Children encouraged to become ‘state spies’ and report neighbours who pay too little tax

| July 27, 2012 | 0 Comments

Rob Preece

20:18 EST, 25 July 2012


20:11 EST, 26 July 2012

Pupils are being encouraged to shop tax dodgers to their teachers by HM Revenue Customs.

Tax officers have developed teaching modules for schools in which youngsters are asked if they know anyone ‘in their local area’ who is not paying their fair share.

HMRC said it did not use the scheme to collect information about tax evaders from children.

But critics said it was ‘un-British’ of the taxman to try to turn ‘children into state spies’.

School report: Pupils are being encouraged to tell their teachers if they know of anyone 'in their local area' who isn't paying their fair share of tax. (Picture posed by models)

School report: Pupils are being encouraged to tell their teachers if they know of anyone ‘in their local area’ who isn’t paying their fair share of tax. (Picture posed by models)

HMRC has drawn up the modules to teach children at secondary schools about pay as you earn and National Insurance.

It uses video, games, facts and
quizzes to ‘help make teaching financial capacity and citizenship issues
relevant and engaging’.

One module, called ‘tax
responsibilities of a good citizen’, is designed to help teenagers
‘understand the obligations of being a good citizen and discuss what
should happen to those who are not prepared to work under such

Tax avoidance: Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said it was 'morally wrong' to pay tradesmen in cash

Tax avoidance: Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said it was ‘morally wrong’ to pay tradesmen in cash

One lesson plan – targeted at pupils
aged 14 to 16 – tells them to: ‘Discuss whether it is good to pay the
tax we do, considering the benefits we receive.

If it is good, then why
do people try not to pay?’

The plan directs the teacher: ‘Show
class the remaining factfile slides on tax evasion.

What do students
think of those who refuse to pay tax or try and defraud the benefits

‘Can they think of any example they may have heard in their local


David Green, director of centre-right
think-tank Civitas, said: ‘This sounds a bit too Big Brotherish.

“in their local area” are most likely to be parents or close relatives.

Turning children into state spies is un-British.’

An HMRC spokesman said: ‘We have been
providing information for many years to teachers to use in classrooms.

‘We certainly don’t use this to collect information on tax evaders from

‘These materials are solely designed to help children learn about how tax works.’

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts,
or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have not been moderated.

This is what happens when you have government schools. They are a huge part of what has destroyed the US and I imagine it is similar in the UK.

Perhaps all you sheeple would like to go read the corrected version on the website of the paper it was originally printed in. Dm hanging on other paper’s coattails methinks. No original ideas of your own?

Stalin would have been proud. Leo can you tell us if your Dad, Tony, is paying enough tax ?

A disgusting and thinly veiled attempt to get kids to snitch on their PARENTS.
– Cynical, Manchester, 26/7/2012 5:45 And just what are they going to snitch about if their parents are doing no wrong? Or maybe it is an attempt to instill the ethics , integrity and moral culture, not to mention commonsense, which appears to be sadly lacking in this and other posts from so called educated adults!

Is it 1984 yet?

Where do I start….. MPs, MEPs, BBC staff etc etc, get your own house in order first. Lead by example.

Right , and how long would it be before cash in hand builders started visiting teachers at their local school because right out of the blue the taxman came calling ? I know who my money would be on in a fight !

The totalitarian state rumbles on.

I this is true and accurate reportage, it is a repellant idea from a repulsive administration.
If it is accurate, why is it not a Banner Headline.?
We are about to host the 2012 Olympics aren’t we, not the 1936 event?

Great – maybe we should also spy on the thieving, lying bankers…oh, wait – THEY ARE OPENLY ROBBING US ALL AND NOBODY DOES ANYTHING!!!

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