George Osborne Chancellor George Osborne has taken every opportunity to try and convince UK citizens that he is doing his utmost to ensure everyone pays their fair share of tax in the country, so it was a shame that he bottled out of following through on his rhetoric at the G7.


He has spent months telling us all that big businesses and wealthy individuals will feel the wrath of the UK taxman and he will not tolerate the use of overseas tax havens but when it came to the crunch in Buckinghamshire over the weekend all Osborne could manage was a meek acknowledgement that overseas countries 'must do more' to end tax evasion.

Frankly, he demonstrated that he's all mouth and no trousers when it comes to confronting tax havens and the companies and individuals that use them to avoid paying their dues.

He said: 'Of course you have to respect that many of these territories have important industries and we don't want to unnecessarily damage them.

'But it is necessary to collect tax that is owed and it is necessary to reduce tax avoidance and the crown dependencies and overseas territories need to play their part in that drive and they need to do more.'

Hardly a battle cry is it. Maybe Osborne was thinking about his offshore trust fund that has allegedly seen him dodge £1.6 million of inheritance tax.
This failed attempt to put the tax havens in their place came in the same week that the government said it would no longer be paying a married person's state pension to overseas spouses of UK residents. It stated that some people were claiming pensions despite never having set foot in the UK but were still entitled because of their spouse's national insurance contributions.

Trying to work us all up into a lather over 220,000 pensions that cost the government £410 million a year is ludicrous when tax avoidance costs us billions. Neither the pensioners nor the tax avoiders are doing anything illegal but £400 million is a drop in the ocean when it comes to spending in this country and will hardly make a dent in our deficit.

This government is too preoccupied with making easy wins on frankly insignificant sums of money rather than tackle very real and very costly problems.

Maybe it's time to upset the politically millionaires and make them dig deep into their pockets.


More stories