The UK taxman is to target children with bizarre, alarmist videos warning them to pay their bills when they grow up.
Critics suggested HMRC should focus on catching tax evaders rather than lecturing pupils, pointing out that they seem more interested in chasing down innocent parties than giant multinationals who pay negligible amounts of tax.
The Mail Online reports: A film depicting HM Revenue & Customs staff chasing ‘ghosts’ – unseen tax cheats who hide billions from the Treasury – will be screened to 14 to 17-year-olds from next month in new classes on personal finance and how to contribute to society.
But James Daley, of the Fairer Finance consumer group, said: “Some personal finance education in schools is very useful, but trying to brainwash children into paying their tax isn’t the right way of going about it.”
The animation portrays tax inspectors as ‘ghostbusters’ hunting spooks who fail to declare money from their jobs and moonlighting workers who only pay tax on one income. After a successful chase, it ends with the tax evaders in jail.
Officials are relying on greater influence in schools as well as their traditional enforcement activities to crack down on tax evasion, which represents a loss of £36billion to the UK each year.
Jennie Granger, of HMRC, said: ‘Educating young people so they don’t get tempted is vital. We are very proud this film is part of the national curriculum.’
Do you have any reservations about this latest news? Do you see it as a responsible move from the HMRC to start educating children about tax at school or do you think the UK taxman is simply trying to spook the kids with brainwashing propaganda?