A number of senior parliament officials have entered into the debate about tax avoidance, following the revelations about Jimmy Carr’s use of an offshore fund, and PM David Cameron’s subsequent comments. Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, has echoed Mr Cameron remarks, calling tax avoidance in general “morally repugnant”.
Unlike Mr Cameron though, Danny Alexander chose not to comment specifically on Jimmy Carr’s individual tax affairs, however he did criticise the practice of tax avoidance, such as through the well documented scheme in Jersey. Speaking on the BBC’s Politics show he said;
“What we are talking about is schemes that are set up, perhaps within the letter of the law as it stands at any particular moment, but which are set up purely with the purpose of reducing someone’s tax bill. These sorts of schemes which save wealthy people potentially many tens of millions of pounds in tax, they are paid for by everybody else.”
Mr Alexander said that reducing the tax gap in the UK could help to reduce the basic rate of income tax by 2p in the pound for UK taxpayers. He described this as a further motivation for tackling tax abuse to end the current climate where the working people of the country pay the difference because the wealthiest think they can get away without paying their fair share.
The chair of the House of Commons public accounts committee, Margaret Hodge, is due to discuss an investigation into certain tax loopholes in parliament in the next week. And Mr Alexander believes that the introduction of the general anti avoidance rule will help to combat some of the worst cases of tax avoidance.
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