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David Gauke MP

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury

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Stories involving David Gauke

Treasury cracks down on £500m tax avoidance

Downing Street has hailed today's announcement on tax avoidance, saying it shows the Government takes closing loopholes "incredibly seriously".

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "What you've learned today is the Government takes tax avoidance incredibly seriously. We will continue to take tough action."

The Treasury announced this morning it had closed two "aggressive" and "abusive" tax avoidance schemes amounting to £500m at a high-street bank, reported to be Barclays.

Legislation was rushed through to close the loophole, and Treasury Minister David Gauke said this morning that Barclays was "not going to have any benefit" from its £500m tax avoidance scheme, and said he suspected "the bank in question is regretting what it has done".

Mr Gauke has also argued that cutting tax rates for businesses is a "critical" part of the Government's strategy for economic recovery. In an exclusive piece for PoliticsHome, Mr Gauke said that it is right that in a time of "difficult austerity" the Government, HMRC and the Treasury "come under closer scrutiny to ensure that we collect the tax due".

John Whiting, Tax Policy Director at the Chartered institute of Taxation, said today's announcement was aimed at the whole banking sector, rather than just one institution.

Speaking to PoliticsHome, Mr Whiting said:"One indicator is, clearly, that it’s not just one bank, because although there’s talk of saving £500m and the figures go up to £2bn, there is a suggestion that if they didn’t take action lots of others would do it, because these things get around."

He added that the Government had shown it was "trying to get serious to rebuild trust and confidence in the tax system".


Exchequer secretary David Gauke has condemned the "staggering" £42bn lost to the Treasury in tax avoidance, evasion and collection problems in the year to 2008-09. In order to improve efficiency, HMRC is considering scrapping PAYE and deducting tax directly from workers' salaries.


Those receiving demands to pay back-tax, after millions over or under-paid their income tax, will have to pay according to treasury minister David Gauke. Mr Gauke said appeals were unlikely to succeed.


Tax underpayment 'amnesty'

Almost a million of those affected by the problems with PAYE tax will have their debt written off by the treasury. The General Secretary of the PCS Mark Serwotka has written to the Guardian saying staff cuts are partially to blame for the tax errors.


Osborne launches new tax panel

George Osborne has launched the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS), saying he has a "dream" of a clearer tax system. The body will advise government on how to reduce administrative costs for businesses and individuals.