Syriza has to tackle embedded tax abuse

By staff writers
January 26, 2015

While the focus over Syriza’s win in the Greek general election is understandably the EU and debt, the really big issue facing the anti-austerity coalition is much more deeply embedded and will take longer to solve – corruption driven by debt.

So says Richard Murphy – tax researcher, chartered accountant, political economist, and author of The Courageous State.

On his Tax Research UK website he sets out the nature of the crisis and the challenge involved in addressing it.

Put succinctly, the Greek economy loses about 27 per cent of its tax revenues as a result of activity in its growing shadow economy – about 80 per cent of its deficit. No state can survive that.

Syriza needs to break the stranglehold of crippling bureaucracy, invest in and renew the tax authority, and perhaps most importantly "make clear that tax collection will allow tax cuts and so mobilise a majority [of] people against tax cheats," says Murphy.

He concludes: "The challenge facing Greece is enormous. It will be risky: many of those asked for money will deeply resent it however much it is due. But unless this issue is tackled, no other reform will take place because a fair and just tax system is the basis of a fair and just society and the foundation of a fair and balanced mixed economy, which is precisely what Greece needs."

* Read the full article here: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2015/01/26/the-real-challenge-facing-...

* Tax Research UK: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/

* Richard Murphy Publications: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/reading/

* Follow Richard Murphy on Twitter: @RichardJMurphy

* More on Syriza from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/syriza

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