Millionaire Chancellor George Osborne announces plans to clamp down on offshore tax evasion — after four years of failing to act on past pledges
Millionaire Chancellor George Osborne announced plans at the weekend to clamp down on offshore tax evasion — after four years of failing to act on past pledges.
A year before the 2015 polls, the Tory mooted plans to allow HM Revenue & Customs to prosecute people who do not declare their foreign income, even if they did not deliberately intend to avoid payment.
He floated the idea, subject to public consultation, at an International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington.
It is already a criminal offence not to divulge offshore income.
And Mr Osborne is currently pushing ahead with plans to cut more than 10,000 jobs from HMRC by 2016.
Tax Justice Network’s Richard Murphy said: “This looks very much more like a PR exercise than it does to be a serious attempt to tackle offshore tax abuse.”
And Mr Murphy pointed out that Mr Osborne had gone “out of his way to encourage” the most serious tax abuse — the use of offshore tax havens by transnational companies.