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IT contractors call for Hartnett’s resignation

IT contractors call for Hartnett’s resignation

Last week protesters, including several IT contractors, gathered outside the London headquarters of HMRC to demand that Dave Hartnett, the permanent secretary for tax, resign.

A message on the UK Uncut website said the action was taken because of public outrage at the role Hartnett played in letting mega-rich corporations off paying billions they owed in tax. Examples of these let-offs include the settlements agreed with Goldman Sachs and Vodafone, both of which were multi-billion pound disputes.

Police met protesters at the main entrance to HMRC’s HQ and minor scuffles ensued. Protesters demanding the sacking of Hartnett followed Vince Cable, the business secretary, as he walked past the building.

UK Uncut says that Hartnett is a dishonest representative of a crooked system that allows the richest 1% to routinely avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Hartnett has built up a high profile in the last few years and his reputation as the Whitehall civil servant who is most wined and dined has been linked to secret deals that let wealthy organisations off paying billions in tax.

UK Uncut estimates that £25 billion in Treasury money has been lost to tax evasion and had this money been collected, there would have been no need for the current government austerity measures.

Meanwhile, new research claims that plans to charge banks VAT would not lead to a significant increase in revenue for the government.

The study was conducted by Ben Lockwood, a professor at the University of Warwick, in conjunction with PwC. It found that the only potential increase in revenue would come from charging VAT on consumers because both EU banks and their business customers would be able to reclaim any VAT that was levied on them.

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Image: walk the plank by shannonkringen

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