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Tax avoidance – a slightly different perspective

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, recently spoke at HMRC’s Stakeholder Conference.

Some of his comments on tax avoidance are worth repeating:

“It makes perfect sense that when certain individuals or companies aren’t perceived to be contributing their fair share to the public purse, that there will be public anger.

But – in my view – what the public and media and political debate around compliance has often lacked, is balance.

It has often been misinformed.

It has often involved significant scaremongering.

And it has all too often portrayed the entire business world as something that takes away from society, rather than contributing to it.

So I want to start today’s conference by setting out the action the Government has taken – and is taking – in the context of achieving a balance.

We want to achieve a balance between delivering increasing amounts of tax revenues – which are absolutely necessary to cut the deficit and to secure the ongoing recovery ….

Whilst making sure that Britain becomes increasingly a great place to do business, as we can see so vividly in the reminders around us today.

And we want to achieve a balance between helping individuals and businesses to pay the right amount of tax.

Whilst taking tough action against the minority – and it is a minority – who refuse to pay their share, by avoiding or evading paying the right tax.”

His speech was sensible and balanced.  Let’s hope it catches on!



Date: 13th December, 2013
Author: Cathy Corns


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