Not many would envy the heat on the Prime Minister this week (though more doubtlessly envy his fortune), yet it serves a vital lesson as to how furtive financial gains cause a furor when they are exposed to a public that you, as a leader of a government, have squeezed to breaking point in many areas. Yesterday, David Cameron succumbed to pressure and admitted what even the most cynical amongst us knew, he did have a stake in his dad Ian’s offshore investment fund, Blairmore.
Investing a stake of £12,000 in Blairmore in 1997, David Cameron made gains on that investment and cashed in £30,000 in January 2010, several months before the General Election (some may say conveniently so). In an interview with Robert Peston on ITV News, the PM came clean about his stake and vowed that he stumped up all the Capital Gains Tax required of him when he cashed in the thirty Grand. However, the reluctance to be transparent speaks volumes in this whole shady affair. Ian Cameron bequeathed £300,000 to his son on his death in 2010 (just a shade under the £325,000 Inheritance Tax threshold, strangely enough) and in a scandal that involves figures from Vladimir Putin to Simon Cowell, it would seem that the wealthy are a rather taxing drain on the serfs whom they dine off! Cameron needs to answer and respond to outrage as calls for his resignation are mounting, coupled with planned protests outside Downing Street tomorrow, the patience with austerity is wearing thin and this annoyance is going to be brought to the PM’s temporary doorstep (an address that may well be more of a brief one than David thought!)
Video courtesy of Channel 4 News/ITV News: