The Public and Commercial Services Union have stated that political parties should be concentrating on tackling unpaid taxes instead of cutting public sector spending in the months running up to the general election. They believe that at present each party is consumed with this “bidding war” which sees them pledging to cut more than their rival parties.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union said: “The end of this year has been characterised by the main political parties engaging in a bidding war over who can cut the most. To close the public deficit, they need to make it a New Year resolution to start focusing on the £130 billion worth of taxes which is either lost to tax cheats or simply goes uncollected due to a lack of resources.

He continued: “Job cuts in HMRC illustrate the short-sightedness of crude cuts where staff chasing tax have been axed, even though they recoup £600,000 each after staff costs. It is no coincidence that as HMRC staff have been cut, the amount of uncollected tax written off as doubtful has nearly doubled. More cuts in the New Year will damage the economy, prolong the recession and hit those who need public services the most.

He concluded: “With a general election looming, the main political parties need to start valuing and respecting the civil and public servants who keep this country running, rather than penalising them for a financial crisis not of their making. The people who caused this crisis should be made to pay their fair share rather than public services and the people who rely on them.”

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