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Cameron should answer big questions at parliament: Corbyn

Leader of the British opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn ©AFP

Britain’s Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn says Prime Minister David Cameron should answer questions about his personal finances at the parliament in the wake of revelations about his tax affairs.

“There is a question, big questions, that have to be put to him (David Cameron) by parliament and that surely is the function of parliament," Corbyn said on Sunday.

He noted that the issue has become a public matter that need parliamentary scrutiny because it took long for Cameron to acknowledge that he had benefited from his father’s offshore funds.

The leader of the opposition party also said that the MPs should “see the papers. We need to know what he's actually returned, as a tax return. We need to know why he put this money overseas in the first place and whether he made anything out of it or not before 2010 when he became prime minister. These are questions that he must answer.”

"What Panama (Papers) has shown, more than anything, is that there is one rule for the rich and one rule for the rest. If you've got a lot of money you put it in a tax haven, you get a big income as a result of it, you pay no tax on it. If you are a care worker, a street cleaner or a nurse, you don't have those options, you don't have those opportunities, you pay your tax,” Corbyn said.

Earlier this week, Cameron was forced to admit that he and his wife held a £30,000 stake in his father’s offshore company after questions about his profits from the offshore fund mentioned in the leaks dubbed Panama Papers. The shares were sold months before he became prime minister in 2010.

British Prime Minister David Cameron ©AFP

On Saturday, Downing Street released details of Cameron’s income and tax affairs in a four-page document compiled by his accountants. Cameron was left £300,000 tax free as an inheritance following the death of his father in 2010, according to the papers. Later in May and July 2011, his mother also transferred two separate payments of £100,000 to his accounts.

The sum allowed the family estate to avoid a potential £80,000 worth of inheritance tax. The tax documents further showed that Cameron had a taxable income of more than £200,000 in 2014-15 and paid almost £76,000 in tax.

Corbyn, however, said Cameron should release his full tax returns even before he became prime minister in 2010, when he sold his shares in his father’s offshore account for a £19,000 profit.

The Panama Papers are a leak of 11.5 million files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The records, which were obtained from an anonymous source last week, contain information on 215,000 offshore entities connected to individuals in more than 200 countries and territories.

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