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Tax Collection

Volume 543: debated on Tuesday 24 April 2012

HMRC has managed both to reduce debt levels and to help businesses through difficult economic times. It offers help to businesses that are in genuine difficulty, including through time-to-pay arrangements. Where appropriate, it is taking faster and firmer action against those who fail to engage with it. The amount of customer debt owed to the Exchequer decreased by about £2.4 billion between February 2011 and February 2012.

I am grateful to the Minister for that answer and I must congratulate the Government on their plans to close loopholes, particularly for the super-rich, including through the gift aid system. Will he ensure that the Government do not weaken their resolve in that regard, and ensure that gift aid genuinely goes to support charitable activities?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that support. He is absolutely right. I think that it is unfair that reliefs can be used without limit to reduce tax liabilities so that some taxpayers with very high incomes have very low tax rates, even below the basic rate.

19. Why has not the Exchequer Secretary given Members of Parliament, or even the House of Commons Library, copies of the figures he released to the press last week suggesting that 330 millionaires are paying less than 10% tax, which he connected directly to charitable giving? Will he make those figures available to Members through the Library? (104808)

Well, the hon. Lady makes an important point about the availability of that information. It was released into the public domain last week, and I will ensure that the appropriate figures are laid in the Library.