“The eye-watering £42bn now owed to HMRC in unpaid taxes would have filled a lot of this year’s infamous public spending black hole”
While the government has been busy telling us it doesn’t have enough money to give hard-pressed public sector workers pay rises or further invest in our public services, it turns out that HMRC failed to collect an eye-watering £42bn in taxes last year.
A report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee revealed that a lack of staffing at the body failed to ensure compliance meaning it failed to collect all of the taxes it was owed. The same report also said that HMRC is also not collecting 5% of the tax it is owed each year.
HMRC has also lost out in billions of pounds as a result of fraud targeted at the government’s Covid support schemes.
The findings come at a time when the government has claimed that there is a black hole in public finances, as it lays the groundwork for yet another round of austerity.
Meg Hillier, the Labour chair of the committee, said the government was missing out on “desperately needed” money.
“The eye-watering £42bn now owed to HMRC in unpaid taxes would have filled a lot of this year’s infamous public spending black hole,” she said.
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward
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