Political confusion

This is NOT a political point but despair at a further example of the misuse and confusion about our language. One of our up and coming politicians, in quite an important and powerful government position as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, does not seem to know the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion.

Danny Alexander, addressing the Liberal Democrat Conference on Sunday 19th September, said:

“tax avoidance and evasion are unacceptable in the best of times but in today’s circumstances they are morally indefensible”
“the Chancellor and I have agreed to invest 900 million pounds extra on a package of new measures to crack down on tax avoidance and evasion”

One would have thought it might be surprising but perhaps excusable in a member of parliament with an artistic speciality. According to HM Treasury’s website, however, Danny Alexander has previously spent a number of years as a specialist communicator and has been a shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions and so hopefully is aware of our tax system.

For his information and that of any other members of HM Government, my understanding of the difference is:

1. Tax avoidance is the legal way of reducing one’s tax liability within the existing tax rule framework.
2. Tax evasion is the illegal concealment of tax liability.

For further information search Google for ‘define:tax evasion’ and for the speech extract (a brief 1 minute 30 second video) see the BBC News page: Government crackdown on tax…

Rant over. I feel better now. Thank you.

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