£900 million will be spent by the Treasury in an attempt to clampdown on tax evasion, chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has revealed.
In a move that seeks determined action against tax evasion, the aim is for a 500 percent increase in criminal prosecution against those who have intentionally evaded tax.
There will also be the creation of a team of dedicated investigators with the remit of cracking down on offshore evasion.
More routine checks will be performed on those claiming tax rebates in order to prevent falsified claims.
At a conference speech during the Liberal Democrat conference in Liverpool, Alexander likened tax evaders to benefits cheats, saying: “There are some people who seem to believe that not paying their fair share of tax is a lifestyle choice that is socially unacceptable
“We will be ruthless with those often wealthy people and businesses who think they can treat paying tax as an optional extra.”
There has been a mixed reaction from the business world about the moves outlined by the Treasury.
Entrepreneur Robert Gaines Cooper said: “One thing that upsets me is the hijacking of the word ‘avoid’. One should try to avoid taxes, not evade them.”
It is hoped that the measures will bring an extra £7 billion per year to the Treasury by 2015.