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Press watch: Margaret Hodge ‘given £1.5m in shares from tax haven’

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Public Accounts Committee chair Margaret Hodge has been accused of hypocrisy by The Times (29 April 2015) when it reported that the Labour MP received ‘more than £1.5m in shares’ from a Liechtenstein trust and transferred onshore via the Liechtenstein disclosure facility, which allows individuals to move previously undeclared assets back to the UK under more favourable terms than other HMRC facilities and without criminal action. The newspaper indicated that prior to its story Hodge had ‘not declared that she benefited from an offshore trust’.

The Times reports that Hodge was the beneficiary of a Liechtenstein trust that was wound up in 2011, and which had held shares in Stemcor, the steel trading business set up by her father, and that Hodge herself received just under 96,000 shares that came from the low-tax jurisdiction of Liechtenstein. Additionally, three-quarters of the shares in the family trust had been held in Panama, another low-tax jurisdiction that Hodge had criticised just weeks before as being ‘one of the most secretive jurisdictions [with] the least protection anywhere in the world against money laundering’.

Issue: 1260
Categories: News