Last week, the “Panama Papers” leak from offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca opened up politicians’ taxes to intense scrutiny. It transpired that David Cameron had profited from his father’s offshore trust Blairmore Holdings, which did not pay British tax for 30 years. David Cameron, George Osborne and Jeremy Corbyn have since all published their tax returns. They are eager to show that they have nothing to hide.
A fierce debate has erupted over whether all MPs should be obliged to do the same. This week, member of Parliament for Bath Ben Howlett said that making MPs publish their tax returns would discourage “people from all walks of life” from entering parliament. Charles Walker, MP for Broxbourne, said that a “nothing to fear, nothing to hide” attitude would lead to the banning of curtains. Yet his fellow Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has claimed that privacy is the price politicians must pay after losing the trust of the public.