Sunday, 19 September 2010


Danny Alexander

Danny Alexander has announced that the government will invest nearly £1 billion in an effort to reduce the billions lost in tax avoidance and evasion at the top end of the market.

The attack on tax dodgers is expected to raise an extra £7bn each year by 2014-15.

Danny, in a move which I am 100% behind, placed tax evaders in the same category as benefit cheats. And, I imagine, in an attempt to show that the Liberals are getting some concessions out of the coalition, he insisted that, in the forthcoming spending review, there would be moves to ensure the government could be ruthless with the wealthy that chose whether or not to pay tax.

The money will be used to set up a criminal deterrent system against tax evasion, a new dedicated team of investigators to crackdown on offshore evasion, as well as cyber crime teams and online specialists. Why didn’t we already have all these things Labour?

He is also planning to increase investment in detection technology to prevent alcohol and tobacco smuggling, which cost the Treasury dearly.

He said: "There are some people who seem to believe that not paying their fair share of tax is a lifestyle choice that is socially acceptable. It is not. Like the benefit cheat, their actions take resources from those who need them most. Tax avoidance and evasion are unacceptable in the best of times but in today's circumstances it is morally indefensible."

Nick Clegg, on the Andrew Marr show had a go at Labour for not doing more to clamp down on tax loopholes, which is something that Gordon Brown promised in opposition that he would do in government.

Interestingly Clegg said that it was unfair that the better-off could afford experts to help them avoid paying tax when others suffered “pay and pension misery” as the public spending cuts bite. So there you have it. We are in for misery, and that was straight from the Deputy Prime Minister’s mouth.

I remember that only last year Nick said that he went into politics to become Prime Minister. I wonder how he feels about bringing “misery” to the poor within 6 months of achieving office.

The Public and Commercial Services Union estimated last week that around £120 billion of taxes goes uncollected every year. If their figures are to be believed, then it seems that if people would only pay what they owe, we wouldn’t have to suffer any of this “misery”.

And although the move is to be applauded, the difference between the £7 billion that Danny’s plans may bring in and the estimated £120 billion that the rich steal from us every year is still...well..... it’s still £113 billion!

Doubtless the overall population of the UK will reduce over the next couple of years as the super-rich take themselves off to live in a place with a more favorable tax regime, or where the unfavorable tax regime is administered as inefficiently as ours has been over the past 30 years.


  1. The Blairs could square the UK deficit on their own!

  2. Tax avoidance is a bit like scratching your Bollocks just a normal natural thing you do...

    Tax evasion is out and out illegal and is a favourite pastime of the Torys.

    I just wonder if 1 billion returns 7 billion then perhaps 2 billion may get us 14 billion etc...

  3. Another way to save money perhaps

    ST. LOUIS — When judges here sentence convicted criminals, a new and unusual variable is available for them to consider: what a given punishment will cost the State of Missouri.

    For someone convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, for instance, a judge might now learn that a three-year prison sentence would run more than $37,000 while probation would cost $6,770. A second-degree robber, a judge could be told, would carry a price tag of less than $9,000 for five years of intensive probation, but more than $50,000 for a comparable prison sentence and parole afterward. The bill for a murderer’s 30-year
    prison term: $504,690.

  4. That is me moving definitively offshore.

    I wonder if there is any connection with noble Lord Ashcroft quitting his job as Conservative Deputy Chairman?

    Is he re-retiring to Belize perchance?

  5. Government estimates of costs are generally X times overly optimistic as is there projected savings, lets hope its not spend a fiver to save a pound. This evasion has been allowed/encouraged for decades and every loophole they close two others pop open. The whole taxing regime is far too complicated which is why it is so frequently abused and tinkering could just muddy the waters even further. We live in hope.

  6. Lord yes OR, easily, with loads to spare.

    I wonder how much twax that horrible man amd his dreadful wife have diddled us out of.

  7. Interesting Niko. It’s not cheap to keep someone in prison. Of course it works in that when the person is in prison he isn’t taking some old woman’s purse. Beyond that it doesn’t work at all.

  8. I thought you'd be off Bugger. I expect you have a nice wee place in Belize in any case.

  9. Yes I agree CH. They will have costed it all wrong and it will cost £5 billion and run 15 years late. Additionally it will only bring in £12.45p extra...

    They never get anything right.

    Frankly from what I've heard over the past couple of weeks the IR couldn't run a booze up in a brewery and the likelihood of this working at all is double plus slim.

  10. I'm ok I've just bough Rockall and am off there to declare UDI as independent Republic of Rockall!

  11. Is that because you've reached Rock Bottom Munguin? Or because you have rockall to declare?

    I'm going to take the Price-William millions to somewhere a bit sunnier than Rockall!

  12. Late to the party, but good post!
    I'd like to see more people making a noise about it, then the government might have to do something about it.

  13. None the less welcome for all that (as long as you brought a bottle!!)

    Yes. It's difficult to find exact figures for tax or benefit fraud but according to this website the government estimates that in the year 2008-9 £900 million was lost to benefit fraud:

    That looks small compared to the tax fraud figure whichever set of figures you go by... estimates from £25 billion to £120 billion...

    So let's have some screaming headlines about that from the red tops and the blue rinse tabloids.

    Let's also start to collect it, and stop some of the suffering.

    I note that the government has appointed a certain Mr Green, well known for putting all his companies in his wife's name (how generous). His wife, conveniently, is Monegasque and as such pays no tax at all!

    Oh well, set a thief.... (not that technically he is I hasten to add, before he sets his legal team on me. Having a wife from Monaco and showering her with billions of pounds worth of company is not illegal.)