David Cameron got into hot water yesterday when he pronounced Jimmy Carr’s tax avoidance ‘completely wrong’, inviting every nosey-parker to examine Tory donors. But he was a little less clear on the morality of one those donors’, Gary Barlow, arrangements, saying that he would look at the scheme in question.
Cameron has done so and told reporters earlier today that he sees Jimmy Carr as an exception because his scheme was aggressive. He said that it was ‘seasonable, fair and reasonable’ for people to reduce their tax bill. It was simply a matter of degree, and Carr had crossed the line. Cameron said that there will not be a running commentary on individual tax affairs (but I’ll wager that there will be if many Tories are found limiting their liabilities to excess).
It was high-risk to comment on Carr’s case specifically and Cameron has tried to retreat. But, having made that intervention yesterday, his subsequent equivocation leaves him open to the charge of making a convenient distinction without a difference. If Jimmy Carr is ‘completely wrong’, to what extent is Gary Barlow wrong?Tags: David Cameron, Tax reform