David Cameron is still refusing to publish his tax returns more than two years after insisted he was relaxed about the information being made public, it emerged on Monday.
Downing Street faced renewed questions on the issue after the Prime Minister rejected calls for Gary Barlow to be stripped of his OBE over his involvement in a tax-avoidance scheme. The Take That singer and two bandmates face repaying millions of pounds to HM Revenue and Customs following a court ruling last week.
In April 2012, the Government said Mr Cameron and senior cabinet ministers were happy for their tax affairs to be made public in the interests of transparency.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said yesterday that Mr Cameron remained committed to the principle of releasing his details, but could not say when publication would happen. “The right thing is, as has been going on, for consideration to be given as to how that might be done.
“I think we do have a long-standing position around taxpayer confidentiality so these types of things need to be looked at.”
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Mr Cameron and the Chancellor George Osborne have faced repeated challenges to disclose whether they are liable for the top rate of income tax, which the Government cut to 45p last year.
The Prime Minister came to Barlow’s defence on Monday, arguing it would be unnecessary to remove the singer’s honour because of his charity work. But he added: “Clearly this scheme was wrong and it is right they are going to have to pay back the money.”
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