Whenever there is an audience George Osborne sounds off about clamping down on unreasonable tax avoidance having brought in the General Anti Abuse Rule (GAAR) earlier this year. But it is not true. 'Private Eye No 1349 ' [20th September to 3rd October] devotes four pages to reporting on an investigation jointly with Panorama shows that the UK has now become one of the largest 'tax havens' in the world. What is even worse is that the HMRC has a mountain of evidence on tax evasion – which is illegal – only one very wealthy offshore tax dodger has been prosecuted. But more than 600 builders, plumbers, doctors etc have been nailed for cooking their books and of course all the Tory focus and that of its supportive press is on benefit cheats. No one condones benefit cheats but even handed & cost effective enforcement – no way. And before anyone questions the veracity of Private Eye remember how many times it has been sued. Nowadays it is very very careful. Finally it seems that the Government is trying to pretend it can't afford a scabby 1% pay rise for NHS workers. Perhaps if it tried a bit harder not to lie about taxing the rich such a rise could be more than afforded.