MPs to debate tax avoidance

MPs will today debate the need for a general anti tax avoidance provision in
an attempt to curb the avoidance industry.

A one-and-a-half hour debate has been called by Dr John Pugh, Liberal
Democrat MP for Southport, in the Westminster Hall chamber.

He said he called the debate because he wanted exchequer secretary David
Gauke to outline current Treasury and HMRC thinking on the need for a wider ”
principles based” approach to tax law. He said he wanted a general law to curb,
if not end, the annual stream of measures closing down specific avoidance

Pugh said earlier a general anti avoidance provision had been introduced in
Australia and worked.

He said he believed “the jury inside the Treasury is still out on this
question” despite fears that it could encourage a flight of capital away from
the UK, provided the legislation was precise in terms of how it would apply.

He said his party would prefer tougher action to curb avoidance and increase
tax revenue rather than a crackdown on welfare to secure savings, adding: “I
would very much love the coalition government to act on these lines.”

He said under the existing regime, even with a requirement for the
notification of avoidance schemes, the tax authorities were continually playing

He said he would also question the minister on the resources available in the
Treasury and HMRC to act on avoidance matters.

Read more:

shines at Treasury questions

call for restraint in Emergency Budget

Related reading