Alexander to end contracts for tax evaders

DANNY Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, yesterday announced that he would ramp up tax inspections for the rich and stop government contracts being awarded to firms that evade taxes.

“Taxpayers’ money should not be funding tax dodgers,” he told the Liberal Democrat conference. “So I have tasked HMRC and the Cabinet Office to come up with a workable solution to this problem and we will set out more details later this year.

“If you want to work for us, you should play by our rules.”

There will also be greater attempts to claw back taxes, with a new “affluence unit” targeting the affairs of 500,000 Britons with wealth of more than £1m and renewed attempts to introduce a mansion tax on expensive property.

Alexander cited the decision to increase the personal allowance on income tax payments as a major Lib Dem success and announced that at the next election his party will campaign on a promise to raise the personal allowance to £12,500. This would mean full-time workers on the minimum wage would be lifted completely out of income tax.

Meanwhile Nick Clegg will today announce that pupils who start secondary school without having achieved the required levels in English and maths will get extra intensive classes, funded by a £500 per child “catch-up premium”. The CBI said the announcement was “welcome” but called for an improvement in primary education so “the situation does not occur in the first place”.

The announcement of the new funding comes after the Lib Dem leader told the BBC’s World at One that he would like to take away certain benefits from wealthy pensioners: “My own view is for the future that it would be very difficult to explain. [Labour] appear to be saying that at a time when people’s housing benefit is being cut, we should protect Alan Sugar’s free bus pass.”