Budget 2010: HMRC officers to get powers to open people's post without asking permission
Tax inspectors are to get wide-ranging powers to open people’s post without their permission for the first time, it can disclosed.
That is the headline to this article.
Officers will be allowed to intercept any suspicious mail anywhere in the country and open it before it is delivered, under plans being drawn up by the Government to amend the Postal Services Act.
The measure is billed as a bid to crack down on tobacco smuggling. However, a HM Revenue and Customs spokesman said the powers could be applied much more widely
I don't think tobacco smugglers will post their smuggled goods that much because it will cost too much and it will take weeks to get to the address.
The customs have said 'the powers could be applied much more widely.' I ask how wide will the powers go?
Civil liberties campaigners were appalled about the increased powers. Alex Deane, a spokesman for Big Brother Watch, said: “This is a dreadful development. The post has always been regarded as near-sacrosanct in law.
“The last time our mail was opened by the authorities without notice, our country was fighting a World War. I hardly think that the situation produced by the government’s tobacco tax compares.
“Once the principle of opening our mail has been accepted, what else will the Government use as an excuse to pry into our post?”
HM Revenue and Customs are growing increasingly aggressive in their battle with tax evaders. Earlier this year it announced plans for a crack down on middle class professionals who do not pay their fair share of tax.
The old Soviet Union was a government controlled state where mail was opened to check on the population.
Do you see any similarities with what the Soviet Union did and what this government is doing?
We are losing our freedom.
How many of our countrymen died in WW1 and WW2 for our freedom, only for the freedom they fought for to be taken away by this government and the EU.
The government is listening on our phone calls and emails, they are now going to be checking on our mail, the council can enter our homes with out a warrant or police presence.
What other freedoms are we going to lose in the future?