Over the past few days I've been contacted by angry constituents. They're demanding action on the big corporations and their highest ranking shareholders and Chief Executives who dodge their taxes while our public services are being cut back and average workers' pay has stagnated for years.
They are rightly angry because the vast majority of people, even the majority of celebrities and big businessmen, pay their fair share of taxes only to see this select few, the very richest people in our society, opt out of their obligations.
These constituents who have emailed me are asking me to support a campaign, backed by Oxfam, the NUS, War on Want and many other great organisations, that is calling for a 'Tax Dodging Bill' that will close loopholes that let big corporations get away with paying low or no tax on their profits.
I'm proud and pleased to say that Labour have today announced that our first Budget will introduce exactly the measures that the Tax Dodging Bill campaign has been calling for.
· Introduce penalties for those who are caught by the General Anti-Abuse Rule
· Close loopholes used by hedge funds to avoid stamp duty
· Close loopholes like the Eurobonds loophole which allow some large companies to move profits out of the UK and avoid Corporation Tax
· Stop umbrella companies exploiting tax reliefs
· Scrapping the “Shares for Rights” scheme, which the OBR has warned could enable avoidance and cost £1bn and is administered by HMRC, and so ensure HMRC can better focus on tackling tax avoidance
· Tackle disguised self-employment by introducing strict deeming criteria
· Tackle the use of dormant companies to avoid tax by requiring them to report more frequently
Labour’s measures to tackle tax avoidance will also include:
· Ensuring stronger independent scrutiny of the tax system, including reliefs, and the government’s efforts to tackle tax avoidance
· Forcing the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to produce publicly available registries of beneficial ownership
· Making country-by-country reporting information publicly available
· Ensuring developing countries are properly engaged in the drawing up of global tax rules
I urge you to sign up to the Tax Dodging Bill campaign and contact Richard Benyon to ask him why he's not backing these tough measures to crack down on those who believe that the virtue of their vast wealth means tax rules shouldn't apply to them.