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OK hires extra tax collectors to police super rich
LONDON—Let the audits begin. As the UK tightens its belt during economic uncertainty, a senior government official said Sunday he was hiring more than 2,000 extra tax inspectors to make sure that Britain's wealthiest feel the squeeze. The British Treasury’s Chief Secretary, Danny Alexander, told the Sunday Independent newspaper that his priority was “making sure that those with broadest shoulders bear their fair share of the burden.” Alexander said a 100-member “affluence team” would be in place in less than a month to keep an eye on the country’s wealthiest taxpayers — the estimated 350,000 people whose personal wealth exceeds 2.5 million pounds (US$3.95 million).
The British government’s crackdown on tax evasion has already netted more than 2 billion pounds (US$3 billion) a year, Alexander said, predicting that figure could rise to 7 billion pounds (US$10.6 billion) a year by 2015. Britain is going through politically painful series cutbacks aimed at restoring order to its finances after the Labour government, in power for 13 years, saddled the country with billions in debt.
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