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George Osborne Takes On The Tax Avoiders

(c) Sky News 2012

George Osborne has announced extra investment to help clamp down on multinational companies who avoid paying tax in Britain.

The move comes in the wake of revelations that a number of firms, including Starbucks (NasdaqGS: SBUX - news) , Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG - news) and Amazon, pay little or no corporation tax.

"I think you can do two things. One is you can enforce the taxes we have got and I am going to be announcing tomorrow extra investment in the part of the Inland Revenue that tackles tax avoidance by multinational companies," the Chancellor told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show.

"Second, you make sure internationally we have the right rules and it is actually Britain who has been working with Germany and France to get those rules on the international table."

However, he warned that Britain must be cautious and make sure big companies did not avoid Britain because of high taxes.

Starbucks has announced it will take action over the tax avoidance issue and said it was reviewing its "tax approach in the UK".

The company, which has been boycotted by some customers following the disclosures about its tax affairs, said it was in talks with the HMRC and the Treasury.

Mr Osborne said he would officially announce the funding for the tax avoidance clamp-down on Monday.

It comes ahead of his Autumn Statement on December 5, in which he is expected to target the pension pots of the rich.

The Chancellor will cut the amount of annual tax relief high earners receive on pension contributions from £50,000 a year to as little as £30,000, according to The Sunday Times.

If he implements the full cut to £30,000, it could raise as much as £1.8bn for the Government.

The Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) has warned it could hit "swathes of middle-income earners", however, it is mainly expected to impact on those with an annual income of around £200,000.

Mr Osborne has also admitted that it is taking Britain longer to recover from the financial crisis than hoped.

He said: "It is clearly taking longer to deal with Britain's debts, it's clearly taking longer to recover from the financial crisis than one would have hoped but we have made real progress."

Labour's former chancellor Alistair Darling told Sky News' Murnaghan show that  Mr Osborne had a "bankruptcy of ideas" over how to generate growth.

He said: "It strikes at his very credibility and the credibility of this government's economic judgement."

Any form of mansion tax - or splitting council tax bands - is likely to be ruled out in the coming statement.

There is also speculation a planned 3p per litre rise in fuel duty planned for January may be delayed.

Mr Osborne is also expected to freeze unemployment, income support and housing benefits.

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