Tax disclosure sets an unhappy precedent

Our Chief Executive, Jonathan Isaby, has a letter published in The Times this morning. You can find it reproduced in full below.

Sir, It may now be deemed an old-fashioned view, but the private details of individuals’ annual income and related tax affairs really ought to remain just that: private (leader, Apr 11). It is therefore to be regretted that the prime minister has seemingly set a precedent by publishing his tax return — and effectively forcing the chancellor to follow suit — as part of a damage limitation exercise over his poor handling of questions relating to the Panama papers.

David Cameron has evidently broken no laws, but he can hold no one but himself responsible for the focus on his tax affairs this past week, since he has previously been happy to opine about the morality of others’ tax arrangements. We would be far better served if politicians got on with simplifying our labyrinthine tax code rather than pontificating about the tax arrangements of those abiding by the very laws which they have written.

Jonathan Isaby