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George Osborne has defended *that* tax 'avoidance' video

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Included in yesterday's Budget was a pledge from George Osborne to give prosecutors and tax authorities new powers to prevent people from using offshore accounts to avoid or evade tax payments.

But the chancellor has been forced to defend his own record on the subject after an 11-year-old video of him appearing to give advice on how to avoid paying inheritance tax re-emerged.

In the video, taken from a 2003 appearance on BBC2's Daily Politics, the then backbench MP says:

The one piece of advice I would give to Bill [the viewer who has called in] is that there are some pretty clever financial products, which enable you to in effect pass on your home or the value of your home to your son or daughter and then get personal care paid for by the state. I probably shouldn't be advocating this on television...

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In an interview with the Today programme today to talk about the Budget, Osborne insisted he was only pointing out the flaws in Labour's tax system.

"I was pointing out that under the Labour government there were all sorts of loopholes that helped people evade and avoid their taxes. When I've had the chance to actually do something about it in government, I've shut down those loopholes," he said.

"Rich people in the City used to boast that they paid lower tax rates than their cleaners, I've stopped that. People used to routinely avoid stamp duty, I've stopped that. Foreigners didn't pay capital gains tax, I've stopped that. People can judge me by my record, and they can also look at the new measures we are announcing today very tough new criminal powers to tackle tax evasion."

Watch the 2003 clip below:


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