Dear oh dear oh dear.
George Orwell was right; Big Brother is watching you.
The use of RIPA (Regulatorion of Investigative Powers Act) to spy on people will alarm civil liberty groups.
Town councils have already had to control their use of the legislation to investigate minor offences such as dog fouling and littering.
Caroline Spelman, the shadow Communities secretary said:-
“We already knew that Labour’s tax inspectors are spying on family homes to prepare for a painful council tax revaluation.
Now it is clear that the tax officials are using anti-terror powers to spy on the personal tax affairs of hard-working families anything up to fifteen times a day.
Labour’s surveillance laws are routinely being abused and overused by town hall officials and quangos, turning Britain into a Stasi state.”
An HMRC spokesman said:-
“Ripa provides a number of important safeguards. It strictly limits the people who can lawfully use covert techniques, the purposes for and the conditions in which they can be used and how the material can be handled.”
HMRC works within the established safeguards and when using the powers granted under RIPA, properly addressed the requirements of both necessity and proportionally.”
HMRC’s use of RIPA was overseen by the Office of Surveillance Commissioners and Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office.”
The spokesman then added:-
“There is also an independent tribunal that looks into complaints from members of the public about misuse of RIPA powers by public authorities. No allegation about HMRC’s potential misuse of RIPA has been upheld.”
The news emerged after it had been revealed that middle class professionals, such as doctors and dentists, are being targeted by Government revenue inspectors.
HMRC inspectors have launched the amnesty in a bid to tackle tax evasion which costs the economy about £3 billion per year.
Experts have said that targeting middle class professionals acts as ‘easy pickings’ for the Revenue.
It really is turning out to be a farce, this whole affair. Soon there will be nowhere you can enjoy comfort of privacy in your own home.