Yesterday the House was in uproar when the Prime Minister attempted to “out” me as an owner of a foreign trust during question time. This is inaccurate, and he is of course conflating two separate things.
Foreign trusts are set up by people not resident in the country they are citizens of or resident in, and can be exploited by the mega rich to avoid paying tax in the country they actually reside in.
They are quite different to ordinary family trusts set up by residents of that country to manage a family home – which is what my late grandmother did many years ago with her share of the family holiday home – Lamledra House – located in Cornwall. As her granddaughter, I am one of many listed beneficiaries of that trust, along with my five other siblings and multiple cousins.
Why did she do that? The answer is simple – Lamledra is a special house in a unique location that was built over a hundred years ago by my grandmother’s father – my great grandfather.
Lamledra is located on an exposed part of the Cornish coast with beautiful views of the sea and a short walk down from the house takes you to Vault Beach.
My great grandfather gifted the surrounding farmland to the National Trust to ensure its protection and make that part of the coastline available for all to enjoy. A popular walk to the Dodman takes you through much of this land.
So how do I personally benefit from the trust? Lamledra house is let as a holiday home and the income helps with the high costs associated with a maintaining a large stone house on an exposed windy site by the sea, battered regularly by the Cornish storms so I receive no money from it and never have.
I am however entitled to stay for free for a week or so when I am in England. I last visited Lamledra along with my father, step mum, younger brother and sister, and my three children in 2013.
Here is a snap from that trip. My father, youngest sister and daughter are pictured, with the house in the background.