Cameron sets out transparency measures as Osborne, Corbyn publish tax returns


David Cameron has set out new measures to make it harder for people to hide the proceeds of corruption offshore as Jeremy Corbyn and George Osborne published details of their tax returns.

In a Commons statement, Mr Cameron - who published his own tax return at the weekend - said it was right that those who aspired to run the nation's finances declare their own tax affairs.

"I am not suggesting that this should apply to all MPs," he said.

"I think there is a strong case for the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, and for the Chancellor and shadow chancellor, because they are people who are or who wish to be responsible for the nation's finances.

"As for MPs, we already have robust rules on members' interests and their declaration and I believe that is the model we should continue to follow."

Mr Osborne's return showed he received a total taxable income of £198,738 in 2014/15, including £44,647 in the form of dividends and rental income of £33,562, and that he paid income tax of of £72,210.

Mr Corbyn's return for 2014/15 showed that he declared £1,850 of taxable income over and above his parliamentary salary made up of lecture fees and "survey" income.

The Prime Minister said he had followed the rules of the House of Common for registering shareholdings "in full".

He told MPs he had given the "relevant information" to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards but if the watchdog believed the premier should say more about it, he was "very happy" to do so.

The Prime Minister said he sold his shares in 2010 because he did not want "any conflict of interest".

"I didn't want anyone to be able to suggest that as Prime Minister I had any other agendas or vested interests."

Mr Cameron told MPs he accepted he had handled the affair badly but was "angry about the way my father's memory was being traduced".

"I know he was hard-working man and a wonderful dad and I'm proud of everything he did to build a business and provide for his family."

Mr Cameron, who received £300,000 from his late father Ian and £200,000 from his mother Mary, said it was "natural human instinct" for parents to want to pass things on to their children.

"As for parents passing money to their children while they are still alive, it is something the tax rules fully recognise," he said.

The Prime Minister said it was right to "tighten the law and change the culture" to crackdown on evasion and aggressive avoidance", but the government should "defend the right of every British citizen to make money lawfully".