Daily Archives: July 20, 2009

Expect several front page headlines on Tuesday morning about HMRC’s plunging tax receipts in 08/09 – laid bare thanks to an NAO report. Astute readers of this column will already know about the £20bn-plus fall in tax take – you read it here - because it was flagged up on Budget day in the red book small print. You’ll notice that the coming year is set to be even worse, according to the Treasury’s own predictions.

The real nasty today was another £10bn-plus of unpleasant news, including £3bn of uncollected tax and £7bn set aside for legal claims by taxpayers. The bulk of the latter – a staggering £4.8bn – stems from a single landmark case concluded early last year over VAT repayments. HMRC admitted today that they have already paid £1.5bn as a result of this “Fleming” test case. That’s an awful lot of helicopters or MRI machines.

Brace yourself for new outrage about the bonuses paid to senior officials in HM Treasury – revealed in its departmental review today. Read more

Matthew D’Ancona does not appear to be convinced by Damian McBride’s penitence

You can listen to Brown’s former spindoctor here on the BBC or read his interview at the Guardian Read more