Hartnett’s Swiss deal falls apart – as predicted

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As the Mail reports this morning:

George Osborne’s plan to raise billions from a tax raid on secret Swiss bank accounts has been cast into doubt by the data watchdog.

The nation’s finances had been boosted by the prediction that the Chancellor’s assault on tax dodgers would net an extra £3.2billion.

But today the Office for National Statistics said there was now ‘significant doubt’ about how much the plan would secure, and slashed the amount brought in so far to just £342million.

Now this will be no surprise to readers of this blog or the TJN blog, because we both predicted that there was no way the Swiss deal would raise the money predicted for it. That's not because the cash is not due and in Switzerland to collect; it undoubtedly is. But the deal Dave Hartnett signed was so riddled with loopholes and get outs - as well as being fundamentally based upon the assumed trustworthiness of the Swiss banks who have spent the last 75+ years selling tax evasion - that there was no way it would ever collect the sums claimed.

And, of course, we have been proven right in saying so.

When will the government pay more attention to what we have to say? The simple fact is that we'd have collected more tax from those who owe it and would have a smaller deficit and better public services if they had. And that's why this is important.