Alistair Darling is - according to today's Guardian - set to take on tax cheats who deprive the exchequer of sums greater than £25,000. Individuals and companies will be named and shamed in a crackdown on evasion to be unveiled in the budget on Wednesday.
The latest figures available indicate that just over £800m of public money is lost as a result of benefit fraud each year. The TUC has recently estimated that tax avoiders cost the exchequer nearly £13bn in 2008-2009. Wednesday's budget offers Labour an opportunity to reclaim the agenda post 'smeargate' and to put some clear red water between ourselves and the City-friendly Tories.