Poulsen: “I didn’t add to the memo”

Former tax minister denies adding information to a memo that was allegedly used to convince tax authorities that the PM’s husband should have been paying Danish taxes

Former tax minister Troels Lund Poulsen (Venstre) today denied that he contributed to a memo that was allegedly used to influence the outcome of an audit of the now-PM Helle Thorning Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) and her husband Neil Kinnock.

“I didn’t read the whole thing, I just skimmed it,” he told the commission investigating the scandal that has become known as Taxgate. “I did not make any changes at all.”

Poulsen was testifying at the Taxgate Commission, which was established last year to determine who leaked the audit to tabloid BT – that found Kinnock was not liable for tax in Denmark – and whether anyone tried to influence the audit’s outcome.

A central question in the scandal is a memo that was obtained by the tabloid BT – before the tax authority concluded in favour of Kinnock – suggesting that Kinnock did owe tax in Denmark.

The memo was sent to Poulsen’s spin-doctor, Peter Arenfeldt, who gave it to Poulsen, who in turn handed it a top official in the Tax Ministry, Peter Loft. Loft then passed the memo on to the Copenhagen branch of the tax authority Skat, telling officials there to take the memo into consideration.

What is mysterious about the memo is that it unexplainably grew by five pages between Arenfeldt receiving it from BT, and Loft giving it to Skat Copenhagen.

Poulsen stated that the memo he received was nine pages long, not the five that Arenfeldt claimed, and that he never added to it.