Reaction to Treasury Select Committee comments on proposed HMRC powers to access bank accounts

Emma Carr, acting director of Big Brother Watch, said: “The Treasury Select Committee has been very clear that these powers would increase the risk of HMRC wrongly collecting money from taxpayers, a warning that the Government and Treasury would be reckless to ignore.

“There are very few people who would object to HRMC having the legal powers to pursue people who owe them money, but they shouldn’t be able to do it without any independent oversight. Quite simply, these plans represent nothing more than HMRC wanting to act as judge, jury and executioner.

“At a time when the Government is looking to rein 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.”

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