With reference to your recent article (31 October) on the press regulation charter receiving Privy Council approval: I sympathise with the media because, again thanks to a few bad apples, the same regime is being proposed to regulate businesses that help clients minimise their tax liabilities.
The proposed framework gives HMRC sufficient powers to determine who is carrying out what it considers to be unfair tax mitigation. It could, in practice, be used to put many firms out of business. We are told that this is not how the legislation will be operated in practice, but as the detail is so vague and the framework so flexible, we do not know that.
In both cases, we are being asked to trust that the state will not unfairly abuse the powers at its disposal. The problem is that when it comes to politicians, there is no confidence they can be trusted.
Partner, Thomas Eggar LLP
New Street, London