In this parliament HMRC will lose 26% of its staff and £5.5 billion of its budget

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The above numbers were quoted by Catherine McKinnell MP, shadow treasury secretary, at the ARC tax gap conference I attended this morning.

The data is based on parliamentary answers from her opposite number.

When you have a crisis in money's owing to you the golden rule in business is that the last people you sack are your debt collectors. This government has done the exact opposite.

You have to ask why. I know Labour started the policy - but by 2010 the facts had changed. The policy didn't.

Could it be that the Tories want a tax gap? Could it be they want a deficit? And could it be that's why they have been so keen to strip HMRC of resources? Is it that not collecting tax is their excuse for continuing to dismantle the state, the benefits system, the NHS, education and so much  more?

I increasingly believe it is.