POLITICS
24/01/2012 03:07 GMT

Ben Gummer's Tax Plan To Reveal How Everyone's Money Is Spent Supported By Treasury

On Wednesday after PMQs the Tory MP for Ipswich, Ben Gummer, will introduce a Bill to the Commons which would see every taxpayer getting an annual breakdown of how their money's being spent.

The MP has told HuffPost UK his idea has the support of the Treasury, because it would challenge many myths about the amount spent on overseas aid, and crucially show everyone how much of their money is going towards paying interest on the national debt.

Gummer says his Bill would lead to "a more honest dialogue between politicians and the public," and would challenge many common assumptions about the amount spent on overseas aid and contributions to the EU.

"I think it'd be a good idea to have a very simple layout, given the fact that the government is now publishing public spending down to very small numbers, there's no reason why you can't get down to the most granular detail that's possible," he told HuffPost UK.

"Actually this would force politicians to face up to the political decisions they've been making. There has been a kind of collective fraud on the British public where we're not straight about the amount of money that goes on certain things.

"We're in a really odd situation in this country where we are all under an obligation to pay tax, but there's no obligation on the government to tell us where it's gone. It's really not a big ask when in the rest of our lives, whether it's in a mobile phone statement or the thing you get at the end of your trip around Tesco's, you get something that tells you where the money has gone."

Gummer's plan would see the Office for Budget Responsibility or the Office for National Statistics determining how the breakdown would be produced, but the MP is clear that the statement should include the amount every taxpayer is contributing to paying interest on the national debt.

"You should be able to allow political parties to be able to submit their own figures to the OBR, so voters can really get a feel for the difference their vote might make," says Gummer, arguing that similar figures are produced by the Congressional Budget Office in the US.

Although Gummer's Bill is unlikely to be passed into law in this session of Parliament because of a lack of time, the MP says the Treasury is "excited" by the plan, and hopes it could find itself included in a future coalition budget.

It's not clear at this stage whether any MP will speak out in opposition of the Bill on Wednesday. Ben Gummer believes the changes would only cost around £7m, with some up-front costs to HM Revenue and Customs.