Northern Ireland news

Panama papers row: Martin McGuinness to reveal tax returns

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said he will release his tax returns
Connla Young

DEPUTY First Minister Martin McGuinness is to follow David Cameron by releasing his tax returns.

Other Stormont politicians also made statements about their financial affairs on Sunday night.

However, both the DUP and UUP failed to clarify if their party leaders, including First Minister Arlene Foster, will publish their tax returns.

A spokesman for Mr McGuinness said he published his bank statements during the 2011 Irish presidential election.

Sinn Féin said: “Martin McGuinness' assembly income is taxed at source under PAYE.

“He takes home an average wage and donates the balance to the party.

“Martin McGuinness has instructed party accountants to publish his tax returns.”

A spokesman for SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said he has “no beneficiary interest in any offshore fund, account or company".

“Mr Eastwood has called on all party leaders and all members of the Conservative cabinet to make a similar declaration.”

The spokesman added that at the party’s manifesto launch in Dungannon today the Foyle MLA “will outline new proposals around transparency to hold departments, ministers and MLAs to account".

“That could in future include proposals to require all party leaders to publish tax returns."

Alliance Party leader David offered some details of his personal finances.

“My income is derived solely from my work as an MLA and minister, plus modest interest from a small building society account, minus interest paid on the mortgage on a small farm,” he said.

“My entry in the assembly register of interests is accurate."

However, he insisted his family’s financial affairs should not be open to unnecessary public scrutiny.

“I do not think there is any obligation on those public representatives who have never been accused of inappropriate financial dealings to disclose all their family's finances because of the behaviour of others,” he said.

And in a statement late on Sunday night, the Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt said: "I am happy to publish my tax returns."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news