22 Apr 2012

The origin's of David Cameron's family fortune

In yesterday's Guardian, we learned that David Cameron's family fortune was built up by his father using investment trusts based in offshore tax-havens in places like Panama, Geneva and the Channel Islands.

The article notes that Cameron's father Ian "took advantage of a new climate of investment after all capital controls were abolished in 1979, making it legal to take any sum of money out of the country without it being taxed or controlled by the UK government." Cameron "went on to act as chairman of Close International Asset management, a multimillion-pound investment fund based in Jersey; as a senior director of Blairmore Holdings Inc, registered in Panama City and currently worth £25m; and he was also a shareholder in Blairmore Asset Management based in Geneva."

A 2006 prospectus for Blairmore Holdings makes it clear that the fund was deliberately trying to attract investors with the aim of avoiding UK tax : "The fund is not liable to taxation on its income or capital gains as long as such income or capital gains are not derived from sources allocated within the territory of the Republic of Panama".

Can it be really surprising that David Cameron is doing everything he possibly can to prevent the introduction of any form of financial transaction tax? Such a tax would obviously make the sort of devious operations that his father used to make the family's fortune much harder to work. 

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