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Tax Avoidance and Evasion

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:50 pm on 25th February 2020.

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Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 3:50 pm, 25th February 2020

I am afraid that there is no time at all to do that, but I will pick up a couple of further points. Colleagues quite rightly had concerns about HMRC resourcing, and they are welcome to write to me if they want to discuss specific topics.

I mentioned the important point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Amber Valley, and I am pleased that he offered his qualified support for IR35. He is right that it is an important measure, and it will collect something like £1 billion of tax a year by the end of the period. As he will be aware, the Government are preparing to legislate to clarify the status of employment from a business standpoint, which is proper and correct.

I am surprised that Mr Jones was told that he could not be told anything. Of course, HMRC cannot discuss specific issues, but I hope that he will have a more interesting conversation than that.

I thanked my hon. Friend Rob Roberts for his constructive attitude, and he was right to focus on the privilege of paying tax. There is an element of truth in that, and we should properly defend it. With that in mind, let me sit down.

Question put.