For another thing, it’s falling into the Tory trap by comparing the tenner-in-cash worker to suitcases full of cash emerging from secret bank accounts in Switzerland, organised in active collusion with HSBC’s local arm.
But, as the Guardian has graphically showed here, the scale is vastly different, as are the penalties.
Well, here’s the problem. Let’s say that we actually believe Richard Murphy’s numbers on tax avoidance and tax evasion. I am minded to actually agree with his estimates of evasion actually, given that they are a simple multiplication (in large part) of the size of the grey economy against the normal tax percentage of GDP.
Evasion is very much larger than avoidance, even by his estimates. And evasion is almost all about the cash tenner, not the Swiss bank. There’s no evasion by large corporates for example. There’s some thousands of rich people who evade, as the HSBC case shows (they found 1,000 Brits who did at one of the world’s largest banks). But this is trivial as against the tens of millions who do the odd tenner here and there.
It really is the cash economy in the UK, not offshore nor the rich, that is the largest leak from the tax system.