The funding of HMRC is to be reduced by 15% (£3.2bn) over the next four years, and 13 000 personnel whose job it is to collect taxes are to lose their jobs.
Yet in the latest tax year, 2009-2010, according to HMRC itself, £42bn of taxes went uncollected. This amounts to 9% of all tax revenue, and is £2bn more than the amount uncollected in the tax year 2008 -2009.
In the latest year £15.2bn of VAT was uncollected, £6.9bn of corporation tax was uncollected, and £6bn of income tax was uncollected. (In response to a comment below, for the source of these figures click here)
The Public and Commercial Services Union believes all these figures are underestimates, and that the total of uncollected taxes is in the region of £130bn.
By contrast, the estimated cost to the Exchequer from benefit fraud is in the region of £5bn.
I will not insult readers' intelligence by drawing a conclusion.