New measures to tackle tax avoidance look set to be included in George Osborne’s budget next month in the wake of the HSBC tax case.
As Osborne made his parliamentary response to the HSBC allegations he clashed with Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor. Balls accused Osborne of negligence, which moved Osborne to claim the government was acting on the "extremely serious" allegations.
Ahead of the budget I set the Treasury to work on providing further ways to pursue not just the tax evaders but those providing them with advice. Anyone involved in tax evasion, whatever your role, this government is coming after you. Unlike the last government, who simply turned a blind eye, this government is taking action now and will do so again at the budget.
This was later confirmed by a government source:
The Treasury is looking at introducing new financial and civil penalties for those who are involved in aiding and abetting tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.
Danny Alexander, Liberal Democrat and chief secretary to the treasury, said yesterday on the Andrew Marr show that the government was considering levying fines on companies that aided tax evasion, with amounts matching charges to individuals engaging in the practice