Union repeats call for more resources to tackle tax dodging

HSBCThe HSBC scandal reveals the UK government remains far too complacent about tax avoidance and evasion, the PCS says.

The union, which represents around three quarters of staff in HM Revenue and Customs, has for years called for more resources to tackle tax dodging.

A report by tax expert Richard Murphy published by the union last September showed evasion now deprives our public finances of an estimated £80 billion a year.

Despite knowing about the extent of the secrecy, including criminal activity, HMRC is continuing to cut thousands of jobs.

At the same time, a leaked senior civil service memo has revealed plans to try to “marginalise” the union because of its opposition to these cuts.

The memo states HMRC’s senior managers believe their “business interests” are best served by an approach that “reduces the influence of the unions”.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Instead of aggressively chasing down wealthy and corporate tax dodgers, this government has chosen to turn the screw on those who claim social security, even though fraud in the benefits system pales into insignificance compared to tax evasion.

“This latest scandal further supports our demand that HMRC must be properly resourced. Collecting even a fraction of the tens of billions lost every year would change the debate about public spending overnight.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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