Sajid Javid used an offshore trust while working as an MP at the heart of the Treasury – but did not declare it in the register of members’ interests, The Independent can reveal.
As Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to then-Chancellor George Osborne in 2011, Mr Javid – now Health Secretary – played a key role in selling the government’s austerity policies coalition to deputies.
But at the same time, Mr Javid was using a trust, believed to have been located in a tax haven, to reduce his personal tax burden. He also served in the Treasury as the government launched a policy consultation covering non-doms and foreign trusts in December 2011.
Earlier this month Mr Javid admitted he used non-dom status before entering politics and had an offshore trust, but only now has he been revealed that he had not declared the trust as an MP and PPS.
The ministerial code states that while SPPs, who act as ministerial assistants, are not technically members of the government “they must ensure that no conflict arises, or appears to arise, between their role as parliamentary private secretary and their private interests”.
It was not until becoming a government minister in 2012 that ex-banker Mr Javid revealed more details about the extent of his overseas assets and how they were managed.
“If Sajid Javid held money in an offshore trust while he was part of the Treasury, it would raise other questions about decision-making in this government,” said Treasury shadow financial secretary James Murray. .
“It is hypocrisy for senior ministers to defend the tax hike hitting working people this year, when they have spent so many years avoiding their own fair share of taxes.”
Earlier this month, Mr Javid admitted he had used non-dom status to reduce his tax bill after The Independent revealed that Akshata Murty, the Chancellor’s wife, has exploited the same route to reduce her tax bill in the UK. Ms Murty then decided to pay tax on her worldwide earnings in the UK, but retained non-dom status.
Offshore trusts and the use of non-dom status are completely legal methods of limiting taxes.
Mr Javid’s trust was not listed in his membership register of interests in 2011, but he did declare a stake in Deutsche Bank, his former employer.
A spokesman for Mr. Javid declined to say whether the assets of the trust – which Mr. Javid said in a statement he dissolved in 2012 – included those Deutsche Bank shares as well as other assets, including including shares of different companies. They also declined to say whether this trust was operated as a blind trust or under a blind management agreement, or where it was located.
The health secretary only collapsed the offshore trust the year after it entered the Treasury. He stopped using the controversial non-dom tax status in 2009, before entering politics.
“Sajid has been very open and transparent about his previous tax status in the UK and when he lived overseas. He has nothing further to add,” a spokesperson for the secretary told Health and Social Affairs.
When he dissolved his trust, Mr Javid incurred a 50% tax rate, which he said offset any “accumulated benefit” from the financial arrangement.
He also stated that he always declared the information required by tax, governmental and parliamentary authorities.
‘The public has a right to know which ministers have benefited from tax avoidance arrangements and how much money they have saved as a result,’ Mr Murray said.
“While the Tories are raising taxes on working people as inflation and energy bills soar, Labor would make the tax system fairer. We would abolish the outdated ‘non-dom’ system, so that everyone who settles in Britain pays tax here on all their income,’ he added.
New scrutiny of Mr Javid’s timetable reveals he was on the political frontline of government, selling tough austerity policies to Tory backbenchers in the aftermath of the financial crisis, while exploiting mechanisms to protect his wealth.
During his tenure as banker, Mr Javid – himself a former chancellor – was linked to Dark Blue Investments, a benefits trust in which staff received stock bonuses through trusts to avoid tax. The Supreme Court ruled that tax had to be paid on these bonuses.
Experts have questioned Mr Javid’s use of non-dom status, given that he was born in the UK and therefore should have said he had no intention of live in the country long term.
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This notice was published: 2022-04-27 18:50:51