‘In the Shade’ in the news: press coverage of my new report

Posted on

There was good overnight press coverage for my new report on the size of the UK shadow economy.

The FT made it the main UK story in its morning emails:

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 06.33.34

The Guardian, Mirror and Times all cover it.

The emphasis in all cases is on the massive underestimate by HMRC of the tax gap. There is space given, of course, to HMRC rebuttals: I will deal with those in blogs later this morning as all are just knee jerk reactions without any foundation.

The Guardian quotes Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP, whose parliamentary questions on this issue, with which she has long had concern, aided my work. She said:

Successive governments have failed to get to grips with the tax gap and this new research highlights anew just what that costs Britain. We urgently need this problem to be taken seriously by ministers, not least to help expel the myth that we need the austerity measures and public spending cuts that continue to impact so severely on the least well off.

This, of course, goes to the very heart of the reason for the work: if the tax gap was tackled then austerity of the sort we have would not be needed. And that's why HMRC's failure to both estimate and tackle it properly is an issue of such political significance.