Wales politics

Welsh party leaders release tax details

Leanne Wood's tax return for 2014/15 on Facebook Image copyright Leanne Wood
Image caption Leanne Wood published details of her tax affairs on Facebook

Leaders of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Welsh Labour have revealed details of what they pay in tax.

The moves come after Prime Minister David Cameron released details of his tax affairs.

Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies has vowed to do the same.

Labour's Carwyn Jones said he was comfortable publishing his "boring" tax returns, but UKIP's Nathan Gill said he would not "jump on the bandwagon".

Information about David Cameron's 2009-15 tax and earnings was released on Sunday in an attempt to defuse a row about his investment in his late father's offshore fund, details of which emerged in a leak of documents from Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have now also published their tax returns.

Scottish party leaders, including the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, also published their tax returns over the weekend.

'A shame'

Labour leader Carwyn Jones has published his tax payments for 2014/15 - his party's website says he was charged £41,147 on taxable income of £118,800.

He told BBC Wales: "I'm comfortable publishing my tax returns. They are very boring."

He added: "It's inevitable now that the public will want to see the tax returns of politicians. I think most of them will be fairly mundane."

Leanne Wood became the first Welsh political leader to make her tax details public on Sunday evening.

The self-assessment tax calculation shows she paid £9,043 income tax on taxable income of £38,547.

"It's a shame I've been almost forced into a position of doing this because of the question of what's been going on with the prime minister and the distrust towards politicians from people," she told BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour.

"It's a shame that politics has come to this but I believe in openness and transparency.

"I think if you're in the public eye, especially if you're the leader of a political party - certainly if you're the prime minister - you have an obligation to be honest with people and explain exactly what your financial situation is."

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams published her self-assessment tax calculation on Monday. It shows she paid £15,281 on taxable income of £54,143.

Ms Williams said: "What's we've seen is massive disquiet over the last week and a half about the prime minister's tax affairs, and calls for greater transparency.

"Well if that's good enough for the prime minister those same rules have to apply to all political leaders."

But Nathan Gill of UKIP Wales, who is an MEP, said he was not going to do the same.

He said: "My income is on the record in any case. My sole income is from the European Parliament.

"But I am not jumping on the bandwagon of the Americanisation of British politics to score a cheap point against the prime minister.

"As far as I am concerned I have no desire to see what Carwyn Jones earns."

The Welsh Conservatives said leader Andrew RT Davies will publish his tax returns over the next few days.

Mr Davies said: "The prime minister has laid out his arrangements more transparently than any previous prime minister and shown how this government is leading the way internationally on cracking down on tax avoidance and evasion."

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