POLITICS

Danny Alexander Targets Tax Avoiders, Have We Heard It All Before?

17/09/2013 12:17 BST
PA
File photo dated 20/03/13 of Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander who has accused some Tory Cabinet colleagues of talking tough about the need to control the public finances while jealously guarding their own budgets during negotiations on the latest round of Government spending cuts.

Lib Dems could be forgiven for having a sense of déjà vu when they listen to Danny Alexander's speech to their conference today.

The party has briefed journalists on what some of the top lines are. Included is the chief secretary to the Treasury's attack on the "immoral minority" who avoid paying tax.

He will say: "“Thanks to our efforts, by 2015 we will be clawing back an extra £10bn a year from tax dodgers. New investment, new specialist units, new tax rules announced from this podium are now closing the net on the immoral minority who believe paying the proper amount of tax just isn’t for them. But we must do more.

"We are cutting corporation tax to encourage firms to invest. But not to give the wealthy a way to avoid the 45p income tax rate. So when the vast majority of people in an industry are finding ways to exploit that difference."

The Sun reported it today as: 'Danny Alexander to reveal Treasury bid to halt landlord tax dodgers.'

However it does sound a bit familiar.

Ahead of his 2010 conference speech The Guardian reported: 'Danny Alexander targets tax dodgers and promises pain will be shared.' And the BBC: 'Alexander launches 'ruthless' tax evasion clampdown.'

In 2011 the Daily Telegraph reported: 'Extra inspectors for wealthy tax avoiders.' And the BBC: 'Minister signals tax crackdown.'

Then in 2012 the Daily Telegraph reported again: 'We’re coming for you, Danny Alexander warns tax dodgers.' And The Guardian: 'Danny Alexander promises crackdown on tax avoidance to raise £4bn.'

What year is it again?