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Tax avoidance must be stamped out

Two stories on the front page of the Daily Telegraph, Saturday December 18 attracted our attention. The story on the left was headed “MPs can’t be trusted on expenses” and the adjacent story read “Taxman targets middle class” describing how 200 investigators will comb the country rooting out people who pay cash for services and rent out rooms without declaring the income. It is hoped to recover £12bn next year.

Quite right too! Anybody who deliberately avoids paying tax to the community should be found, shamed, prosecuted and made to pay their fair share of tax, perhaps with a hefty fine thrown in for good measure. There is far too much of this tax avoidance going on.

Of course, those who make unearned fortunes from speculating in land or pocketing what does not belong to them in the form of land rental value are allowed to keep their vast sums through a number of tax avoidance schemes or nom-dom status.

We can only hope that as soon as MPs are not occupied with their expense claims they will find the time to turn their attention to a fair method of raising public revenue – a method that does not take anything from anybody that they have created or produced and does not require an army of civil servants and investigators to collect.