Osborne’s Tax Summary

The Treasury say:

“The dividend income relates to shares in Osborne and Little Group Limited, a UK resident manufacturing company of wallpapers and fabrics that was founded by his father. The dividends are derived from shares that the Chancellor of the Exchequer owns directly, and also as life tenant* of a family trust, based and resident in the UK which holds, as its sole asset, shares in that company. The Chancellor of the Exchequer paid income tax on these dividends.”

Osborne and Little has been hit by its own offshore rowThe PM, Chancellor and Shadow Chancellor have all released summaries of their tax returns – the Leader of the Opposition still can’t find his…

*A life interest trust is a trust established to provide the beneficiary with (who is known as the ‘life tenant’) the right to receive the income (after expenses) from the trust.  This right is usually given for their lifetime.  On their death the trust fund passes to the other named beneficiaries, known as the ‘residuary beneficiaries’.  Basically it protects the family capital and ensures it passes to children rather than, for example, ex-wives… 

READ: Cameron’s Tax Returns

Cameron has released his tax returns for the last six years. Wisely his inheritance was split into £300,000 from his father and a £200,000 gift from his mother in 2011, tax planning which will ultimately save him £70,000 in inheritance tax if his mother survives 7 years from the gift. Though Osborne’s pre-election Budget mockery of Miliband for “avoidance of inheritance tax” looks rich now…

Why Didn’t Cameron Declare Blairmore in 2009 Register of Interests

Today brings some of the worst front pages for David Cameron since be became PM, as Labour MPs hysterically call for him to resign. Could Dave’s £30,000 in an offshore trust be fatal?

Cameron is responsible for the situation, not his father, because he bought the Blairmore shares himself in 2007. Though it is worth remembering there is nothing wrong with investing in a foreign fund. Crucially – and wisely – he sold the shares in 2010. If he still owned shares in a Panama trust while PM he would be under a lot more pressure…

Did Cameron actually avoid any tax? He insists he didn’t, and several top journalists and tax experts agree Blairmore was not a tax avoidance scheme. There is currently no dispute that Cameron paid all the UK taxes on his income from his shares. If Cameron had avoided tax by hiding assets offshore, the situation would be very different…

And what about the attack line Labour MPs are clamouring around, that Dave did not declare his Blairmore shares in his 2009 Register of Members Interests? MPs are not required to declare shareholdings in unit trusts, holdings below £70,000 or 15% of a partnership:

So this is a blind alley for Labour. Cameron was not the beneficiary of an offshore trust while PM, he appears not to have avoided any tax, and he did not breach parliamentary rules. If any of these points change, then his position becomes a lot less tenable…

Dave Had £30,000 Stake in Offshore Trust

He tells Peston he and SamCam did own a stake in his father’s Panama trust, which he sold for £30,000 in 2010:

“We owned 5,000 units in Blairmore Investment Trust, which we sold in January 2010. That was worth something like £30,000.

I paid 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. But it was subject to all the UK taxes in all the normal way.

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.

[On his £300,000 inheritance] I obviously can’t point to every source of every bit of the money and dad’s not around for me to ask the questions now.

In all of this I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a very lucky person who had wealthy parents, who gave me a great upbringing, who paid for me to go to an amazing school. I have never tried to pretend to be anything I am not.

But I was keen in 2010 to sell everything – shares, all the rest of it – so I can be very transparent. I don’t own any part of any company or any investment trust or anything else like that.”

So the PM doesn’t know if he received offshore money in his inheritance, though he insists Blairmore was not set up to avoid tax:

“It wasn’t. It was set up after exchange controls went so that people who wanted to invest in dollar denominated shares and companies could do so. There are many other unit trusts like it, and I think it’s being unfairly described and my father’s name is being unfairly written about.”

There is of course nothing wrong in investing in a foreign fund, Cameron paid full UK taxes and sold the stake before be became PM. But as for the Downing Street news management, oh dear…

Cameron Watches Glasto on TV in June “In Front of a Warm Fire”

Glastonbury is in June. Maybe he records it and watches it at Christmas…

Councillor Caught on Camera Calling Kipper a “C*nt”

Ex-UKIP councillor Michael Skeels caused fury among local ‘Kippers in the market town of Tendring after he led a group of councillors to support the local Tories. One avid ‘Kipper was having none of it:

Questioner: “Do you have any comment to make about being unelected and sitting in the cabinet and making £64,000 over the next four years?”

Cllr Skeels: “You are a c*nt, ain’t ya?”

The councillor goes on to call him “useless” and a “tw*t”, before challenging: “Come and have a go if you’re hard enough!” Skeels might claim he’s purple but his language is still blue…

SpAd Movements: Ex-IDS Aide Joins Vote Leave

Iain Duncan Smith’s Special Adviser Lizzie Loudon will continue to be a thorn in the Prime Minister’s side, she left government when IDS resigned and is now off to do press for Vote Leave. Well-respected by former colleagues, Lizzie has a proven track record at wrong-footing Downing Street. Which can only be good news for the Leave campaign.

Gove Tops ConservativeHome Leadership Poll

govech

Before Govians get too excited Guido should of course caveat that this is what Mike Smithson calls a “voodoo poll“, a self-selecting unweighted poll of readers. It does still show a clear trend; Remainers are down, Leavers are up.

Priti Patel is equal in popularity to Osborne as far as ConHomies are concerned (20 to 1 if you feel lucky). After the disappointment with Saj (7%), many on the right who don’t trust Boris and think Fox is past it are increasingly thinking about the merits of Priti. One to watch…

Cameron: I Have No Offshore Trusts, No Offshore Funds

Faisal Islam: The leader of the opposition has called for an investigation into your tax affairs for your own interests. Can you clarify for the record that you and your family have not derived any benefit in the past and will not in the future from the offshore Blairmore Holdings fund mentioned in the Panama Papers?

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tearful IDS Breaks Down During BBC Interview

Filmed in December, well before his resignation, before the cynics cry foul. Anyone doubting whether IDS’ moral mission was genuine should watch.[…]

+ READ MORE +

No, Cameron Did Not Answer Panama Claims in the Past

The news that David Cameron’s father ran an offshore fund which avoided paying UK tax is not new – four years ago the Guardian published an almost identical story revealing the existence of the “entirely legal network of offshore investment funds set up in tax havens such as Panama City”.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Nicky Morgan’s Nicola Murray Moment

Nicky Morgan is giving a speech this morning to “young people” about why Brexit would be like, totes not amazing for them. A few years ago Morgan was nicknamed “Nicola Murray” by colleagues, not without reason:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Dave’s Banter, Man Hugs and Awkward Schmoozing

By Guido’s count there are 18 Tory MPs who have yet to declare their positions on the referendum. Cameron has been schmoozing the undecideds with attempts at banter, “man hugs” in Commons corridors and one-on-one private persuasion sessions in his office.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Osborne’s Post-Budget Poll Plunge

Osborne dissatisfaction March

Yet more evidence of decline – the Chancellor’s personal ratings plunge with Ipsos Mori, the Budget gets its worst rating since 2010. He’s now less popular than he was after the Omnishambles Budget. The Osborne effect is so toxic that Corbyn’s satisfaction score even overtakes Cameron’s…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Remain Convert Duncan Said “UKIP Have a Point” Last Year

Guido’s Tory MP referendum spreadsheet is fully updated as Alan Duncan comes out for Remain, writing: “This is no time to withdraw from, and hence weaken, such an important multilateral structure as the EU”. Which is odd because just last year Duncan, a self-proclaimed lifelong Eurosceptic, said UKIP “do have a point about the way in which we’re governed from Brussels and we cannot ignore that”.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Downing Street Censors Dave’s Holiday Snaps

Cameron On Holiday Censored

CONFIDENTIAL – STRICTLY NOT FOR PUBLICATION:

Ipso has today been contacted by Craig Oliver, Director of Politics and Communication at 10 Downing Street…

Mr and Mrs Cameron will shortly be going on holiday again and, in light of the previous notice, Mr Oliver has asked Ipso to make editors aware of their request that their privacy – and particularly that of their children – is respected while they are away.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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