EVESHAM’S MP Nigel Huddleston has branded calls to make MPs release their tax returns as a ‘red herring’.
The Mid Worcestershire MP spoke out following the furore surrounding David Cameron’s tax affairs after the Prime Minister was forced to admit he profited from shares in his late fathers’ offshore investment fund.
High profile politicians, including the Prime Minister, Chancellor George Osborne and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have all released their tax returns in the wake of the so-called Panama Papers revelations.
But now calls have been made for all MPs to release their tax returns in the hope it will lead to greater transparency.
MPs already have to declare donations, investments or other sources of income in the House of Commons register of members interest every year.
And according to Evesham’s MP, the register reveals more information than a tax return does.
“Ever since the MP expenses scandal there has been significant improvements to transparency of MPs earnings and expenses,” Mr Huddleston said.
“The register includes for example any hospitality or entertainment that a third party has given an MP, any trips paid for by a lobbying group or overseas governments.
“So the recent clamour over also providing tax returns on top of that seems to be a bit of a red herring.
“Personally my only earnings are my salary as an MP so my tax affairs are pretty simple.
“If an MP has significant additional income from other sources or investments then that will be revealed in the register of members interests anyway.
“But if they choose to voluntarily provide information from their tax return on top of that, then that is their choice, but it won’t likely reveal anything more than is already in the public arena,” he added.