The financial secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Timms is due to give a speech to industry tax experts regarding the effect on the economy of those who do not pay the tax they owe. The Observer has reported on the content of this speech based on exerts they have obtained.

He is expected to declare that these people are not only flouting their legal obligations but also their moral obligations. Timms will be stating that everyone should pay their ‘fair share’ of tax within our society and that “values of responsibility, morality and integrity are essential to tax fairness”.

The speech is intended to send a clear message on the need for tax evasion and tax avoidance to stop. It is expected that Timms will speak about this issue in the context of the current economic downturn, primarily focusing on the effect that non payment of tax has on public services. We all know that there is a strain on the economy at the moment and Timms will be stressing that the payment of tax “carries a responsibility for every taxpayer”.

Timms is also likely to disclose his proposed measures for dealing with people who continue to flout the rules. It is likely that these will include an increase in disclosure requirements and bigger penalties. The pre-budget report is due next month and this is also expected to include further details on how tax evaders will be dealt with.

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