Statement from Cllr Andy Hull, Executive Member for Finance, commenting on the Prime Minister's statement on 11th April -
“Yesterday in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister sought to taint Islington Council with the tax-avoidance scandal in which he has mired himself.
"Mr Cameron alleged that the council has the same sorts of offshore investments as those revealed in the Panama Papers. In doing so, he disingenuously conflated the terms ‘overseas’ and ‘offshore’ and cynically equated the notions of ‘avoidance’ and ‘exemption’ in order to try to implicate the council in a scandal of his own making.
"In defending his family’s own offshore investments, the Prime Minister said that Islington Council has money invested overseas.
"To be clear, all of Islington Council’s own monies are held domestically, either in the bank, lent to other local authorities or lent to the government itself.
"Islington Council’s £1bn Pension Fund does have overseas investments alongside its UK portfolio – as do all local government pension schemes across the country – as part of a prudent approach to diversifying risk.
"The fund, unlike the Prime Minister, is tax-exempt, as are all Local Government Pension Scheme funds. Its overseas investments – for instance in Apple and Toyota – are not hidden in hedge funds in far-flung tax havens.
"The fund’s committee meets in public, as it did last night; its financial statements are publicly available; and all its investments comply with UK government regulation. It pays all the tax that is due. What it does not have is lawyers or fund managers in Panama or the Cayman Islands helping it avoid tax.”