TAX avoidance has become a big issue in recent weeks ... and rightly so.

While millions of hard-pressed taxpayers end up paying large amounts to the Government, others are avoiding it through legitimate means although many would question the moral issue.

Some companies such as Starbucks, Google and Amazon have avoided paying millions of pounds – money this country needs more now than in living memory. If that had been coming into the Government coffers would the collective economic pain we are all suffering now have been so intense?

Starbucks has now made a U-turn on the issue and it could be argued that pressure from the media may have led to this rapid change in thinking.

But the bottom line in all this is that Chancellors from the main parties must have known about these avoidance schemes for many years but failed to close the loophole.

The horse may have bolted but isn’t it time the stable door was firmly shut?