‘Paying tax is a moral issue’: MP Margaret Hodge calls for simpler tax system at Highgate dinner

An MP in charge of scrutinising government spending has called for the simplification of Britain’s tax system to end avoidance.

Margaret Hodge, chairman of the public accounts committee, made the remarks at a Highgate Labour dinner last week at The Bull pub in North Road.

The former leader of Islington Council was there to lend her support to Hornsey and Wood Green’s Labour parliamentary candidate Catherine West, who is Ms Hodge’s successor at the Labour-run authority.

“Paying tax is a moral issue,” the 69-year-old Barking MP said. “We should simplify our tax system, we should toughen up HMRC and I think we should have more transparency.

“There is a scary gap between what we get in and what we should actually get in, which actually stands at about £35billion, and that’s a conservative figure.”

Ms Hodge also told the room about getting global giants Amazon, Starbucks and Google in front of the public accounts committee in 2012 to quiz them over tax avoidance.