Affluence crackdown does not go far enough, says union

24 September 2012
(For immediate release)

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander's announcement that the Government is boosting HMRC's Affluence Unit by 100 staff to crack down on tax avoidance by wealthy individuals does not go far enough, the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC) said today. ARC - the union representing senior HMRC staff - is also a part of the FDA.

ARC understands that £5m will be made available to fund this initiative, in expectation of a return of at least 15 times that amount.

ARC President Gareth Hills said: "ARC welcomes measures to tackle avoidance and close the tax gap, but this latest announcement does not go far enough. We have told the Government that it needs to invest more in HMRC. We have told it that senior professionals bring in 30 times their cost. And we have shown how an investment of £260m in HMRC would recoup £6bn in tax currently lost. It's time for the Government to listen to us. It's time to be bold and properly invest in HMRC."

Notes for editors

1. The Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC) is a union representing senior staff in HM Revenue and Customs, including tax inspectors, accountants, lawyers, managers and other leading professionals. ARC represents members in HMRC at grade 7 and above, and also trainees in grade 7 entry schemes. It is also a section of the FDA.

2. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 19,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

4. For further information contact:

  • Gareth Hills, ARC President, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07870 592356.
  • Oliver Rowe, FDA Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5588 or 07590 838696.