12 February 2015
Tax avoidance and tax evasion

I believe that taxes should be modest and tax regimes simple, and when big companies or wealthy individuals don't pay their fair share it puts more of the tax burden on the rest of us. That is why I believe that we should be tough on tax dodgers.

When in office Labour spectacularly failed to act on aggressive tax avoidance, turning a blind eye to tax dodging because they thought they had ended boom and bust.

The government under David Cameron has done more than any other to crack down on both tax avoidance and tax evasion. HMRC have systematically worked through the 2010 ‘Lagarde’ list of tax avoiders and by increasing the maximum penalty for hiding money in tax havens to 200 per cent of the tax evaded have brought in more than £135 million.

The new General Anti-Abuse Rule will deter the creation of abusive tax avoidance schemes and the government is also consulting on new powers for HMRC to collect unpaid taxes from people owing more than £1,000.

The amount raised from compliance has increased to a record high under this Government, it is forecast HMRC will raise £26 billion this year from compliance, £9 billion more than in 2010.

Ed Miliband and Ed Balls talk tough on tax dodgers now but they should be judged on their record rather than their rhetoric.