As David Cameron’s father is exposed as a serial tax avoider by the release of the Panama Papers, the Prime Minister’s 2012 comments against the tax avoidance of comedian Jimmy Carr have come back to haunt him.
Speaking in 2012, Mr Cameron was unambiguous in his opinions on wealthy people who hide their cash in tax havens to avoid paying their fair share at home. Carr was paying just 1% on the £3.3m he had stashed offshore, and and Prime Minister said at the time:
“I think some of these schemes – and I think particularly of the Jimmy Carr scheme – I have had time to read about and I just think this is completely wrong.
“People work hard, they pay their taxes, they save up to go to one of his shows. They buy the tickets. He is taking the money from those tickets and he, as far as I can see, is putting all of that into some very dodgy tax avoiding schemes.
“That is wrong. There is nothing wrong with people planning their tax affairs to invest in their pension and plan for their retirement – that sort of tax management is fine.
“But some of these schemes we have seen are quite frankly morally wrong.
However, in the wake of the Panama Papers leaks which exposed his own father as having protected his company from paying tax in the UK (despite its investors and operations being based here) for 30 years – David Cameron struck quite a different chord.