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141102taxavoidancememe

Remember back in school, when you were taught that we have laws in place to ensure justice for everybody?

Isn’t it a shame you weren’t taught the facts?

It seems every clearer that laws are written by whoever is rich enough to buy the politicians who enact them – especially in a Conservative, or Conservative-led, government.

So – for example – if you are one of the elite super-rich who, between them, have an alleged £20+ trillion stowed in offshore tax haven bank accounts, you could happily bung a few thousand – or indeed a few hundred thousand – to the Tories to stop their Chancellor from increasing the powers of HM Revenue & Customs to track them down and make them pay their fair share.

That could explain the discrepancy between what Tory Chancellor George Osborne said in April and what he’s saying now.

Back in April, he told us he was consulting on a new criminal offence carrying a possible prison sentence that will ensnare people with undeclared foreign income – even if they did not intend to evade taxes.

Osborne said: “We are changing the balance of the law so the burden of proof falls on those who are hiding their money offshore and we don’t have to prove that they intended to do so.”

“It is totally unacceptable for people not to pay the tax that is due and the message will be clear now with this new criminal offence that if you’re evading tax offshore, there is no safe haven and we will find you.”

What is he saying about it now?

Absolutely nothing.

Instead, the plan to make offshore tax evasion a criminal offence has been quietly dropped from a draft Financial Bill that was published last week.

According to Citywire, Ray McCann, partner at Pinsent Masons, told the Financial Times: “I think that the proposal is now likely to quietly disappear. There is no substance to it [italics mine].”

Perhaps we should be checking for more substantial donations to the Conservative Party, between April and today’s date, instead.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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