Owen Smith MP, Labour’s Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said in response to David Cameron’s comment on tax avoidance:
“Talking tough is all well and good, but changing the law won’t make any difference if it isn’t properly enforced. The Public Accounts Committee’s damning report last month found there is £25 billion of outstanding tax which has not been collected from large companies.
“Large companies should not get special treatment at the expense of small businesses and individual taxpayers. But Ministers stood by while Revenue & Customs cut a sweetheart deal with Goldman Sachs and other big corporations. They also appear to have failed to ensure that HMRC complied with its own processes, resulting in a substantial amount of money being lost to the Exchequer.
“It’s time Ministers took responsibility and acted to tackle the tax avoidance happening on their watch.”
On David Cameron’s admission that the Government’s flagship national insurance holiday had not worked Owen Smith MP added:
“Now that the Prime Minister has admitted the scheme has failed – and more importantly why it failed – the Government should heed Labour’s calls for the tax break to be extended to all small firms that take on extra staff in every part of the country.
“This move, which is part of Labour’s five point plan for jobs, would benefit thousands of small businesses across the whole of the UK and help to create desperately needed jobs. Getting businesses growing and people into work is vital if we’re to successfully get the deficit down.”