David Cameron intervened personally to prevent offshore trusts from being dragged into an EU-wide crackdown on tax avoidance, it has emerged.
In a 2013 letter to the then president of the European council, Herman Van Rompuy, the prime minister said that trusts should not automatically be subject to the same transparency requirements as companies.
The EU planned to shine a light on the dealings of offshore bodies by publishing a central register of their ultimate owners but, in a letter unearthed by the Financial Times that remains publicly available on the government’s website, Cameron said: “It is clearly important we recognise the important differences between companies and trusts … This means that the solution for addressing the potential misuse of companies – such as central public registries – may well not be appropriate generally.”
The prime minister’s personal involvement in the EU-wide debate emerged as he continued to face questions about his family’s connections to Blairmore Holdings Inc, the offshore trust set up by his late father, the existence of which was revealed in leaked papers from the database of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Nice that if you’re wealthy, Dodgy Dave has got your back. Apparently the offshore holding was too small to declare (nice little loophole – less that £50,000 doesn’t count). What he should have declared was his interest when he personally intervened.