I was at a PCS “drop in” briefing session on the tax gap at the House of Commons this afternoon.
A fascinating cross section of MPs attended from across the political spectrum — Tories being well represented.
At the end of the afternoon I was amazed to discover 40 MPs had attended. That’s an astonishing number for a small parliamentary briefing. And across the spectrum there was agreement on three things.
The first is there is a tax gap.
The second is that calculating the last penny’s worth is not the issue of importance. There was widespread belief that HMRC had understated the claim — and in fairness some scepticism from one quarter in the main that my number may be too big — but also agreement that wherever the real number was in the remaining range this is an issue of massive importance.
Which led to the third point of agreement - which was that in the face of this cutting staff at H M Revenue & Customs makes no sense at all.
For an issue unheard of a few years ago that is a massive step forward.
NB Posted 12 hours later than planned due to IT problems