shares they had in a Panamanian-based trust set up by his late father

Steve Almasy for CNN reports: Cameron, who told ITV he has nothing to hide, said he and his wife had 5,000 shares of Blairmore Investment Trust that they sold in January 2010 for about £30,000 (about $42,200 in U.S. dollars at current exchange rates).

"I paid (UK) income tax on the dividends. There was a profit on it, but it was less than the capital gains tax allowance, so I didn't pay capital gains tax," he told the British broadcaster.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed that Cameron’s father, Ian, evaded taxation on his Blairmore Holdings, Inc. The Prime Minister in his turn, when asked, said: "I own no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that. And so that, I think, is a very clear description."

However, it was reported that he controversially changed his mind several times when asked about his involvement in the scandal. To begin with, Monday he said it was a ‘private matter’ but later, on Tuesday, he had to clarify that neither Cameron nor his family benefitted “from any offshore funds.” The next day his spokesperson added, “there are no offshore funds/trusts which the prime minister, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future.” And finally, on Thursday Cameron had to admit that his father did have an interest in an offshore trust.

The Consortium reported that the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca for years has been providing undercover for global power players who wanted to use offshore entities in tax havens. The secret documents, known as the Panama Papers, in total equal 11 million fiscal documents that feature unaccounted dealings of 12 current or former world leaders, as well as 128 other politicians and public officials.

Almasy continues: “Cameron became Prime Minister in May 2010 after he and his wife sold their holdings. He told ITV: "I want to be as clear as I can about the past, about the present, about the future, because frankly I don't have anything to hide.”

The secret documents were obtained by an anonymous source who in his turn handed them over to German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung. Later the documents were shared with ICIJ. The anonymous source "claimed to be concerned about what he or she saw in the documents. Of course, the documents started as a trickle but turned into a flood, a torrent in the end," said Gerard Ryle, the ICIJ's director. "The person claimed that their life was in danger if they ever became known as the source of this material because of course there are so many powerful people that are being revealed here."

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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