Investment is welcome but doesn’t go far enough, says HMRC union

3 December 2012
For immediate release

The Chancellor's announcement of a new investment of £77m in HMRC in this Spending Review period to tackle avoidance and evasion by wealthy individuals and multinationals was today welcomed by ARC (the union representing senior HMRC staff). This investment is expected to bring in an additional £2bn per year in tax that would otherwise have gone unpaid.

ARC is urging the Government to develop and deliver a comprehensive investment package to address the entirety of the UK's estimated £32bn tax gap and argues there is much more that could be done to close the gap.

ARC President Gareth Hills said: "This investment is a welcome one, but the Government should be considering a wide range of further investment measures to recover the avoided billions. The well-resourced tax avoider can only be countered by a well-resourced HMRC - and that means long-term investment to not only recruit but also retain tax professionals."

ARC's targeted interim proposal published on 30 November 2012 shows how an initially modest additional investment of £120m would deliver a return of £3.7bn. However, ARC recognises that the scale of the budget deficit and the tax gap are such that modest investment is no longer enough. The union is developing a comprehensive investment proposal for the 2013 budget, which will set out a long-term, strategic approach to the challenge of reducing the tax gap.

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.