Cor­byn de­mands Queen cash probe

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Queen’s fi­nances should fall within the scope of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Par­adise Pa­pers leak, Jeremy Cor­byn has sug­gested.

The Labour leader in­di­cated the monarch should apol­o­gise if her pri­vate es­tate in­vested £ 10 mil­lion of her per­sonal for­tune off­shore to avoid pay­ing tax in Bri­tain.

The dis­clo­sure of 13.4 mil­lion pre­vi­ousl­y­se­cret doc­u­ments re­port­edly ties ma­jor com­pa­nies and po­lit­i­cal fig­ures to se­cre­tive over­seas ar­range­ments.

It in­cludes claims that the Queen has £ 10 mil­lion of her per­sonal for­tune in­vested in an off­shore tax haven.

There is no sugges­tion in­volved acted il­le­gally.

Asked if the Queen should apol­o­gise for the off­shore in­vest­ments re­vealed in the pa­pers, Mr Cor­byn told the CBI’s an­nual con­fer­ence in London: “Well, any­one that is putting money into tax havens in or­der to avoid tax­a­tion in Bri­tain, and ob­vi­ously in­ves­ti­ga­tions have to take place, should do two things - not just apol­o­gise for it but also recog­nise what it does to our so­ci­ety.

“If the very wealthy per­son wants to avoid tax­a­tion in Bri­tain and there­fore put that those The Queen’s fi­nances have come un­der scru­tiny money into a tax haven some­where, who loses? Schools, hos­pi­tals, hous­ing, all those pub­lic ser­vices lose and the rest of the pop­u­la­tion have to pay to cover up the deficit cre­ated by that.

“And so I think with the Par­adise Pa­pers, which I have been read­ing through like all of us this morn­ing, are quite shock­ing.”

Later he told Bloomberg TV there should be “an in­quiry into all the rev­e­la­tions about the Par­adise Pa­pers”.

Asked if that in­cluded the Queen, Mr Cor­byn replied: “Every­body. The Royal House­hold are sub­ject to tax­a­tion. I don’t know what has hap­pened in that case. Th­ese is­sues all must be part of that.”

Af­ter Mr Cor­byn’s com­ments, a spokes- man for the Labour leader in­sisted he did not call for the Queen to apol­o­gise.

“Jeremy did not call for the Queen to apol­o­gise but said any­one who puts money into a tax haven to avoid pay­ing tax should, and that they should recog­nise the dam­age done by avoid­ance to so­ci­ety,” the spokesman said.

The Duchy of Lan­caster, the pri­vate es­tate of the Queen, was found to have mil­lions of pounds in­vested in off­shore ar­range­ments.

Around £ 10 mil­lion from the Queen’s pri­vate fund was paid into funds in the Cay­man Is­lands and Ber­muda be­tween 2004 and 2005, ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

A small part of the money was traced to a lender which has pre­vi­ously been crit­i­cised for rip­ping off cus­tomers.

The Queen vol­un­tar­ily pays tax on any in­come she re­ceives from the Duchy. A spokesman for the es­tate said: “We op­er­ate a num­ber of in­vest­ments and a few of th­ese are with over­seas funds. All of our in­vest­ments are fully au­dited and le­git­i­mate.”

Mr Cor­byn called for a pub­lic in­quiry into tax avoid­ance to ur­gently re­store pub­lic con­fi­dence in the tax sys­tem.

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