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David Gauke described today’s figures showing a fall in public sector borrowing as “quite encouraging”. “They’re quite encouraging numbers. The point we always make with the monthly public finance numbers is one shouldn’t get too excited... Continue to article
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.
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.
30/09/2013 on Daily Politics, BBC Two
04/09/2013 on Today, BBC Radio 4
21/08/2013 on BBC News
13/08/2013 on BBC News
12/08/2013 on Sky News
26/06/2013 on PM, BBC Radio 4
21/06/2013 on BBC News
18/06/2013 on Channel 4 News
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