UPDATE: 7:40 p.m. EDT -- Facing a firestorm of criticism after being linked to the Panama Papers, British Prime Minister David Cameron early Sunday local time published recent personal tax records, in a bid to address questions sparked by mentions in the massive data leak of an offshore fund set up by his late father, Reuters reported.
The disclosure via RNS Chartered Accountants showed that Cameron paid tax of 75,898 pounds ($107,198) on income of 200,307 pounds for the 2014-15 financial year, the report said.
Cameron said he was making the information public to be "completely open and transparent" about his financial affairs, the BBC reported.
Also Sunday, Cameron announced a new government task force to address money laundering and tax evasion, the reports said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron spent the past week seeing his name come up in the revelatory Panama Papers and Saturday ended up seeing thousands of protesters calling for his resignation.
After Cameron admitted he made as much 30,000 pounds ($42,375) from an offshore tax haven set up by his late father, demonstrators marched down Downing Street on Saturday chanting, among other things, “David Cameron must resign, tax evasion is a crime,” the Daily Mail reported. The U.K. paper also reported protesters floated a giant pig with Cameron’s face on it as they marched on Whitehall.
“It has not been a great week,” Cameron said. “I know that I should have handled this better, I could have handled this better.”
Protest organizer Abi Wilkinson, a freelance writer based in London, told International Business Times that Cameron’s alleged tax evasion was only one catalyst for the march.
— Fiona Garden (@fionagarden) April 9, 2016
“Though Cameron’s personal tax affairs expose his hypocrisy, the thing that made me feel I had to organize something was the revelation about Cameron personally intervening to block an EU crackdown on tax avoidance,” Wilkinson said.
“Britain is the hub of the tax avoidance world. The fact that more than half of the 300,000 companies named in the Panama Papers operate through U.K. overseas territories and crown dependencies shows the extent of the problem — particularly given Mossack Fonseca isn’t a law firm with any special link to the U.K.,” she added.
As many as 2,000 people were expected at the march.
— Kyle (@Just_red_things) April 9, 2016
Online, people followed the protests with the hashtag #ResignCameron.
It’s a major scandal for the Conservative Party leader, whose administration since 2010 has dealt with the aftermath of the global financial crisis by implementing an austerity program with cuts to social programs as well as the privatization of public institutions such as the National Health Service.
“[It] shows how empty the Conservatives claims about ‘tough decisions’ are when they cut benefits for disabled people and slash funding for social care,” Wilkinson said. “They’re making a choice. If they bothered to crack down on tax we could easily afford to look after everyone.”
The demonstrators seemed to echo the pressure that forced Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson to resign last week. One of the first major revelations of the Panama Papers was that Gunnlaugsson had sheltered money during the 2008 financial crisis, which plunged his country and much of the world into ruin.
Wilkinson told IBT there will be a large general protest for health, homes, jobs and education in London next Saturday.
“We’ll also be keeping the pressure on over tax havens,” she said. “Watch this space.”