Apr 22 2012
The Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, Julian Huppert, backed Republic’s argument that the British public have a right to know the Queen’s personalized tax arrangements.
The Queen has been paying tax voluntarily and at a rate of her wishes, after agreeing on a secret deal with former Tory Prime Minister John Major over two decades ago.
Huppert said he supported the Republic campaign’s call for more “openness and transparency” in the tax affairs of the Queen.
“The Queen has enjoyed an element of secrecy in her financial affairs afforded to her by a unique tax agreement negotiated with the Conservative government 20 years ago,” he said.
“But if we are to ask ministers for tax disclosure, we must apply the same principle here. A head of state supported by the taxpayer must be accountable to the taxpayer.”
Graham Smith, Republic’s chief executive, stressed that there should be a need for transparency of the Queen’s tax affairs, as she is in a position to lobby government in secret in order to influence Treasury plans and to secure changes in tax laws that will meet her personal benefits.
“The public need to know that government decisions are made for the greater good, not personal gain. The Queen is in a position to influence policy behind closed doors, and as head of state she is expected to set an example,” Smith said.
“It is high time the Queen came clean on her privileged tax status and let the people know whether or not she is paying the highest rates of tax on her private and public income.”