Arab Today, arab today liberal democrat conference tax inspector drive announcement due
Last Updated : GMT 20:13:39
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Arab Today, arab today

Liberal Democrat conference: Tax inspector drive announcement due

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Liberal Democrat conference: Tax inspector drive announcement due

London - Arabstoday

More than 2,000 tax inspectors will be recruited to crack down on tax evasion among the wealthiest people in the UK, a Liberal Democrat minister has said.Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, told the BBC he would announce the move at his party\'s conference in Birmingham later.He will also promise £500m to kick-start stalled public works projects and £100m for council housing in England.But business groups say more is needed to stimulate economic growth.The announcement regarding new tax inspectors is part of a move to prevent the richest people in Britain from hiding the true extent of their assets.Mr Alexander told the BBC: \"The impetus on this was not strong enough from the previous government so we\'ve taken a whole lot of additional measures.\"There will be new campaigns launched to encourage people in particular sectors to pay their fair share, we\'ll be taking additional prosecutions against tax evasion where we identify that illegal activity, we\'ll be investigating when measures are set up that are designed to avoid tax and close loopholes if that is necessary.\"It comes the day after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said axing the 50p top income tax rate too early could \"destroy\" public support.The 50p rate on earnings over £150,000 was introduced as a temporary measure under the previous Labour government.Chancellor George Osborne says it is temporary and has asked HM Revenue and Customs to see how much it is raising.There have been calls in recent weeks for the government to axe the 50p rate - 20 economists signed a letter to the Financial Times suggesting it was harming the UK economy and should be dropped \"at the earliest opportunity\".Mr Alexander denied the suggestion that the recruitment of more tax inspectors was a tacit admission that the 50p rate would have to be dropped.Sunday\'s announcements are among a series of initiatives expected over the coming weeks as the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government seeks to counter claims from Labour that it has no growth strategy amid signs of a further deterioration in the economy.After figures showed unemployment rose sharply over the summer, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has insisted that ministers are not solely focused on spending cuts to drive down the deficit and they \"can and will do more\" to boost demand and job creation.Mr Alexander, number two at the Treasury, has been pressing government departments in recent days to ensure that all money earmarked for major infrastructure projects is being spent and not held back.In his speech - on the first full day of the conference - he will say the government will confront obstacles to its vision of a \"sustainable, balanced, competitive and fair\" economy.\"A huge deficit, an unbalanced economy, our trading partners in real difficulty. These are very big problems,\" he will say.\"Solving them will take years and every one of us has a role to play to support growth, to help families under pressure.\"\"To get there we must break down the vested interests - the enemies of growth that stand in the way of future prosperity.\"Mr Alexander will announce the creation of a £500m \"Growing Place\" fund to support infrastructure projects which have got into financial difficulty.The one-off funding will be available in the current financial year to councils and other bodies to galvanise projects which have stalled due to cash flow problems or lack of market confidence.Ministers say priorities will be determined locally and recipients will be able to retain any money left over to be recycled into other projects.Promising to \"unlock development and create jobs,\" Mr Alexander will say the scheme will enable local government to invest in priority projects and \"get people into work\".A plan announced last week to single out projects of strategic national importance - such as Crossrail and broadband rollout - to ensure they move ahead quickly was criticised for being too modest after it emerged ministers were sticking with existing timings rather than accelerating them.Mr Alexander, one of five Lib Dem minister in cabinet, will also pledge to free up £100m in extra revenue for local councils to spend on housing.Councils planning to withdraw from the housing revenue account subsidy system - a government funding mechanism - will benefit from a lower interest rate on borrowing enabling them to do so.The one-off move will apply to the 135 local authorities considering the move early in 2012.Labour say more substantial action is required to tackle youth and female unemployment, including a VAT cut, a rise in the bank levy to pay for new homes, and a guarantee that firms awarded public sector contracts recruit a minimum number of apprentices.And business groups have urged ministers to be more ambitious in their approach.\"After more than a year in government, business people tell me they want to see realism, pragmatism and growth on the Lib Dems\' agenda,\" said John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce.\"Business is looking for evidence that jobs, enterprise and wealth creation, which ultimately underpin public services and redistribution, sit at the heart of all three parties thinking.\"Delegates in Birmingham will also debate tuition fees, drugs policy and schools funding on Sunday as the five-day event gets into full swing while party president Tim Farron and schools minister Sarah Teather will make keynote speeches. From / BBC

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