Thursday, 19 March 2015

Danny Alexander lays out Liberal Democrat economic plan

Today the day after George Osborne delivered the final budget of this coalition Government Danny Alexander the Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary of the Treasury laid out our plans for tax and spending.

Lib Dem plans include borrowing £70bn less than Labour and cutting £50bn less than the Conservatives, keeping Britain on the path to prosperity, showing that we still believe in a stronger economy AND and fairer society; the Conservatives recently dropped the latter in a campaign poster and in their budget plans.

Danny announced using the same figures that were available to Osborne that there is still roughly roughly £30bn of fiscal consolidation by 2017/18 to complete the job of economic recovery. To go about funding this the Liberal Democrats will ensure that those with the broadest shoulders to bear the largest share.

To fund this the Liberal Democrats will raise £6bn through shutting remaining tax loopholes, £6bn will come from tax rises, with high value properties and the banking sector paying more. The additional money will come from £12bn of departmental savings and £3.5bn from welfare savings.

Public expenditure can then start to increase once this threshold is met and ensuring that the NHS has the £8bn a year it needs to secure its future.

 The measures to tackle tax invasion include:

  •  Introducing a new strict liability criminal offence for off shore evaders so that pleading ignorance can no longer be used in an attempt to avoid criminal prosecution. 
  • Introducing a new offence of corporate failure to prevent tax evasion or the facilitation of tax evasion. This would stop organisations from being able to get away with facilitating or abetting others to evade tax. 
  • Increasing financial penalties for offshore evaders – including, for the first time, linking the penalty to underlying assets. A billionaire evading £5m of tax won’t just be liable for that £5m. 
  • Introducing new civil penalties so that those who help evaders will have to pay fines that match the size of the tax dodge they facilitate. So if you help someone evade £1m of tax, you risk a penalty of £1m or even more yourself. 
  • Extending the scope for HMRC to name and shame both evaders and those who enable evasion.

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