The tax storm that has shook the world of politics showed no signs of abating this week, as revelations emerged that Prime Minister Dave Cameron received a £200,000 gift from his mother to evade inheritance tax.
The move prompted ministers such as opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to call on members of the cabinet to publish their own tax returns.
So should all MPs and councillors be forced to publish their tax returns?
That’s the question MM’s been asking Manchester this week.
MAKE THEM PUBLIC: Manchester wants MPs to be held to account
A hefty 80% of Mancunians agreed, with the majority arguing that people in a position of power should be more transparent and accountable when it comes to paying tax.
“It’s a matter of trust,” 26-year-old teacher Mike Urmston said.
“We should know what they’re doing because if that was us we’d be in trouble for it.”
Although legitimate, Mr Cameron faced a tirade of scrutiny as he stonewalled the subject and argued it was a private matter before publishing his tax returns and admitting his mother’s gift.
This caused outrage because it looked like he had something to hide.
“He’s embarrassed,” said 24-year-old Bermondsey Music College student Carlton Lincoln.
“It’s something that should have been brought to light a while ago – something he should have admitted to.”
Fellow student Michael Waters, 19, agreed and said that just because he’s prime minister he shouldn’t get away with concealing ‘expensive scandals’.
“He should be the first one setting the example,” he said.
This was also the view of Nicola McAvoy, Customer Success Manager, 23, from York who said that in light of recent scandals they should just be completely transparent for their own sakes.
“Most importantly they shouldn’t be able to hide what they’re doing with their tax,” she said.
“It’s important for us to know that they are transparent and accountable as politicians should be.”
Manchester City Council employee Wersen Adjite, 53, said: “If you want to come under rule we have to know your background and your financial status so if you have something hidden then I don’t see why you should be allowed to rule because we don’t trust you.”
But Marketing Executive Kirsty McLoughlin, originally from Huddersfield, argued that this could be a way for trust to be restored.
She said: “By publishing their tax results you’d hope for more transparency in the government and that can only lead to more trust.”
But not everyone took this point of view.
Data Processor Benedict Parry, 24, from Manchester argued that the Government aren’t going to make firefighters who are paid by tax publish their returns so why should MPs and councillors?
“Once they publish their tax returns everyone might have to, and then you’ve got some kind of North Korea crisis on your hands, except not really like North Korea,” he said.
“It’ll be a bit mental. A bit George Orwell.
“I don’t have to publish mine so why should they? You’re not going to make a firefighter do it just because they’re paid via tax.”
And although this wasn’t the view that Cody Simms, a 25-year-old Mortgage Administrator from Kent, who said yes to the publishing of tax documents, Cody felt that he didn’t need to because he’s not in a position of power.
“But they are, and they need to be accountable for their actions,” he said.
Peter Bjorkstrand, a 25-year-old engineer from Kent, also disagreed with the idea and said that although it would help them retain their credibility, he didn’t think MPs and councillors should be forced to publish their tax returns.
But he did say: “I think if there’s any doubt in their credibility and whether they’ve done anything dodgy then it helps clear it up.”
Image courtesy of BBC, via YouTube, with thanks