LONDON — The Queen should apologise for avoiding tax and forcing the rest of the population to shoulder the cost of public services, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has suggested today.
On Sunday night leaked papers revealed that the Duchy of Lancaster, which finances the Queen’s private income, holds funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
Asked at the CBI’s annual conference on Monday morning whether the Queen should apologise for allowing the funds to go offshore, Corbyn replied:
“Anyone who is putting money into tax havens in order to avoid taxation in Britain, and obviously investigations have to take place, should do two things – not just apologise for it but also recognise what it does to our society. Because if a very wealthy person wants to avoid taxation in Britain and put money into a tax haven somewhere. Who loses? Schools hospitals, all those public services lose and the rest of the population have to pay to cover up the deficit created by that.”
In his speech to business leaders in London, Corbyn said that more needed to be done to tackle tax avoidance as “tens of billions are being leeched by a super-rich elite that holds the tax system and the rest of us in contempt.”
A spokesperson for Corbyn denied he had singled out the Queen.
“Jeremy did not call for the Queen to apologise but said that anyone who puts money into a tax haven to avoid paying tax should, and that they should recognise the damage done by avoidance to society.
“Labour is calling for a public inquiry into tax avoidance.”
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