David Cameron 'Considering' Publishing His Own Tax Returns Amid Gary Barlow Row

David Cameron 'Considering' Publishing His Own Tax Returns

David Cameron has faced renewed pressure to publish his tax returns, more than two years after idea was initially floated.

In April 2012 it was first reported that Cameron and other senior ministers had agreed to make the details of their private tax arrangements public. A year later, in April 2013, Downing Street said work was underway within government to see it happen.

"The prime minister's view on whether he would be content to publish his arrangements and those of other ministers is that he would be relaxed about that," the prime minister's spokesperson said at the time. "His view is unchanged. He would be relaxed about doing so."

More than two years on, the disclosures have yet to be made. Asked when Cameron's tax affairs would be published, Downing Street said today "the right thing is, as he's been doing, is for consideration to be given as to how that might be done" but no timeframe was given.

And the prime minister's spokesperson said there was "a long standing position in this country around taxpayer confidentiality". The spokesperson added: "These things need to be looked at, that's what is happening."

The questions arose as Take That star Gary Barlow faced calls to hand back his OBE over claims he invested in a tax avoidance scheme. The singer and two other members of Take That refused to comment on reports over the weekend that they face having to pay tens of millions of pounds in tax after a court ruled a partnership in which they invested was a tax avoidance scheme.

Barlow along with Howard Donald, Mark Owen and their manager Jonathan Wild invested £66 million into two-partnerships styled as music-industry investment schemes, according to reports.

Labour's Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, who has brought a spotlight to bear on tax avoidance, said Barlow "might want to show a bit of contrition by giving back his OBE".

But Cameron told ITV's Good Morning Britain today that he disagreed. "I don't think that is necessary, frankly," he said. "Gary Barlow has done a huge amount for the country, he's raised money for charity, he has done very well for Children in Need. The OBE was in respect of that work and what he has done. Clearly this scheme was wrong and it is right that they're going to have to pay back the money."

Barlow lent his support to Cameron and the Conservative Party during the 2010 general election.

The practice of politicians publishing details of their personal finances is common place in the United States, a tradition begun by Mitt Romney's father George Romney during his own unsuccessful run for the presidency in 1968. However it would set a precedent in Britain were Cameron and other senior ministers to follow suit.

Before You Go