David Cameron will unveil plans for a criminal crackdown on firms which fail to stop staff aiding tax evasion as he attempts to draw a line under the row over his own tax affairs.
It came as Nicola Sturgeon yesterday published her own tax returns – which show that she only draws from her salary as Scotland’s First Minister – and the Nationalists’ Westminster leader called on Chancellor George Osborne to come clean on his own arrangements.
Where is the Chancellor, What about other Treasury ministers, have they ever benefited from offshore trusts?ANGUS ROBERTSON
Legislation expected to be contained in the Queen’s Speech in May will create the new offence, Mr Cameron said. He is due to make a statement on the issue today.
The Prime Minister said: “We will legislate this year to hold companies who fail to stop their employees facilitating tax evasion criminally liable.”
Mr Cameron has been forced to publish a summary of his own tax arrangements after publication of the Panama papers. These revealed details of a firm set up by Mr Cameron’s father in which he and his wife had shares.
It also emerged he inherited £300,000 when his father died in 2010 and was also given two payments of £100,000 by his mother in May and July 2011 to balance out the legacy left between the Prime Minister and his siblings.
SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson called the Chancellor to reveal his tax arrangements. He said: “Where is the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, has he made a declaration that he has never ever benefited from offshore trusts? What about other Treasury ministers, have they ever benefited from offshore trusts?”
Ms Sturgeon yesterday unveiled her own tax return for 2014-15, which shows her only income is the salary she receives as First Minister, and committed to publishing it annually for as long as she is First Minister.
She draws her salary at 2008-9 level to observe the public spending pay freeze. The difference of £3,000 goes back into the Scottish Government’s “consolidated fund” for general public spending.
Mr Cameron had a taxable income of more than £200,000 in 2014-15 and paid almost £76,000 in tax, his personal finance details show.
Labour has called for a change to the Register of MPs’ Interests to include mandatory publication of all offshore holdings.