Make MPs’ tax public

Whether or not everyone is forced to confess how they compute their tax
payments, there is at least one group of people whose tax returns I’d like to
see made public – politicians.

We’ve seen a rash of questions about politicians’ tax affairs recently . Is
John Prescott’s use of Dorneywood taxable? Are Cherie’s haircuts a benefit in
kind? We know a certain amount about politicians’ financial affairs, but not how
they work out their tax.

Making them public would allow deeper scrutiny. Dave Hartnett and co can be
scary when threatening tax advisers, but do they do the bad cop act to
ministers, their bosses? I bet not.

Equally, Dawn Primarolo is fond of saying everyone should pay their fair
share. Do ministers? They should open up their books to public scrutiny. Then
they can berate those who don’t pay up from a position of the utmost moral

Alex Hawkes is Accountancy Age’s tax correspondent

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