Socialist Worker

Corporate tax dodgers face an even easier ride

Issue No. 2034

Gordon Brown’s civil service job cuts won’t just mean misery for the poor – they will also deliver an even easier ride for the richest in society.

Internal documents from the Revenue and Customs department reveals that 2,150 workers whose job it is to catch and stop Britain’s tax dodgers are due for the chop.

These cuts will supposedly save £72 million a year. But the document adds that the cuts will lead to an annual direct yield reduction of £240 million – an overall loss of £168 million a year.

It is the rich who will benefit from this. Some 409 jobs will be lost among workers who check that employers meet their tax obligations. The number of corporation tax investigators will be reduced by 153.

Hector Wesley is a member of the PCS union’s national executive who works for Revenue and Customs. “These cuts are a false economy,” he told Socialist Worker. “The government’s own figures show a £25 billion gap between taxes paid and that which should have been paid.

“VAT returns fell last year for the first time since 1973. It just shows that if you cut tax officers, you get less money coming in.

“I work in making sure that employers comply in paying their taxes. We visit companies to make sure they pay the right amount of tax on their payroll.

“It’s a complicated system so it needs to be policed. There are so many loopholes that employers could exploit.

“It’s also about what the department spends its money on. When my department was asked to make £105 million cost savings in staffing one year, it then spent £106 million on financial consultants.

“Most PCS members accept that the union had no choice other than to ballot for strike action over this issue.”

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Article information

Sat 20 Jan 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2034
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