The number of prosecutions for tax evasion and dishonest avoidance will increase five-fold over the next four years, the Director of Public Prosecutions has pledged.

Keir Starmer said the economic climate meant it was more important than ever to tackle tax dodgers.

He added a merger of the fraud team at the Crown Prosecution Service and HM Revenue and Customs' prosecutions office meant he now had a bigger team to deal with such cases.

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Mr Starmer told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It is always important to prosecute tax evasion but never more so than in this sort of hardship we find ourselves in now.

"There are people really suffering who are paying their taxes."