A Tax Dodging Bill

Labour has committed to tackling tax avoidance, a commitment I am happy to endorse.

Whilst there is nothing wrong in organising a business’s affairs to make it tax efficient, on too many occasions we have seen this as a way to avoid most, if not all, tax responsibilities. This is plain wrong.

Many businesses make large profits in Britain, and it is not unreasonable to see some of those profits returned by means of taxation.

Perhaps it is emotive, but every overcrowded classroom or under-staffed hospital is arguably caused by those who avoid their civic responsibilities. Every reduction in police numbers, every unfixed pothole, every public service that is forced to reduce its offer to its clients is caused by the greedy refusing to pay their taxes. I think this should stop.

I would also seek to tackle the issue of tax havens too, although this will require international cooperation.

Therefore I would support a bill that seeks to address tax dodging. Whether that can happen in the first hundred days of a new Labour government I cannot say – to be honest there are a number of competing priorities.

I am happy to back the Tax Dodging Bill Campaign, although we must frame the rules in a way that does not damage our competitiveness as a country.

I would also support campaigns that would make it easier for the Government to collect unpaid, avoided, and uncollected taxes – and this means the recruitment of more tax collectors.