Prince Charles under fire over climate lobbying motives

Posted: November 7, 2017 by oldbrew in Accountability, climate, Critique, News, Politics
Tags: ,

Image credit: BBC News


The BBC’s Paradise Papers reporters say ‘Prince Charles lobbied on climate policy after shares purchase.’
Time for a spot of ‘denial‘ perhaps?

Private estate had secret interest in offshore firm that would benefit from rule change, leaked documents show.

Prince Charles campaigned to alter climate-change agreements without disclosing his private estate had an offshore financial interest in what he was promoting, BBC Panorama has found.

The Paradise Papers show the Duchy of Cornwall in 2007 secretly bought shares worth $113,500 in a Bermuda company that would benefit from a rule change.

The prince was a friend of a director of Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd. The Duchy of Cornwall says he has no direct involvement in its investments.

A Clarence House spokesman said the Prince of Wales had “certainly never chosen to speak out on a topic simply because of a company that it may have invested in.

“In the case of climate change his views are well known, indeed he has been warning of the threat of global warming to our environment for over 30 years. Carbon markets are just one example that the prince has championed since the 1990s and which he continues to promote today.”

‘Conflict of interest’
He added Prince Charles was “free to offer thoughts and suggestions on a wide range of topics” and “cares deeply” about the issue of climate change but “it is for others to decide whether to take the advice”.

Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said Prince Charles’s actions amounted to a serious conflict of interest.

He said: “There’s a conflict of interest between his own investments of the Duchy of Cornwall and what he’s trying to achieve publicly. And I think it’s unfortunate that somebody of his importance, of his influence, becomes involved in such a serious conflict.”

The leaked documents held by law firm Appleby show the Duchy of Cornwall also made offshore investments totalling $3.9m in four funds in the Cayman Islands in 2007. This is legal and there is no suggestion of tax avoidance.

A Duchy of Cornwall spokesman said Prince Charles voluntarily pays income tax on any revenue from his estate. He added the estate’s investments “do not derive any tax advantage whatsoever based on their location or any other aspect of their structure and there is no loss of revenue to HMRC as a result”.

Continued here.

Comments
  1. oldbrew says:

    ‘This is legal and there is no suggestion of tax avoidance.’

    That should perhaps say ‘no suggestion of tax evasion’, which IS illegal. If putting money in the Caymans isn’t tax avoidance (legal under certain conditions), what other point is there in doing that? To ‘hide’ it seems the obvious one.
    – – –
    BBC (2014): The heir to the throne has previously called on politicians to face down “sceptics and… corporate lobbyists”.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25984246

  2. I wonder if there are enough decent politicians in the commons and lords who would vote to end the use of offshore accounts by people who benefit from the UK?

    I suspect not.

    If HMRC put a tick box on the paye self assessment form that reduced our tax bill when ticked, we would all tick it, if possible. We all want to reduce our tax bill.

    Only politicians can fix this, perhaps we ought to encourage them to implement a simple law to stop it on pain of imprisonment?

  3. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    If D*****s are headless chickens, what does passing the Duchy to the Cayman Isles make Charlie boy?

    [reply] a spiv?

  4. Graeme No.3 says:

    craigm350:
    Not the dill he appears from his outburst on “The Climate”.

  5. craigm350 says:

    Now, now I’m trying to be nice with my language as I don’t want to be on Santa’s naughty list this year! 😂

  6. tom0mason says:

    “A Duchy of Cornwall spokesman said Prince Charles voluntarily pays income tax on any revenue from his estate.”

    Then it’s about time the law was changed! All royalty should pay tax for their business interests as a matter of law. Either that or hold no direct control on any business interests.

  7. BoyfromTottenham says:

    As I understand it, this issue is not about tax avoidance but about conflict of interest (and maybe insider trading?). I wonder what the Queen thinks of all this?

    [reply] indeed

  8. The Queen knows Charlie is an idiot that is why she is still on the throne. She hopes to outlive him

  9. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Also on BBC news this morning, I think I heard Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, claim that Solar and Wind energy is cheaper than fossil fuels. Perhaps this is another opportunity for the BBC to issue an apology?

    [reply] no need for subsidies then 😎

  10. oldbrew says:

    Telegraph report:

    Prince Charles’s private estate has invested millions in offshore companies and funds including shares worth £58k in Bermuda based Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd (SFM) run by his friend Hugh van Cutsem.
    . . .
    Four months after the shares were purchased Mr van Cutsem, a millionaire horse breeder, asked for lobbying documents to be sent to the Prince of Wales’s office.

    Weeks later he made a speech saying that the rules had “got be wrong”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/07/theresa-may-frustrated-refusal-bbc-guardian-hand-paradise-papers/

    BBC: A Clarence House spokesman said the Prince of Wales had “certainly never chosen to speak out on a topic simply because of a company that it may have invested in.”

    Er…cough 😆

  11. wolsten says:

    Reblogged this on Wolsten.

  12. craigm350 says:

    Tony Heller on Charlie:

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