Financial advisers who devise tax avoidance schemes, like the one previously used by the comedian Jimmy Carr, are going to be "named and shamed" as part of a drive to claw back nearly £5bn a year in tax that at present vanishes down loopholes.
George Osborne has been caught between his long-term wish to make the UK an attractive place for the rich to invest, and growing public anger that rich individuals and big companies such as Starbucks can earn huge sums and squirrel it away, legally, beyond the reach of the tax man.
But his aggressive language as he announced what he called "the largest ever packages of tax avoidance and evasion measures presented at a Budget" indicate that soothing public opinion has become the more immediate of the two priorities.
Agreements with the Isle of Man, Guernsey, and Jersey will yield more than £1bn of unpaid taxes, he said. According to the London based global wealth consultancy WealthInsight there are £600bn of assets held in the three crown dependencies.
Mr Osborne also promised measures to stop the abuse of partnership rules and other devices used by companies, which should bring in another £2bn. A General Anti-Abuse Rule, which Mr Osborne announced in last year's Budget speech, is due to come into effect on 1 April. Because most tax avoidance takes place beyond British jurisdiction, the Chancellor promised the UK will use its Presidency of G8, the club of the world's richest nations, to push for international action.Reuse content