Osborne brings in new tax avoidance laws; city minister undermines him

Mike Sivier's blog

Andrea Leadsom [Image: The Independent]. Andrea Leadsom [Image: The Independent]. George Osborne’s latest attempt to make us think that Conservatives can be tough on tax avoiders has lasted less than a week.

The part-time Chancellor announced measures that meant avoiders faced bigger fines and were more likely to go to jail, on April 12.

What a shame his new city minister, Andrea Leadsom, is facing hard questions over actions she took to cut her own inheritance tax bill, just six days later.

Ms Leadsom is now responsible for the government’s Help to Buy property scheme, making this even more embarrassing as the allegations against her refer to shares in a property company.

The allegation is that she took advantage of offshare banking arrangements for her buy-to-let property company, placing her shares into controversial trusts in order to reduce her inheritance tax bill, for the benefit of her children.

The property firm Bandal, created by…

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