Behold my friends! This is a race to the INSANE, and the UK is getting ahead!
a consequential breakdown in trust between HMRC and taxpayers,
Government officials (and I count MPs and Congress critters as such) are just so goshdarn cute when they assume that any rational person has any trust whatsoever in any tax gathering agency in history that it just makes me want to rub their tiny little ears and bonk their nose. And then laugh them out of office.
Did he really say that with a straight face?.
Selling the data is certainly wrong. But we shouldn't jump so fast to assume that tax information is inherently private. In Norway, all tax returns are published as a matter of transparency and I've long felt that this is something the UK and other countries should emulate. I'd find it very illuminating to know the income of a conservative blogger who was decrying benefits as a waste of money, or see which well-known figures turned out to have tax avoidance schemes.
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