"£120bn Tax avoided, evaded and uncollected... £1.2bn lost in benefit fraud."* A 100% difference in the two sets of revenue losses. While I don't purport to be an economist, a banker or indeed Chancellor of the Exchequer, I can see some contradiction in this government’s ‘we’re all in this together’ approach of protecting the State’s coffers.
If you tasked a group of ‘A’ Level Economics students with solving the problem of benefits’ and tax cheats, I’m pretty certain they’d solve the problem pronto. Easy peasy. You employ more tax inspectors the salaries of whom would be returned several fold; and you employ fewer benefits’ inspectors who actually make a nett loss.
There are ways and means of tying up and closing loopholes used by tax cheats; and their numbers are fewer. However, in order to accomplish this it would require a government who had the political will. That would appear to eliminate all major political parties who are too deeply mired in the self-interest of personal gain.
If we ever needed proof that this government’s aim is to enrich the few over the many, their refusal to properly chase tax cheats is it. Or further evidence that this government’s entire austerity programme was an ideological attack on the poor. Then the protection of tax cheats over the harassment of benefit cheats proves that point.
*These figures are estimates taken from the HMRC and DWP websites