You will not have been able to escape the news about the scandal engulfing HSBC as well as a number of rich and powerful corporations and individuals. To this day the issue remains in the news.
The issue of the richest paying their share is going to be a fundamental issue for the forthcoming elections in May, and one that I believe needs to remain on the political agenda for the next Parliament and beyond.
As a former tax inspector I reckon I know more about the scandal of tax evasion than any of the other candidates in North Norfolk. It is criminal, and immoral, for individuals and organisations to dodge paying the appropriate tax – especially when we’re witnessing so many cuts in public services. I firmly believe that when caught out the perpetrators should be prosecuted as well as paying back the due tax with interest – right now this government have very little to say on what’s happened. George Osborne even seemed to have gone into hiding.
However you will have seen Ed Miliband taking a hard line on this issue. I have already pledged that if elected in May I will support the introduction of a Tax Dodging Bill.
If Labour is elected in May 2015 we will also:
- Strengthen the HMRC with a comprehensive root and branch investigation into its culture and practices
- Invest more resources into HMRC to enhance its capabilities
- Take action on tax havens
- Extend the bankers bonus clawback for at least 10 years
- Ensure complete tax transparency
- Stop corporations exploiting loopholes to shift profits offshore
- Stop abuses which allow supposedly dormant companies to trade with tax impunity
- End tax scams in the construction industry
- Introduce a genuine deterrent to aggressive tax avoidance schemes
As well as using money that is raised through tackling tax avoidance to fund important public services, I personally hope that it is also spent tackling poverty too.
The issue needs to be taken seriously by all in government, if we don’t we won’t be able to rebuild trust in democracy. But it’s not going to be an easy process. You will have seen the backlash Ed Miliband got for speaking out against the rich, powerful, vested interests from those in the pockets of the rich. Over the next 11 weeks they will fight back, and it will be dirty. So we will need your support ahead of the General Election and for the long-haul too.
If you want to join the fight in North Norfolk please get in contact.
Picture: George Rex / Flickr