Tackling tax avoidance is essential, and we will make every effort to do so. We are committed to preventing avoidance through deterrence, and by ensuring that we have a robust legislative framework. We detect avoidance early using the disclosure of tax avoidance schemes rules and other information. We tackle avoidance quickly where we find it by strengthening legislation or through the operational work of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
Recent research has shown that up to £120 billion a year is lost to tax avoidance. Will the Minister ensure that he looks at the way in which HMRC works, and does better so that people will not have to pay higher taxes and receive poorer services as a consequence?
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his question. We would disagree with the number, as the tax gap estimate produced by HMRC is £40 billion. None the less, that is a significant sum, and it is absolutely right that people pay the tax that is due, and HMRC will continue to pursue matters to reduce tax avoidance.