Response to announcement that HMRC is to get new powers to access bank accounts when tax is owed

Emma Carr, deputy director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Today the taxman has to go to court to size your money. Now he’ll be able to do it with a click of a mouse. People won’t object to HRMC having legal powers to pursue people who owe them money but they shouldn’t be able to do it without any independent oversight.

“At a time when the Government is looking to reign in the number of public officials who can enter your home without a warrant it is bizarre that the taxman is getting the power to raid your bank account. These powers could have a serious impact on people’s lives and as a basic step of protecting peoples liberties they should not be exercised without a court’s approval.”