17 January 2023 – today’s press releases

  • ONS pay figures: Chancellors have fanned the flames of this cost of living crisis
  • Billions in taxes lost as HMRC moves staff to Brexit and Covid fraud

ONS pay figures: Chancellors have fanned the flames of this cost of living crisis

Responding to this morning’s latest ONS earnings and unemployment figures, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

Successive Conservative Chancellors have fanned the flames of this cost of living crisis. Their deeply shameful tax hikes and failure to grow the economy has lead to Britain’s pay being squeezed despite unbearably high bills. It has been an economic clown show from this Conservative Government.

There is no light at the end of the tunnel for the cost of living crisis because the Government continue to sit on their hands. Families are left facing sprialling bills whilst their mortgages go up because the Conservative party crashed the economy. The Conservative party can never be trusted again with the British economy.

Billions in taxes lost as HMRC moves staff to Brexit and Covid fraud

Almost 2,300 HMRC tax compliance staff were moved to managing the impact of Covid or Brexit last year, an investigation by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

It means thousands of staff who would usually be working on recovering unpaid taxes were instead redeployed to managing the government’s mishandling of the pandemic and Brexit deal.

The figures also show that a third fewer tax compliance cases were closed last year than pre-pandemic, while the revenue clawed back by HMRC through compliance activity fell by a staggering £7 billion.

The figures were uncovered by Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney through a series of parliamentary questions. The investigation found that:

In 2021-22, almost 1,250 tax compliance staff were redeployed to work on Covid-19 schemes administered by HMRC. Another 1,040 were assigned to work on matters relating to the UK’s departure from the EU.

It means almost one tenth (9%) of HMRC’s 25,450 tax compliance staff were deployed in 2021-22 to issues related either to Covid or Brexit.

HMRC closed just 256,000 tax compliance cases in 2021-22. This is down a third from the 390,000 compliance checks closed in 2018-19.

£30.8 billion of tax revenue was recovered through compliance efforts in 2021-22, similar to the previous year but down a staggering £6 billion from the tax recovered in 2019-20.

Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

This Conservative government is in non-stop firefighting mode because of their gross incompetence, from the botched EU trade deal to the unforgivable mistakes made during the pandemic.

Civil servants are being moved from one crisis to another in a constant game of whack-a-mole.

This is allowing criminals to get away with dodging paying millions of pounds in tax, while hard-working families see their taxes hiked and public services are on their knees.

The government needs to step up efforts to recover billions of pounds in unpaid taxes, instead of asking the public to clean up their mess.

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This entry was posted in News and Press releases.

One Comment

  • nigel hunter 18th Jan '23 - 3:23pm

    We should be hearing more of Zahawi,s tax issues,and others, to highlight how these issues are being dealt with.

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