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HMRC encouraged to focus on Tax Evasion

HMRC encouraged to focus on Tax Evasion

According to The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), the government and the main political parties should be focusing on tax evasion and avoidance rather than making “savage” cuts in public sector spending over the next few years.

In an attempt to sure up the the public deficit, the Chancellor has already suggested that there will be a reduction in public spending in 2010, whilst many fear a dramatic increase in personal taxes after the next general election.

The Public and Commercial Services union, which represents civil service and other other public sector staff, has warned that politicians were engaged in a “bidding war” over who would cut the most, especially in the run-up to the general election.

The union has estimated that around £100 billion was lost through tax evasion (£70 billion) and tax avoidance (£25 billion) last year, while uncollected tax accounted for a further £27.7 billion in 2009 – a tenfold increase on the previous year. These figures have been backed up by several leading contractor accountants.

General secretary of the PCS, Mark Serwotka, said that politicians should set their sights on UK tax evaders to cut the public deficit rather than pursing aggressive cost cutting measures that clearly illustrate the “short-sightedness” of their approach. According to Serwotka, every year HMRC inspectors and tax collectors alone recoup a staggering £600K worth of tax revenue each, yet these are the very people who’s jobs are most at risk of redundancy.

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