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Clause 1 — Main rate of corporation tax for financial year 2011

Part of Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 12th July 2010.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Labour, Hayes and Harlington 4:45 pm, 12th July 2010

I agree wholeheartedly. I shall say more about that shortly, because it is one of the issues that we raised-I think-four years ago at the time of the merger of the departments. We hoped at that stage for a more detailed report on personnel management and the number of staff who would be employed to deal with tax evasion in particular.

The fact that Her Majesty's Treasury does not distinguish between evasion and avoidance in its global figures suggests that the Treasury itself finds the distinction difficult to define. I tried to find a clear Treasury quantification of what is generally described as the tax gap in order to draft an amendment that would have some purchase in the real world, especially the world of Treasury practice.

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