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?