UK PM announces new tax evasion law

  • 11/04/2016
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been under heat for his handling from the Panama Papers fallout (Reuters)
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been under heat for his handling from the Panama Papers fallout (Reuters)

British Prime Minister David Cameron will announce legislation making companies criminally liable if employees aid tax evasion.

The bill to be introduced this year aims to repair the damage from a week of questions about his personal finances.

Cameron published tax records on Sunday (local time) to try and defuse criticism over his handling of the fallout from the Panama Papers, in which his late father was mentioned for setting up an offshore fund.

UK PM announces new tax evasion law

Demonstrators during protest outside Downing St (Reuters)

After four carefully worded statements in four days, Cameron bowed to pressure and admitted that he had benefited from selling his share in his father's fund in 2010.

He recognised on Saturday that he had mishandled the disclosure.

Cameron is leading efforts to persuade British voters to stay in the European Union in a June 23 referendum that the polls suggest will be tight, and the tax row has raised concerns among the "in" camp that their cause may have been damaged.

The prime minister will attempt to regain the upper hand when he appears in the House of Commons later on Monday.

"This government has done more than any other to take action against corruption in all its forms, but we will go further," Cameron will say, according to advance excerpts of his statement circulated by his Downing Street office.

"That is why we will legislate this year to hold companies who fail to stop their employees facilitating tax evasion criminally liable," he will say.

The plan had already been announced by finance minister George Osborne in March 2015, but previously the commitment was to introduce the legislation by 2020, Downing Street said.

AAP