Leading article: From each according to his ability...


Yesterday's not-guilty verdict in the tax evasion case brought against Harry Redknapp was warmly greeted by the football world, and understandably so. Mr Redknapp is the hugely engaging, talented boss of a resurgent Tottenham Hotspur, and looks well placed to succeed Fabio Capello at the England helm.

Now, the question will be asked whether HMRC was misguided in pursuing the case. Tax evasion is estimated to cost the public coffers billions and, in pursuing a relatively small amount from Mr Redknapp and still coming out on the losing side, the Revenue leaves the tax-paying public doubting whether it is ever going to get to grips with the problem.

The need to do so is paramount. There is fierce opprobrium attached to bankers' bonuses and to the widening chasm between rich and poor. An efficient tax system, in which all pay their due, is an essential pillar of a fair society.