Dennis Howlett was on the ball whilst I was away in Brussels that last couple of days.
First about the Revenue's data loss. As he rightly said, this is an IT issue, not a tax one. Second, he was spot on to say that the ICAEW is wrong to say
that the causes are likely to be deep-rooted and point to the need for a much wider reform of HMRC's management and operational practices.
This was a systems failure. Solve that first, then worry about the strategy. It will cost a lost less that way, and be a lot more effective.
Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World, released ahead of the opening of the UN conference on climate change in Bali next week, estimated that by 2015, a minimum of $40bn would be needed for poverty alleviation in the face of climate change, while several billion more will be needed for infrastructure, and for disaster mitigation caused by global warming.
As he noted, that's a great deal less than we at the Tax Justice Network know tax evasion costs a year. In fact Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man cost $20 billion in tax evasion a year before them. Add in Cayman and maybe the BVI then and we have climate change licked.
Funnily enough I was discussing just this point with some NGOs with concern about climate change in Brussels. Which should be enough to have all the tax haven supporting, climate change denying readers of this blog (and they seem to go hand-in-hand, by the way) foaming on the comment button.