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Monday, 20 September 2010

If we all had the attention span of a gadfly, none of us would notice

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has launched a "ruthless" campaign against tax dodgers in a new effort to claw back the £7bn being lost through avoidance, evasion and fraud.

Clamping down on tax dodgers, especially high earners, was central to the Liberal Democrats' pitch to voters during the election campaign. At the party's conference yesterday, Mr Alexander said tax evasion and avoidance were "unacceptable in the best of times, but in today's circumstances it is morally indefensible".

"Decisions we make in the Spending Review will ensure the taxman has the resources to be ruthless with those often wealthy people and businesses who think they can treat paying tax as an optional extra."

Mr Alexander was less forthcoming on whethjer he intends to assis the process by amending his 2007 Tax return. In June 2007 Mr Alexander sold a south London property for £300,000. He claimed in his capital gains tax computation for that period that this property had been his primary residence, thereby exempting the gain from tax, whiclst claiming for the purposes of his parliamentary expenses that the property was his secondary residence.

Mr Alexander has yet to tell us whether this form of tax avoidance is morally indefensible, and if so whether he should resign, or has he got his cheque book out already?

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