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Darling to launch new offshore crackdown

Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to announce a crackdown offshore tax evaders in tomorrow’s Budget by doubling the maximum penalty to 200 per cent of the tax owed.

According to a report in today’s Financial Times, the scheme is one of a number of measures aiming to extend beyond the £5bn assault on tax evasion in December’s pre-Budget report.

A Whitehall official told the FT: “These people with large bank balances who are hiding money offshore should be running scared of this announcement.

“HMRC is becoming incredibly good at finding out who these people are and it’s going to cost [the evaders] a lot.”

The FT also reports the Chancellor will tell part-nationalised banks Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds to lend an extra £90bn to businesses this year after the two banks failed to hit targets in 2008-09.

The BBC reports this morning that the Government will set out measures in the Budget to ensure UK banks are legally obliged to provide a basic bank account to all citizens. It says Chancellor Alistair Darling will announce the plans tomorrow to help the estimated 1.75 million adults who have no transactional bank account.The move is part of the Government’s push to tackle financial exclusion.


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There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I wonder what Tory policy is on “Self Abuse” ? and whether they would do anything re offshore tax evasion or would they simply continue to promote a light touch when it comes to these matters ?

  2. … ‘puch to tackle financial exclusion’ – or the more sinister police-st@te-surveillance (after all, if we ALL have bank accounts, THEY can see what we’re doing with our brass!!)

    Why a crack down on O/seas Tax Evasion – HMRC already have vast, wide ranging powers anyway – cf IRS in the US – nowt new there then!! Hey ho

  3. Best way to stop abuse by the rich is to stop all
    phantom EBT/FURBS and loan backs, all indirectly controlled by the beneficiaries
    When will the chancellor learn. Just easy/ apply S419 on loan backs

  4. Consider flat tax at 20% and there will be no need for offshore accounts, no need for accountants and tax lawyers and no need 50% of the Treasury staff! Flat taxes offer simplicity, increase compliance, increases revenue and decrease administration costs. Where those recent emerging states have adopted this they have experienced strong economic growth. Time to bin what has gone before and move forward using a tax structure that encourages growth rather than lines the pocket of the rent collectors and government employees who know only how to take rather than make profit.

    Simon Mansell

  5. will Lord Ashcroft please stand up as the real slim “shady”

  6. Incompetent Regulators Award Team 23rd March 2010 at 10:12 am

    Deperate measure by Nasty Labour. Screw up teh UK economy, create the biggest debt ever and now clutching at straws. The politics of jealousy rining in our ears loud and clear.

  7. It is said that poor people should take rich people out to lunch! The “rich” need to be looked after otherwise they will up and leave as indeed many professional classes do, only to be replaced by the worlds poor – attracted by our benefit culture! Looked after and nurtured. We need to remind ourselves just how insignificant the UK is in the global world. Governments don’t make profits, local authorities don’t make profits and the National Health Service is not free. We are becoming a nation of “B listers” and when it comes to tax less equals more. It is a fact that when tax rates reduce revenue increases.

  8. Incompetent Regulators Award Team 23rd March 2010 at 10:14 am

    Desperate measures by Nasty Labour. Screw up the UK economy, create the biggest debt for the country ever known and then clutch at straws for more cash. The politics of jealousy ringing in our ears loud and clear. As Simon Mansell says 20% simple tax system will solve all problems.

  9. Never Too Old To Rock 23rd March 2010 at 10:34 am

    ‘Taxman’—-The Beatles

  10. Picking up on Simon Mansell and Incompetent Regulators Award Team Comments.

    Labour having vastly increased the tax take as a percentage of GDP, but refusing to cut spending on the current account because of the pending election, now feel it politically expedient to be seen to be doing SOMETHING! ANYTHING! to get them through the next few weeks.
    Again and again we are seeing this politics of envy coming through.

    The Flat Rate Tax is not new, having been touted a few years back as the way forward. Nothing came of it then, despite it seeming to be a very simple, inexpensive and therefore potentially attractive system, for the tax authorities. Taxation should be as simple as possible and inexpensive to collect so that it does not act as a drag on the economy.

    One can only assume that vested interests mounted a behind the scenes campaign which chimed with ‘oh so very clever’ Gordon Brown’s natural instincts of control, meddling and micromanagement.

    As Simon says there would have been wholesale job losses, initially, but the boost to business in the UK would have propelled employment forward at such a rate that these would have been absorbed extremely quickly. All a bit to ‘free market’ for Gordon though!

    Tony Blair didn’t ‘do God’, but oversold his (political) visions. Whether Gordon ‘does God’ or not, after all he is a ‘son of the manse’, is not the question but he certainly does NOT do the ‘vision’ of politics appearing only able to get to grips with anything if he can arrogantly try to ‘put down’ someone else’s thoughts or points of view. Indeed anything that doesn’t fit with his myopic view of the world is fair game. He can however only manage the few trees he sees, he does not see the whole wood.

    The tax raid on pension funds about ten years ago is a case in point. He now presides over a sea of wrecked employers pension schemes just when we are going to have an explosion in the numbers reaching pensionable age. He obviously did not want to see the demographic projections, presumably misinterpreting when the FSA told him that ‘past performance’ was ‘no guarantee of future returns’.

    At the time I believed this Tax was going to turn into an example of ‘unintended consequences’, but more recently have come to the view that was at the back of my mind all along, which is that Gordon is even further ‘Left’ than I suspected. He really does believe the OLD Labour view that we should all be dependent upon the State, not just the pensioners who will be reduced to penury.

    I am not surprised by this news, just saddened that we are being pulled back by ‘Old Labour’ to the 1970’s. We had moved on but are now being drawn inexorably backwards. Typical Labour of old, bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator as it that is progressive and something we should aspire to. If we ever got there what then? We would be a third world country but Labour would have no reason to existence.

  11. 20% flat income tax rate is good – a 20% flat rate on ALL PURCHASES is better … …

    So if you feel like buying Abramovich’s yacht it’ll cots you the same percentage wise as a Mars bar (no plug intended!!).

    There would then be NO TAX EVASION … and no accountantys/lawyers/etc … and immediate income, as no 31-Jul, 31-Jan, etc deadlines … …


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