As many as 2,000 government employees paid off the books

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Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, is set to announce that many government officials have been avoiding or minimizing tax by being paid off the Government books. In fact, dozens may have been receiving their payroll for more than 10 years in this way and there is some concern as to why it has been tolerated for such a long time by ministers.

The Whitehall review which will be announced by Mr. Alexander will indicate that senior public officials, at least 2000 of them, have been paid a salary more than £58,200 annually off the Government payroll. As well, at least 50% of these received their salary through agencies.

According to data protection rules Mr. Alexander will not be able to identify the workers but he will be able to publish such information as the length of their contracts as well as their job titles. Of the 2000 public officials identified at least 1500 have made a salary greater than £380 per day.

Even so, the estimate of 2000 workers being paid in this way is thought to be grossly underestimated as the review did not include those working for local authorities or the NHS. Some close to Mr. Alexander believes that she would like reviews from other branches of government, especially the BBC, to release data in regards to how they pay their contractors.

It is believed that this probe is the result of news released in February by Exaro News which stated that the head of the Student Loans Company, Ed Lester, negotiated a salary to be paid through a private enterprise.

The end result is that Mr. Alexander is going to ask that contracts be terminated for anyone who cannot prove they have not been paying their fair share of income taxes and NIC.

Author: Sam Allcock
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