And now I don\’t have to wonder any more:
The picture has been issued by H M Revenue & Customs. These people are alleged to have committed more than £750 billion of tax crime. Almost all relate to smuggling offences.
That is crime worth half of annual benefits cheating.
I’m pleased HMRC are getting serious about this issue. They should be.
But rather than issue photos of people who’ve been convicted and gone missing, why aren’t they demanding 20,000 more staff to tackle the problem on the ground now? Only that will work to stop these crimes recurring.
Would David Gauke like to explain?
It\’s not £750 billion of course. That\’s more than even our grasping government takes in taxes in a year.
But let us just wander through what it is that HMRC staff do. Thy attempt to identify those doing such tax cheating. These people have been identified as having tax cheated. So HMRC is doing just fine on that point.
HMRC also prepares the evidence, decides whether to prosecute (in alliance with the CPS I suppose) and certainly has a hand in the evidence presented to a court which convicts those who have tax cheated.
I think I\’m right in saying that all of these have in fact been convicted in court. So HMRC seems to have been doing just fine in this part of their work as well.
Finally, all of these people seem to be on the lam. Is it the job of HMRC to chase convicted criminals? Umm, no, I don\’t think it is actually. I have a very strong feeling that this is actually the job of the police.
So, what we have is Ritchie using the evidence that HMRC has done its job in identifying, prosecuting and convicting tax thieves as evidence that HMRC has too few people. And further, using the evidence that the police are not managing their part of the job as evidence that we need more tax people. When in fact, obviously, the evidence that he\’s using leads to the conclusion that we need to devote more resources to catching the criminals we have already identified, prosecuted and convicted rather than to identifying, prosecuting and convicting them.
That is, we need more police, not more taxmen.
But then Richard J Murphy gains part of his income from PCS, the union for taxmen, and none of his income from the union of police officers which doesn\’t exist. Funny how his logic turns out, isn\’t it?
What’s the Police Federation then, other than the non-existent union of police officers.
Perhaps Mr and Mrs Murphy are finding the Downham Market winters a bit chilly and RM thinks he might be suited for a part time HMRC role based out in Dubai keeping an eye out for tax cheats.
£1.5 trillion in benefit cheating? Hell, I’m missing out. Where do I sign on for my four Brazilian wives & 17 children?
Don’t forget the corrupt Association of Chief Police Officers, which like the Law Society or the BMA is a nominally private organisation which the govt just happens to do everything it says.
Tim – please update your photo at the torygraph. It does you no favours now that I have seen you in video format. Just sayin’
Tim adds: The problem being the complete and total absence of a camera that I know how to use.
Bit worrying the self-professed economic genius/accountant confuses Billion/Million, isn’t it?
From the HMRC flickr site, it would seem they haven’t all been convicted. Which makes the statement by the minister “these criminals have collectively cost the taxpayer over £765m” rather worrying from the point of view of fair trials.
Sorry O/T again but your torygraph education piece is good.
It`s a fantastic parody site. Always gives me a laugh.
Caught him out yesterday as he tried to link a new BMJ report on increased suicides to George Osbourne. The only problem was that the BMJ report covered 2008 – 2010 where Prime Mentalist Gordon Brown was in charge ….ooops Ritchie. I pointed this out but couldn’t be arsed to see if he put my comment up and/or left some snide remark in response.
Mactheknife, also, the thing is, most people have a sort-of happiness thermostat, in that external forces have a short-term effect on happiness, but eventually people tend to return to their normal level of happiness, even without a change in external circumstances. So if Murphy was smart enough, there is potentially a story here – that of inadequate resourcing for people experiencing mental health distress – but he’s choosing to forgo making it in favour of a narrowly party-political “Osborne is killing people in debt” point.