December 4, 2020

Paradise Papers: Jeremy Corbyn [UK Labour Leader] suggests Queen should apologise if offshore funds were to avoid tax

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – NOVEMBER 01: Queen Elizabeth II takes part in a ceremonial welcome for Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos and his wife Maria Clemencia de Santos at Horse Guards Parade on November 1, 2016 in London, England. The President is on a state visit to Britain. (Photo by Gareth Fuller – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

By Richard Vaughn From iNews

The Queen should apologise if it is revealed that the decision to invest her private wealth in offshore accounts was done to avoid paying tax, has suggested.

Millions of financial documents and emails, dubbed the , leaked to the media show that the monarch’s private estate invested £10m into funds in the and Bermuda.

While there is no suggestion that those involved acted illegally, neither of the two British Overseas Territories charge corporation tax.

Not just apologise

But when asked if the Queen should apologise for the offshore investments revealed in the papers,

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.

“Because if the very wealthy person wants to avoid taxation in Britain and therefore put 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.”

Palace faces questions

According to the papers, the Duchy of Lancaster invested around £5m in 2004 into the Bermuda-based Jubilee Absolute Return Fund Ltd. A year later, another £5.7m was put into the Dover Street VI Cayman Fund LP.

The documents even reveal that some money was invested into Brighthouse, the rent-to-buy retailer that has come under significant criticism for the interest rates it sets on purchases.

The details uncovered by the leaks mean Buckingham Palace face serious questions over whether any of the royal fortune should be held or invested in overseas tax havens.

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell demanded the Duchy of Lancaster provide some answers.

Voluntarily pays tax

“What we need is a public inquiry on tax avoidance overall,” Mr McDonnell said. “The Duchy of Lancaster manages on her [the Queen’s] behalf so they will have to be involved in a public inquiry like this.”

A spokesperson for the Duchy of Lancaster 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.

“The Queen voluntarily pays tax on any income she receives from the Duchy.”

IMAGE: Jeremy Corbyn suggested the Queen should apologise if the investment of her private estate in offshore funds was done to avoid tax (Getty)

For more on this story go to: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/politics/paradise-papers-jeremy-corbyn-queen-apologise-offshore-funds-avoid-tax/

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