Jimmy Carr is stopping Tramlink extension to Sutton, says MP
TAX dodgers are denying Sutton residents access to key services, including a possible tram extension, according one of the borough's MPs.
Tom Brake has declared war on comedian Jimmy Carr and others who fail to pay their share of tax.
And the Carshalton and Wallington MP believes dodgers such as the TV funnyman - though not breaking the law - are responsible for taxpayers losing out on key services, by failing to make an appropriate contribution to the public coffers.
He is now backing Labour MP Michael Meacher's Private Member's Bill that would outlaw any financial transaction where the primary purpose is tax avoidance.
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Some estimates put the loss of revenue due to tax evasion at £42 billion, with Mr Brake keen to see a slice of this cash benefit Sutton. He said: "There are any number of good causes the money could be spent on in Sutton.
"There is a proposal to build a tram extension to Sutton – the money could be used for that for instance.
"Extending the Overground from West Croydon to Sutton so people have easy access to Canary Wharf. We could also make Carshalton Station fully accessible to people with disabilities – same with Carshalton Beeches."
Mr Meacher's bill shifts the burden of proof, so rather than HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) proving a suspected evasion was illegitimate, the new system would place the onus on a suspected tax cheat to prove a transaction was legitimate.
HMRC would have the power to declare a dubious transaction null and void, leaving the company to challenge it in court.
Mr Brake said: "In recent weeks it's become blatantly clear that a number of celebrities, footballers and businesspeople have been using every loophole in the book to avoid paying the rate of tax a nurse or a policeman would expect to pay."
And Mr Brake believes the tables have been turned on Carr, who hit the headlines last week for his involvement in a legal but, according to Prime Minister David Cameron, "morally wrong" tax avoidance scheme.
He said: "As the one who dishes out the jokes he is now the subject of the jokes."