Brown steps into row over royal tax breaks

Chancellor Gordon Brown, infamous for his tax avoidance policies, has
strongly defended Prince Charles, as MPs step up their campaign against tax
breaks on his £505m estate.

The Public Accounts Committee, which earlier this year held a number of
hearings into the Royal accounts, is reportedly due to publish a report this
week calling for Prince Charles to be subject to the same tax rules as the

He currently pays voluntary income tax but is exempt from inheritance,
capital gains and business taxes. The turnover of his Duchy of Cornwall estate
has more than doubled in the past five years through a series of successful
business ventures and it is valued at over £500m.

MPs claim that this business must be subject to the same tax rules and is
more successful because of the tax exemptions it enjoys.

However, Brown aides have stepped into the fray and have accused MPs of using
the issue to further their anti-monarchist beliefs. Brown is said to be angry
over the ‘disgraceful’ and ‘aggressive’ briefing by the MPs, and has warned that
decisions on Royal finances are made by the Treasury and are a matter for the
department only.

In February MPs and the National Audit Office urged the Prince to allow them
to audit his accounts, saying that Royal finances lacked transparency and

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