ARC helps debunk tax myths at Westminster
ARC held a Parliamentary event on 18 November aimed at exposing and debunking common tax myths.
Chaired by the Financial Times tax correspondent Vanessa Houlder, the event included speeches from Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke, ARC President Tony Wallace, Shadow Exchequer Secretary Rob Marris, and ARC and FDA Committee member Helen Baird-Parker.
Attendees also heard from representatives of the CBI, Action Aid UK, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group and law firm Pinsent Masons.
Baird-Parker questioned the myth that closing the tax gap is possible without a properly resourced HMRC. “HMRC needs skilled and properly rewarded staff… Continuing pressure on HMRC funding without end and a policy of rigid pay inflexibility in not the way to go if more tax is to be collected,” she said.
Wallace outlined how investment in HMRC yielded “spectacular returns of £18 for every £1 spent”.
Gauke agreed that “the numbers are clear. HMRC has been successful in helping to close the tax gap [and] efficiency savings in HMRC from new technology should be reinvested”.
Labour’s Rob Marris expressed his view that that Parliament “needs to look at whether tax reliefs do what they are designed to do”.
Attendees and interested parties joined the conversation via the Twitter hashtag #ARCTaxMyths.
A more detailed report from this event can be found in the Winter 2016 issue of Public Service Magazine.