Tax avoidance – the latest from Twitter


This infographic appeared on Twitter yesterday. At a time when it has been revealed that the richest people in the UK doubled their income between 2009 and 2014, proving that the Coalition government lied about sharing the burden equally, it seems appropriate to share it.

Supporting information on the £120 billion figure can be found here and here.

The HMRC figure is harder to pin down but a claim that it amounted to £32 billion can be found here.

The claim that £16 billion in benefits goes unclaimed every year seems to date from 2010 and may be lower than the actual amount.

Benefit fraud and error is enumerated in this DWP report which shows that the infographic is mistaken about overpayments due to error – these stand at £2.4 billion, not £1.4 billion.

Information showing that the 1,000 richest people in the UK doubled their incomes between 2009 and 2014 can be found here.

David Cameron has vowed (yet again) to crack down on tax avoidance. A report is here

But you can safely leave any words he has to say on the subject here:


Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. Chris Kitcher November 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    In fact I now am convinced that nothing that is said by any of the cabinet can be believed. If the figures don’t suit their case they make them up or distort official figures and where there are no figures to support them they just lie and invent them.

  2. marcusdemowbray November 2, 2014 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I am self-employed. I have to do accounts every year. I know that I have to balance my spending with my income. I also know that if I do not wish to cut my spending then I have to increase my income by working harder and making sure all my customers pay their bills.

    Getting my income is the most important thing.

    Why is it that this Government, despite countless promises, has completely failed to secure UK’s income by stopping corporate and private tax avoidance:

    1) Are they really thick?

    2) Or are they just keen on persecuting those least well off?

    Answer: BOTH!

    • Janet McArthur November 3, 2014 at 10:46 pm - Reply

      Hello Marcus. The answer to your question is, Because They Can’t. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal and, as long as the big accountants know all the legal loopholes and will impart that information to wealthy people for a price, they will. Tax evasion, however, is illegal. The only answer is to close those loopholes and turn avoidance into evasion. They could have done that by now if they wanted to. They don’t want to.

  3. jaypot2012 November 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    It doesn’t matter which one we would go after – Cameron will make sure that he goes after benefit fraud and hairdressers from Liverpool…

  4. wcaassessment November 2, 2014 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    The fortunes of the super rich in this country – and, by default, therefore, ALL our politicians (bar a few with morals), is absolutely dependent on the money laundering capitol of the word that is The City of London. This whole house of cards recovery is built upon it.

    This banking monster’s tentacles reach all around the globe and is controlled by some very powerful and dangerous people. This monster sucks in the profits of the wealthiest 1% and secretes them into offshore havens where it is estimates a third of the world’s wealth lies dormant and serving a tiny minority.

    Who on earth is going to seriously take on such a dangerous behemoth? Assuming that they even could. Money and power of that magnitude buys anyone and everything, from governments to armies.

    That’s why successive governments have spouted meaningless rhetoric every now again when the peasants become uneasy – but has ANYthing ever changed? I’d say it has got worse.

    So, what will be done?

    The government will go after a few ‘names’ to pacify the DM readers and it will all go away for a few years. But making Jimmy Carr pay his taxes will not solve the problem.

    Not until offshore tax havens are shut down and corporations are required to pay their share will anything change… but then, when you have a PM whose own fortunes are derived from the offshore system, things look very bleak indeed.

    • neilov8Neilo November 4, 2014 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      I agree, but the thing we are missing is that we vote with our money – if people wake up and stop putting money into this system, then it will have to change. Buy local, stop buying crap because it’s advertised to us, only take what we need – just takes a bit of thinking and that’s how we stop it – sure it’s not easy to convince people to change their habits, but it’s a lot easier than trying to change a system by constantly replacing the icons (MP’s, CEO’s etc) every 4 years or so.

  5. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) November 3, 2014 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Well most of the government are millionaires if not billionaires so that clears up any uncertainty why they dont want to pursue taxation of the rich.

  6. SCW November 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    This infographic did not simply appear on Twitter yesterday. It’s been rattling around for at least a year and summarises data that goes back to 2010.

    Why lie and paint something as new when it’s not? If your arguments are sound have the decency and honesty to get the basics of your story right, even if your interpretation is going to be skewed in the direction that your site points?

    There is a debate to be had, but this looks like people wish merely to indulge in mock horror gesturing rather than taking a more balanced view. And thus is the political system destroyed, blog by biased blog.

    And that applies both ways by the way.

    • Mike Sivier November 3, 2014 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      Why do you think it was a lie? First time I saw it was yesterday.
      The article corrects inaccuracies on the infographic, as well, so it wasn’t as if there were any problems with that side of it, either.

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