Alistair Darling has announced that people avoiding tax abroad will be targeted in his new budget

Airport news for UK Airports on 25/03/2010.

Arrange your travel plans by choosing from car hire, hotels, flights, airport parking and travel insurance using our form.

In a budget speech that could have been delivered by Robin Hood, Alistair Darling vowed to crack down on overseas tax-avoiders. The Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer managed to take the attention away from the state of Britain’s finances in yesterday’s budget report, by announcing a deal with the Central American tax haven Belize.

The announcement was greeted by great cheers from the Labour bench with some MPs commenting that notorious Tory fundraiser Lord Ashcroft now had nowhere to hide. When the deal is finalised, UK HM Revenue and Customs will be able to look into the exact tax arrangements of Lord Ashcroft’s billion-pound fortune in Belize. Earlier this year, Ashcroft admitted that he did not pay tax on his overseas empire.

Mr Darling’s speech made reference to the situation with Lord Ashcroft, saying that during the economic crisis, it is particularly unfair that some people should benefit by avoiding their tax obligations. He claimed that the planned crackdown could generate on extra £1bn for the UK.

As well as Belize, Dominica and Grenada are also expected to sign up to the deal, which would allow both sides to investigate the tax arrangements of companies and individuals in the corresponding country. The agreement could come into force within days according to the chancellor.

Over a quarter of people who have bank accounts abroad are estimated to be keeping their fortunes under wraps, and Britain’s wealthy are set to suffer further blows as the budget outlines an increase in stamp duty for expensive homes and thresholds on inheritance tax.

More Airport News