Tax Avoidance (HSBC)

Part of Isil – in the House of Commons at 3:35 pm on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne The Chancellor of the Exchequer 3:35 pm, 23rd February 2015

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The accelerated payments scheme means that if tax is in dispute, we ask for it up front, and if people can prove that we have got it wrong, they get the money back. That is the rule with which the vast majority of our citizens must comply at present, but it was not complied with by those who were very well off. We introduced the accelerator, and as a result we are collecting hundreds of millions of pounds of tax that was previously not collected. As my hon. Friend says, that is further evidence of the gulf between what the Labour Government did during the 13 years for which the shadow Chancellor advised them, and what we have done in the last five years.