THE Panama Papers ‘leak’ of 11 million documents continues to explode underneath the Tory party leadership.
After a week of equivocation PM Cameron has produced a summary of his tax returns from 2009-15, meaning that there is a lot more to come out into the open after the lifting of the lid off the Pandora’s box of Panama documents. The summary shows that Cameron’s mother gave him a £200,000 gift, tax-free in two payments. The gift was made after a £300,000 tax-free gift in 2010 from his ‘offshore’ father was deemed not to be enough.
Angus Robertson, Westminster leader of the SNP, speaking on Sky News commented yesterday: ‘We have heard absolutely nothing about other members of the cabinet. Where is the chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne? Has he made a declaration that he has never ever benefited from offshore trusts? What about other Treasury ministers? Have they ever benefited from offshore trusts? . . .
‘If the Prime Minister doesn’t make a statement to Parliament tomorrow the SNP is going to apply for an urgent question so he is brought before Parliament to update MPs of what he has done, what his cabinet have done and what his government intends to do in the future.’
In fact just before the PM was benefiting from family gifts in 2008 Osborne was facing intense criticism after it was alleged he had discussed a payment to the Tory party from Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska while he was a guest on the billionaire’s yacht off Corfu.
Speaking on BBC Radio Four’s World at One, at the time, Osborne said: ‘It’s not what you say or do but how it looks. To be honest this didn’t look very good and that’s something I regret.’ A familiar storyline! Andrew Feldman, the Tory chief executive at the time, accompanied Osborne onto Deripaska’s yacht in August 2008. Both were there at the invitation of Nat Rothschild, a financier and old friend of Osborne.
Rothschild ignited the row over the meeting when he wrote a letter outlining the events that led to Osborne being offered a donation to the Conservative party by Deripaska, a business associate of Rothschild. It is clear that the Labour opposition must put down a motion of no-confidence in the Cameron-Osborne government if both leaders fail to hand over a complete record of their tax returns for 2008-2015.
RMT SHOWS THE WAY TO THE TUC!
BRAVO for the RMT which on Friday announced it will be advising all of its members to vote to leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum (see page2). The union states: ‘New EU rail policies are set to further entrench rail privatisation and fragmentation. That will also mean more attacks on jobs and conditions and EU laws will make it impossible to bring all of rail back into public ownership.
‘The EU has promoted undercutting and social dumping leading to the decimation of UK seafarers. The same is now happening in the offshore sector. EU directives also require the tendering of our public ferry services. It’s a myth that the EU is in favour of workers. In fact the EU is developing a new policy framework to attack trade union rights, collective bargaining, job protection and wages. This is already being enforced in countries which have received EU “bailouts”.
‘If you join a union you expect members of the union to protect each other in times of trouble. The European Union has done the opposite. It has used the economic crisis to impose austerity and privatisation on member states. Instead of protecting jobs and investment EU austerity is driving UK austerity.
‘The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreement being negotiated between the EU and the United States will promote big business at the expense of government protection and organisations including our NHS . . . Leave the EU to support democracy.’
The RMT puts the TUC to shame. The TUC must be made to change its policy – Down with the EU! – Forward to the Socialist United States of Europe!