Alexander sets out tax push
Danny Alexander used his Liberal Democrat conference speech to set out plans for a fresh crackdown on tax avoidance.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury warned those who refuse to play by the rules: "We are coming to get you and you will pay your fair share."
It comes amid reports that the Liberal Democrats are preparing to push the Conservatives for a rise in council tax on properties worth over £1m.
The Independent reports the Lib Dems will press for two or three new council tax bands at the top of the scale as an alternative to their favoured mansion tax plans on homes worth more than £2m.
However, in his speech today, Mr Alexander insisted the party was still keen on the Mansion Tax: "In this country, we tax work, effort and income too highly, and unearned wealth far too little. Now you can move your money off shore but you can’t move your mansion. That’s why we want a Mansion Tax. It’s simple, it’s fair, it’s unavoidable."
On the issue of tax avoidance, he told delegates: "Back in 2009, Labour made an agreement with Liechtenstein that set a time limited window that closes in 2016 for people to bring their UK tax affairs up to date.
"They thought it would raise a billion pounds. Under this Government many more people are fessing up. So, we are doubling the size of the team focussed on Liechtenstein. With that extra effort we can recover much more from those who thought they could hide their money offshore. Up to three times more - £3bn."
He also announced the expansion of a new affluent unit within HMRC: "I can report that it is already a success: it has raised £44m in less than a year. And so I can announce that we will build on that success and expand its remit to the wealthiest 500,000 people in the country, those with net wealth over a million pounds."
Mr Alexander added: "The vast majority of taxpayers in this wealth bracket pay their fair share. We have this message to the small minority of wealthy people who don’t play by the rules: we are coming to get you and you will pay your fair share."