Updated: Friday, 22nd May 2020 @ 2:15pm

Up to £104million lost daily: 'Cancerous' tax dodgers make 'monkeys' out of government, Oldham MP claims

Up to £104million lost daily: 'Cancerous' tax dodgers make 'monkeys' out of government, Oldham MP claims

By Dean Wilkins

Tax dodgers are a cancer eating away at the British economy and are making 'monkeys' of the government, Oldham’s MP Michael Meacher told Parliament yesterday.

The former minister and labour representative for Oldham West and Royton slammed the £38billion – or £104million a day –  lost to tax evasion as unjust and attacked the government for not doing more to prevent this.

Meacher called for more rigid rules to put an end to ‘parasite’ accountants who help their mega-rich clients utilise loopholes and become richer.

"Tax avoidance and evasion is, I believe, a cancer in Britain's society today,” he said.

"The Prime Minister was right to condemn it as 'morally wrong' and the Chancellor was right to condemn it as 'morally repugnant'.

"The problem is that the government's action to deal with it has been feeble and doesn't match those words."

The back-bench led House of Commons debate was opened by Meacher and he declared that the £42billion lost in 2008 to 2009 would have allowed the current government to not be so brutal in their cuts.

"The haemorrhaging of tax revenues on this scale matters a great deal," he added.

"It is obviously deeply unjust because tax avoidance and evasion is heavily concentrated on the big corporations and the mega-rich.

“If they pay hugely less than their real liability, then for any given level of expenditure it must mean that those on average and low incomes in particular have to pay more.

"That is always unjust, but I suggest it is particularly unjust at a time like the present of prolonged austerity."

Meacher also attacked the ‘infecting’ lawyers and solicitors who pocket money to help corporations avoid paying tax like everybody else.

"The fact that lawyers and accountants are paid vast sums of money to get round and neutralise what Parliament plainly intended in its finance bills is an open sore infecting any democratic or fair society," he said.

"They are allowed to do this makes monkeys of the Government."

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