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date: 18 November 2011
embargo: 00.01hrs Monday 21 November 2011
Welcoming the publication today (Monday) of the Treasury report by Graham Aaronson QC on measures to combat tax avoidance, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'A general anti-avoidance rule would make it far harder for the super-rich to hide behind tax loop-holes and avoid paying their fair share of taxation. The TUC has long called for such a provision to be introduced and we urge the government to act on these proposals.
'Unfortunately, abuse of the UK tax system is widespread amongst major companies and wealthy individuals. At a time of austerity when ordinary people are so hard-pressed financially, it's morally wrong for ministers to tolerate corporate tax avoidance on such a grand scale.
'But we do have concerns the rule may make it too difficult to allow HM Revenue & Customs to effectively target those companies and individuals avoiding tax. It also won't apply to national insurance and stamp duty - an area where there is currently significant abuse of the tax system, which is depriving the public purse of millions of pounds.'
Areas of wider TUC's concern over the anti-avoidance rule include:
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- In 2008 the TUC published The Missing Billions, a report by tax specialist Richard Murphy which revealed that the public purse loses £13bn a year through tax avoidance by the wealthy and £12 bn a year through tax avoidance by corporations.
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
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