Govt pledges fraud-fighting £900 million tech boost

George Osborne

The Government has pledged an extra 900 million for targeting tax evasion and fraud by using better technology, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has announced.

In today's much anticipated spending review, Osborne said HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) would be able to make better use of new technology and sign "better IT contracts" to go after such illicit activities.

Despite this additional funding, HMRC has been told to make resource savings of 15 per cent.

Osborne also announced cuts in police funding, stressing that "no public service can be immune from reform."

He claimed significant cuts could be achieved through reductions in police spending "without impacting front-line services."

Police spending will fall four per cent each year, according to Osborne, but the "visibility" of police on UK streets will be improved.

He did not make any guarantees on protecting police working behind the scenes on fighting problems such as online fraud.

However, earlier this week an extra 500 million was pledged by the coalition government to help tackle threats posed by cyber crime and outlined the need for a new strategy to face new dangers.

The promise of extra funds was included in a report entitled "A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The National Security Strategy," in which cyber crime was listed alongside terrorism, chemical attacks and natural disasters as one of the biggest threats to the nation.

Follow our live-blogging of the spending review here.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.