Worst decline in UK tax take since 1920s buried as MPs go on holiday

THE GOVERNMENT buried a slew of bad news yesterday, the day before politicians went on summer recess, including a giant &pound;32bn slump in Treasury tax income due to the disastrous effects of the financial crisis.<br /><br />Dire accounts from several departments were released in one go, where they would normally be staggered over time, in a bad news blizzard that was thought to have been planned to coincide with the recess.<br /><br />The tax slump, revealed in a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) report, included a giant &pound;21bn fall in VAT, corporation tax and stamp duty, fuelling fears the government&rsquo;s spiralling deficit, as it forks out billions to bail out banks, is set to get worse than feared. In the worst such slump since the 1920s, a fall of &pound;1,045 per UK taxpayer was revealed, meaning a 10p rise in income tax would have been needed to offset the falls seen in the 2008-09 fiscal year.<br /><br />Also revealed yesterday was an admission that up to 10 per cent of tax credits paid out are the result of a fraud or error. This equates to almost &pound;2.12bn in total.