Now, consultants, lawyers part of UK’’s `hidden economy”

December 6th, 2008 - 3:21 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec.6 (ANI): Hospital consultants, barristers and footballers have allegedly joined gardeners and hairdressers in the 6.1 billion pound a year “hidden” economy - but chances of them being prosecuted are virtually nil, a report will show.
According to The Telegraph, the evasion can range from casual moonlighting and cash in hand work to claiming welfare benefits fraudulently, tax evasion and organised crime.
Two million people - just over one in 20 of the adult population - are estimated to be involved in evasion. Most of them are small time offenders such as gardeners and hairdressers, but a significant minority are white collar professionals, the paper says.
MPs on the Public Accounts Committee, which is publishing its findings officially on Tuesday, are likely to highlight the case of a number of barristers who are being investigated by HMRC but have not yet been found to have been guilty of wrongdoing.
Inspectors are also examining the tax records of medical consultants who have allegedly not been declaring thousands of pounds they earn as private income, on top of their jobs at NHS hospitals.
The amount of cash channelled through the hidden economy is also set to rise.
A National Audit Office report earlier this year found that it had increased by 13 per cent in real terms over three years to 145 million pounds by 2006/7. (ANI)

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