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BBC Question Time Audience Member's Rant On Tax, Panama Papers And Austerity Goes Down A Treat

They really liked this guy.

15/04/2016 08:55 | Updated 15 April 2016

A BBC Question Time audience member's simple solution for solving austerity has gone down an absolute storm.

During a heated segment of Thursday night's show addressing  tax evasion and avoidance in light of the Panama Papers, an unnamed man in a red jumper was repeatedly interrupted before making his point.

After host David Dimbleby calmed the panel and audience, the man said: "There's £36 billion of austerity measures, there's over £30 billion of unpaid tax.

"It don't take a genius to realise, if you close the tax loopholes, get that £30 billion in tax, we don't need need to take austerity measures.

"There you go."

The full exchange went as follows...

The BBC’s flagship political show, which was broadcast from Doncaster, was debating the issue of inheritance tax, which has emerged since the Prime Minister published his tax statement on Saturday and it was revealed he had received £200,000 from his mother following his father’s death.

On the panel were Daniel Hannan, Owen Smith, Angus Robertson, Baroness Jones and Dia Chakravarty of the TaxPayers' Alliance.

The man's comments come as Chancellor George Osborne pledges a new crackdown on international tax dodging to "lift the veil of secrecy" that criminals hide under.

Mr Osborne said a "groundbreaking" international deal to share information on the true owners of companies will make it harder for criminals to channel corrupt gains or evade tax.

Under the move, tax and law enforcement agencies from Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain will exchange information regarding beneficial ownership registers, and new registers of trusts, which, the Chancellor says, will allow for better investigation of financial wrongdoing.

Attending a meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, Mr Osborne hailed the international deal as a breakthrough.

"Today we deal another hammer blow ‎against those who hide their illegal tax evasion in the dark corners of the financial system.

"Britain will work with our major European partners ‎to find out who really owns the secretive shell companies and trusts that have been used as conduits for evading tax, laundering money and benefiting ‎from corruption.

"It was Britain that led the world in pushing for the automatic exchange of personal tax data‎ and encouraged the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to develop new rules for taxing multinationals more fairly.

"Since then dozens of other countries have followed our example.

"Now it is Britain and our European partners setting the pace on beneficial ownership transparency of not just companies but also trusts with a tax consequence - and I expect that the rest of the world will move to follow our example again.

"It shows the benefit of working together. No single country can tackle international tax evasion alone - and Britain should never fool itself into thinking that it can do this by itself," Mr Osborne said.

The Chancellor, along with counterparts from Germany, France, Italy and Spain, also wrote to fellow G20 members urging them to build upon the system of European co-operation agreed in order to remove "the veil of secrecy under which criminals operate".

The move follows two weeks of turmoil for the Government during which Mr Osborne joined Prime Minister David Cameron in revealing details of his private finances in the wake of the Panama Papers leak regarding offshore companies.

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