Second Rees-Mogg was wrong to say that beating the tax gap meant more tax had to be paid. It might, of course. But I strongly suggest that since tax is primarily a tool of fiscal policy designed to beat inflation above all other goals then revenue maximisation is not the goal of any government. Rather the aim should always be to raise the required amount of tax as equitably as possible to achieve that fiscal goal in ways that achieve the secondary (but vital) goals of redistribution, repricing market failure, reorganising the economy and reinforcing the relationship between the citizen and the state.
That being, I suggest, what the Senior Lecturer thinks is the correct relationship which should be reinforced?
Astonishingly, official and other research data on tax is frequently inaccurate.
So too often is GDP data, which makes tax gap estimation hard.
And even the number of taxpayers is frequently subject to misreporting between data sources.
At its most basic level understanding tax is hard because official statistics seem to be perversely dedicated to ensuring that we cannot know the truth.
And when it comes to tax gaps, there is too little research and even too much denial that the issue is of consequence.
There’s the pitch for the next series of grants.
But it’s an amusing confirmation of Hayek, isn’t it? Which leads to an interesting question. How can the State be Curajus if no bugger knows what is going on?