Many of you are talking to me about the campaign for a Tax Dodging Bill.
I agree with you that tax dodging is morally wrong, and I am very concerned by
recent reports alleging large-scale tax avoidance via HSBC’s Swiss banking arm.
If we are to earn our way out of the cost-of-living crisis and pay down
the deficit we need thriving businesses that create more secure and
better paid jobs across the country, and we need to see taxes being
paid not avoided. David Cameron and George Osborne have totally
failed to tackle tax avoidance in the last five years. They have failed to
close the loopholes we have highlighted. And the amount of uncollected
tax has risen under this government. One of the Tories’ top donors,
Lord Fink, has admitted to avoiding tax and has even said “tax
avoidance: everyone does it”. I disagree.
The next Labour Government will act where the Tories have
failed. Labour has set out the measures it will take to tackle tax
avoidance in its first Finance Bill. The Conservatives and Liberal
Democrats voted against these proposals in the House of Commons on
11 February – but if Labour is elected at the General Election we will
make them law, and if I am elected as your Labour MP I will vote for
We will close loopholes that cost the Exchequer billions of pounds a
year, increase transparency and toughen up penalties. We will act in
our first Finance Bill to:
• Introduce penalties for those who are caught by the General Anti-
• Close loopholes used by hedge funds to avoid stamp duty;
• Close loopholes like the Eurobonds loophole which allow some large
companies to move profits out of the UK and avoid Corporation
• Stop umbrella companies exploiting tax reliefs;
• Scrap the “Shares for Rights” scheme, which the OBR has warned
could enable avoidance and cost £1bn and is administered by
HMRC, and so ensure HMRC can better focus on tackling tax
• Tackle disguised self-employment by introducing strict deeming
• Tackle the use of dormant companies to avoid tax by requiring them
to report more frequently.
Labour’s measures to tackle tax avoidance will also include:
• Ensuring stronger independent scrutiny of the tax system, including
reliefs, and the government’s efforts to tackle tax avoidance;
• Forcing the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to
produce publicly available registries of beneficial ownership;
• Making country-by-country reporting information publicly available;
• Ensuring developing countries are properly engaged in the drawing
up of global tax rules.
I hope you will consider voting Labour in May.
With kind regards,
Labour Party Central Devon Parliamentary Candidate for the 2015