The South Yorkshire Star, obviously reproducing a H M Revenue & Customs press release reported over the weekend:
First, I suspect the estimates of tax loss are, as is normal for HMRC, understated. These people don't just not pay duty. They also evade VAT, national insurance and income tax. All are part of the tax gap.
Second, If the effect is so serious why not employ offers to go to car boot sales and investigate the crime? It's not rocket science. It creates work. It stops crime. It raises revenue. It protects children. It protects local communities. It supports a level playing field for small business. It means the tax base is spread evenly.
Third the loss, at a minimum of £3bn is over 65% of the cost of running H M Revenue & Customs last year. Isn't that worth just a little more than a press release and a request for a tip off?
Sorry, but this is just not good enough HMRC. You make the case for action and then don't deliver it. Put a thousand people on monitoring such activity every weekend, backed up with the power to arrest, seize goods and close down car boot sales where illegal sales are taking place and to fine organisers who do nothing to stop it and this practice will be curtailed in no time at all at a significant profit to society as a whole.
What's stopping you? Anything more than George Osborne and his manic desire for cuts that impose burdens on all of us?