Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Pot, kettle, black

There was a poignant short letter in the FT Money section last month which caught my eye and make me smile, albeit rather wryly.

Having seen some of the 'demands' made by HMRC for payment of what it considers to be outstanding tax, how interesting that the Leader of this country should take such offence when the same request is levelled at him.

Now, I have no issue with persecuting individuals for tax evasion. It is illegal.

But tax avoidance that falls within the guidelines and boundaries set up by HMRC in the first place? I am trying to imagine the conversation that took place at some stage that led to the current status.

Prime Minister: I say, Georgie Boy, our coffers are looking a bit low.
Chancellor of the Exchequer: Leave it to me Gov, I'll get it sorted!

(moments later)

CotE: Oi, you! Tax lackeys! What's this nonsense with people paying too little tax?
HMRC: But sir, you said it was okay. We told them they were in line with the rules.
CotE: Rules? What rules? By jove, change the flipping' rules! Chop, chop, get a move on...

(later still)

CotE: Gov, Gov, I've sorted it! The dastardly tax avoiders shall be persecuted forthwith!
PM: Well done Georgie, you are a good lad. Clever tactics then?
CotE: Oh, bit of this, bit of that. Nothing like moving the goal posts after the event though... hopefully they won't notice that bit...
PM: Opportune timing you coming round Georgie, I've just had this damned tax notice come in from that blasted EU... Fix it, will you?

What was that infamous quote from a former PM? Oh yes.

I see this whole saga dragging on and on.

At great expense.

To the taxpayer, no less.


Yadda yadda yadda...