Published: 00:00, 11 April 2016 |
Updated: 05:15, 12 April 2016
Chatham MP Tracey Crouch has called for caution amidst rising calls for MPs to publish their tax returns - and says there's nothing of interest in hers.
Prime minister David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne have both published information on their tax arrangements, following revelations over Mr Cameron's financial affairs and demands for further transparency.
But while Miss Crouch backed their moves to release information, she said it was important not to let legitimate concerns spiral into a witch hunt.
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"I think it's hugely important that people who are in charge of the nation's finances do act in a transparent way with their own tax returns," said the sports minister, "but I do think that we have to be careful that we don't start going down the route of people being bullied into publishing their tax returns."
Mr Cameron came under scrutiny after details of his late father's offshore investment fund were published, and it was subsequently revealed he was given £200,000 from his mother Mary in 2011, a year after he inherited £300,000.
But Miss Crouch said their would be no similar revelations in her own finances.
"Certainly if I was to publish my tax return you'd see absolutely nothing of any interest in it because I don't own any shares, I don't have any dividends, I don't have any assets," she said. "The only tax I pay is the tax I pay on what I earn, but I do think we need to strike a balance as to what is acceptable to be published and what is private information.
"I think it was a decision the prime minister took to publish his returns and he's done so for the entire period he's been prime minister, and he's done that in response to the news around the Panama Papers, but I do think we need to be very careful about how far we go on this.
"Does it apply to everybody that is in the public service? Do we need to start publishing the tax returns of all our civil servants, of people that work in the health service, and so on? So I do think we just need to be a little bit careful about how far we go down this route."
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