SNP councillors condemn UK Tory Government inaction over Tax Fraud

“No one likes paying taxes but it’s even worse when you realise that the tax laws in the UK don’t apply equally to all and that some are allowed to escape from their commitments without any penalty”, said Councillor Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley Northwest).

SNP councillors Kenny MacLaren and Will Mylet are highlighting the lack of action by the current UK Tory Government over tax fraud and evasion, especially in comparison to their vindictive attacks on benefit claimants.  The motion, originally put forward by Cllr Kenny MacLaren and Cllr Mags MacLaren[1], calls on the UK Government to tackle the disparity between tax fraud and benefit fraud.  A recent report by the organisation ‘Tax Watch’ highlighted that people are 23 times less likely to be prosecuted for tax fraud than for benefits crime, even though the amount of money lost to the Treasury from tax fraud is nine times more than from benefits crime! 

Cllr Kenny MacLaren added;

“The report by Tax Watch highlights the inconsistency of the UK Tory Government, who will hound people for benefit fraud but effectively turn a blind eye to tax fraud.  However, given the recent announcements over the Chancellors tax status – being registered as a US taxpayer – it comes as no surprise! 

“It’s not only the Chancellor who uses the legislation to avoid paying tax, so too does his cabinet colleague Jacob Rees-Mogg, who’s private investment firm dodges its tax bills by hiding assets offshore, yet he was quick enough to claim over £7.5million from the public purse to pay for the upkeep of his wife’s stately home!

“According to Tax Watch, the truth is that if HMRC went after tax fraudsters in the same way that the DWP goes after benefits crime, the criminal justice system would collapse.”

Councillor Will Mylet said:

“It is really shocking that you are 23 times more likely to be prosecuted for benefit fraud than you are for tax fraud – even though around 9 times as much is lost from the Treasury through tax fraud.

“It makes absolutely no sense to prioritise the enforcement of benefits crime over tax crime when the amount of money lost to the Treasury from tax fraud is huge compared to benefits fraud.”