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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Power Corrupts - ID Cards and HMRC
The Guardian highlights the dangers of government departments, such as HMRC, using the data gathered via the ID card scheme to go on fishing trips (outwith genuine enquiries, wrt serious criminal offences being investigated).
"The controversial ID card system, which has been amended over the last few weeks, may well be used by various government departments to track individual spending habits and assets.
In a relatively unpublicised move the UK government has given the Treasury department, and specifically tax inspectors, the ability to access the ID card database, which shows big-ticket items acquired by individuals in the UK.
It is believed that by using information on the database, the various tax authorities could ultimately create an audit trail of spending and assets for each individual in the UK."
It seems that the Home Orifice is reluctant to comment on this issue.
Using HMRC as a government spy will further undermine its reputation and indeed its effectiveness (as time will be wasted by HMRC staff who end up spending their time fishing in "uninteresting backwaters", rather than proactively targeting those who are known to be defrauding the tax system).
It goes without saying that the civil liberties implications of this are somewhat "worrying", to say the least.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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