Questions over UK leader's salary as Jeremy Corbyn publishes tax returns

Jeremy Corbyn was facing questions after making his tax returns public.

Details released on the Labour leader's website on Sunday stated he earned £114,342 (€132,500 approx.) in 2015/16, on which he paid £35,298 (€40,900 approx.) in tax.

Mr Corbyn's tax return showed he earned £77,019 from all employments, £36,045 from UK pensions and state benefits, £1,200 profit from self employment, and £78 in interest from UK bank and building societies during the period stated.

[timgcap=Jeremy Corbyn.]JeremyCorbynSpeechbSep2015_large.jpg[timgcap]

However, Mr Corbyn is entitled to an extra £39,272 a year as leader of the opposition on top of the basic £74,962 salary for MPs.

Mr Corbyn became leader of the opposition in September 2015.

The Labour leader said he was releasing his tax returns because: "I have made it clear that I think it is right for party leaders to be open and transparent about their tax affairs."

The release of Mr Corbyn's tax statement followed Chancellor Philip Hammond dismissing a challenge from Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell to publish his tax returns.

Mr Hammond told the BBC: "No. I have no intention of doing so.

"Just for the record my tax affairs are all perfectly regular and up to date.

"But I think this demonstration politics isn't helping the atmosphere in British politics."

Mr McDonnell has already made his tax affairs public, saying people should be proud of their contributions to public services.

The shadow chancellor has said a Labour government will make everyone earning above £1 million make their tax records public if the party wins power.

A Labour source said Mr Corbyn had used accountants to examine his tax situation, adding: "We are absolutely confident Jeremy has paid all his tax, because it is taxed at source."

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, a close ally of Mr Corbyn, told BBC Radio Four's Westminster Hour: "He couldn't possibly be intending to deceive anybody."

Asked if she would release her tax returns, Ms Abbott said: "I think we are going to have to discuss this as a shadow cabinet if we all going to publish our tax receipts. If that's what we agree to do, certainly I'll do it."

- AP

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