Tax can solve child poverty – but accountants are abetting it

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Polly Toynbee is typically blunt in this morning's Guardian. She laments that:

Labour never talks up its children's programme except to the poverty charities.

But as she notes, they should, and adds:

[Labour] should be in the City telling non-doms and their lobbyists what their taxes are for.

One revelation in the budget small print is the official Revenue & Customs estimate that tax avoidance has reached £41bn - even more than the TUC's estimate of a missing £25bn. That money is syphoned off by the same very clever accountants who pump out press statements complaining about the government's "over-complex" tax codes. Complexity comes from chasing and blocking their rat-like escape routes through existing codes.

Not just these fat cats, but ordinary taxpayers need telling about the programmes that work and the children's life chances improved.

Her linking these issues is absolutely right. Her suggestion that accountants who help their client's avoid their tax obligations cause child poverty is absolutely right.

Tax avoidance is a moral crime. And it has victims. Some accountants and their clients commit that crime. They should be held accountable for the casualties they cause. They're real children in this country who live in real poverty that is wholly unnecessary. We have the resources to make sure that no child need suffer as some now do.

So when are accountants going to stop causing this very real problem in our society?