The Commons International Development Committee has said that the UK should give more priority to helping the poorest countries to collect their taxes more efficiently, as part of our foreign aid strategy.

This clearly has to make sense in terms of helping third world countries to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on aid receipts. Given that this presumably requires the improvement, or possibly even development, of robust tax assessment, collection and administration systems, one muses whether the government might have considered using some of the experience and expertise recently discarded by HMRC in the form of senior tax personnel to assist in this process; it does occur to me that this could be both a useful employment of a formidable skill base and a stimulus to third world tax receipts. Just a thought on joined-up government.

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