Things that definitely are George Osborne’s job

alittleecon

The Guardian have a story up today headlined “George Osborne says HSBC tax evasion prosecutions not his job”. This comes in the face of ongoing revelations about HSBC’s Swiss operation and anger over reports that to date only 1 out of 1,100 individuals for which there is evidence of tax evasion have been prosecuted. George is technically quite right. Evidence of criminal activity should be gathered by bodies like HMRC and the Financial Conduct Authority, and decisions about whether to pursue prosecutions taken together with the Crown Prosecution Service. This does not let Mr Osborne of the hook however. There are a number of things that definitely are his job (or the job of others in government) that he should be doing in relation to this issue. Here are a couple:

1. Make a clear statement and back it up by announcing that the tax authorities will have all…

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