After the release of the ‘Panama Papers’, there have been calls for the Prime Minister’s resignation. Not least from the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn. But are these calls fair or opportunistic?
Firstly, let’s see what was in the ‘Panama Papers’ that has caused such a debate. David Cameron’s late father was the owner of shares in an offshore account which was under the trading name ‘Blairmore Holdings’. After the Prime Minister passed away, he was left inheritance money some of which was from the sales of his father’s shares in ‘Blairmore Holdings’. David Cameron also had his own shares in a tax-haven which he sold for £30,000 prior to his election in 2010. David Cameron has stated that he and his father paid full UK tax on all assets.
If David Cameron paid tax on these assets, then what’s the big issue? Some suggest that we still aren't being told the full story. Many believe that David Cameron has dodged tax and used tax havens for his benefit. And, there’s one more thing: After the death of his father, David Cameron’s mother gave him a £200,000 gift. Why? If a parent gives a child money seven years before their death, no inheritance tax will be paid on it. Sounds like a tax dodge to me.
During the debate in parliament yesterday, the MP for Bolsover, Dennis Skinner, was asked to leave the House as he failed to withdraw an adjective. Skinner called Cameron “Dodgy Dave” regarding his tax fiddling. Though Skinner didn't care much about being thrown out, the public sided with him and branded his removal as stupid. That’s not to mention that Cameron always refers to Skinner as ‘Jurassic Park’….
There was one other big talking point during the debate: the Conservative MP, Alan Duncan, declared that the poor are jealous of the rich, success if measured in wealth and, we don't want unsuccessful poor people representing the country. I don’t think any analysis is needed here. You can see for yourself the mindset of the Tory party.
Back to the question. Should Cameron resign? Though it would be amazing, I don’t think he should. We have no evidence to suggest that his mother gave him the £200,000 gift to avoid inheritance tax and his tax returns show that he has paid tax on all offshore assets. But it would be nice if he’d step down or called a snap-election, wouldn't it?