HMRC's 2016-17 accounts open with this statement:
In fairness they put most of this increase down to external factors. But I don't. I think this chart has something to do with it:
Spending went up by 7.9% in 2016-17. And I think that had a lot to do with that extra yield.
It's going to fall by 2.2% this year, by 8.6% in 2018-18 and by another 7.9% in 2019-20, by when they budget will be 17.7% less than at present. I am not, of course, saying that the tax yield will be 17.7% smaller as a result but to give just a couple of examples, I think we can safely assume these two stats will not hold up:
Whilst this trend, which has always been based on decidedly dubious data, will show a marked reversal:
And the real question is, why would we in any event, for the sake of £630 million, want to prejudice the future of tax collection in this country at considerably greater cost to us all? It seems to me that HMRC are planning to fail and there's no logical explanation as to why they should want to do that. Unless that is, continual shrinking of the state via the perpetuation of austerity is still the real political game the Tories are pursuing, which I suggest it is.