May 20th, 2014
HMRC poll: What next?
By India Thorogood
So far hundreds of thousands of us have signed the petition against HMRC sharing or selling our tax data. Then, on Wednesday 14 May, a group of 38 Degrees members handed in the petition to HMRC’s Headquarters in central London. We all agreed to keep the pressure up in the weeks ahead.
Right now, these schemes are getting announced quietly, department by department – and MPs are being pretty quiet about it, too. But if MPs start kicking up a fuss, we could drag these sell-offs into the public eye and change the government’s direction. 38 Degrees members have been voting on the following options for the campaign ahead:
– We could have a big meeting in parliament with 38 Degrees members, MPs and HMRC officials to debate the tax data sell-off.
– We could organise countrywide petition hand-ins to our MPs. If we blow the issue up locally, MPs could start coming out against the sell-offs.
– We could commission expert advice to show just how flawed these plans are – and hand it in to MPs who might not know much about the issue. When 38 Degrees members paid for an expert briefing on the dangers of the hospital closure clause, it helped get it thrown out.
And the results are in! Below you can see how enthusiastic 38 Degrees members were about our campaign options:
Just under 98% of members thought we should campaign “a lot” or “a little” by delivering the petition to MPs across the country.
Just over 94% thought we should campaign “a lot” or “a little” through a meeting in Parliament. More members sided with “a little” on this one.
Around 95 per cent of members thought we should campaign “a lot” or “a little” via expert advice on HMRC’s data sell off. The 38 Degrees staff team are exploring all of these options.
What do you think? What’s the best campaign tactic this time? Comment below to carry on the discussion.