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Does the Treasury know what’s going on in the UK?

Does the Treasury know what’s going on in the UK?

According to MPs, the Treasury has not got to grips with financial trends, nor has it made plans to deal with them, online accountants may be interested to learn.

The Commons Public Accounts Committee was amazed when the Treasury confessed its surprise at the news that HMRC had written off £10.9 billion in unpaid tax in just one year. The Treasury had no idea of the estimate until it was revealed in the WGA for 2009-10. Furthermore, it was in the dark over recent trends in claims against the NHS for clinical negligence, or whether there were any plans to reduce the £15.7 billion it has been estimated is needed to meet those claims.

According to Margaret Hodge, the committee chair, the Whole of Government Accounts are not representative of the country’s financial position.

Although the WGA could help the government detect risks that need to be managed, it took 20 months for the accounts to be prepared – twice as long as Australia, France and the USA who take less than nine months to produce similar information.

A spokesman for the Treasury explained that the UK was doing what no other country has done and consolidating all public sector organisations in a single statement of accounts. The department is now working hard to improve future publications and remove any qualifications.

He went on to explain that HMRC collects virtually all of the tax it is due and write-offs are low. Furthermore, about 90% of the write-offs are due to companies going insolvent and it is illegal to pursue that debt.

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Image: day 101 by javYliz

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