As government ministers in France Monday published details of their personal financial affairs, it was unclear whether their counterparts in the UK will be required to do the same. British Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman told reporters that the Prime Minister remains "relaxed" about the idea of putting his own tax status and private earnings, as well as those of his ministers, into the public domain. But in the face of repeated questions at a Westminster press briefing this morning, he declined to say whether Cameron was committed to taking the step within the course of this Parliament. French president Francois Hollande has given his ministers a deadline of today to reveal details of their personal wealth.
The move is part of Hollande's effort to regain public trust following the scandal surrounding former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac, who is under judicial investigation for tax fraud over a secret overseas bank account. Cameron came under pressure to release his own tax details last year, amid public concern over tax-dodging by wealthy individuals. He said in an interview in April 2012 that he was "very relaxed" about the prospect of releasing his own details and said it looked "increasingly likely" he would do so. "We live in a more transparent age. I think a next stage, I won't say for all politicians but if you are running for the highest office, I think it is a legitimate question for people to ask," he said then. When asked today whether Cameron would be following Hollande's example, the PM's spokesman said "The Prime Minister's view on whether he would be content to publish his arrangements and those of other ministers is that he would be relaxed about that. "His view is unchanged. He would be relaxed about doing so." A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said that there was "no update at present" on any work that might be taking place within government on the process by which details of ministers' financial arrangements could be made public.