First, I think that estimate of the tax gap is wrong, and despite the fact that the NAO know of my work (I have discussed it with them) there is no hint of a reference to it in their work.
That would be forgivable if they had clearly satisfied themselves that HMRC’s estimate was fair before considering whether the work done to address the issue was appropriate. Candidly, I do not see how they could do anything vaguely approaching something called an audit without doing this: the first job in any audit process is to establish that the population being considered is fairly stated.
I cooked up some fairy tale figures at the behest of my union paymasters.
Why won’t anyone take them seriously?