Friday, 27 January 2012


HMCR chief Dave Hartnett (you remember him, don’t you?),  says that it is the public's duty not to pay tradesmen cash in hand, otherwise said tradesmen may be tempted (look away if you are of a sensitive disposition) to 'evade paying their fair share of tax.' (Shock, horror.)

And, if you do not act as tax collectors (unpaid), and they do "forget" to declare all their earnings, this might result in even deeper government cuts to public services. (More shock and horror!!)

Now, would this be the same Dave Hartnett who, having allowed himself to be bought, on over 100 occasions, incredibly expensive meals, arranged multi-billion pound tax avoidance schemes with the Goldman Sachs and Vodafone...who, by strange co-incidence, had picked up the tabs for these "fine dining experiences"?

And did this multi-billion pound drop in tax revenue not in some way result in the government having less money to spend?

Some people might be tempted to think  that Dave was saying that there was one rule for him, and one rule for the rest of us.

But we all know that none of our (the public) servants would ever do anything like that...


  1. tris

    thats the tyranny of P.A.Y.E the ordinary working man(and some women i spose).
    Are the easy target for the tax collectors so any missed tax from the diddlers (by the way it is the rich who routinely pay the working class tradesmen cash at the back door of course)

    can be recouped from the hard working paye payer no fiddles no tax accountant just an open wage packet for the tax collector to help themselves from.
    Many years ago self employment was
    almost wiped out in the construction industry........

    Mainly due mr ordinary when he got all cash and no stoppages went out and spent it all and didnt put any aside for the tax man(did it meself once or twice)
    so come tax pay day none was forthcoming to the nasty tax man..
    err sorry guv spent it and aint got a penny

    Now self employment is being forced in many in the building trade all paid cash no stoppages...
    but no employment rights either a backward step and no mistaake.

    so you can bet a nice bit of tax and NI will be missing from the tax take which will be looked for from the paye payer.....again

  2. A while back I went into the bank and wanted £1200 cash (equivalent to around £40 -60 in the pounds of my youth, I reckon).

    I have only had an account at the bank since my Dad opened one for me in 1943.
    Yet they insisted that I should produce "proof of identity" - a passport, driving licence and possibly a utility or council tax bill as well, if they were feeling stroppy.

    If I had asked for £999 they would not have troubled me with this nonsense but it is "for my own protection" and "to stop money laundering". The documents would be photo-copied!

    They even had the cheek to ask me what I wanted the money for. "BECAUSE IT'S MINE", I replied. "I AM NOT A LITTLE BOY WHO HAS COME IN TO ASK FOR SOME MORE POCKET MONEY".

    Of course, the staff can only reply with the words on their computer script.

    It is, of course, the result of regulation from Brussels.

    Given the sweetheart deals agreed by the Inland Revenue with large firms (after much wining and dining of HMRC staff), given HMG continuing to donate £50 million PER DAY to the EU and 0.7% of GDP to "aid" (of which the finest example must be that Ferris wheel for the ladies of Afghanistan), I think it is a moral duty to keep as much from their corrupt clutches as possible. I have heard Greek people express much the same sentiment.

    How a proficient tradesman accounts for "coin of the realm" or "legal tender" paid for his services is his own affair.

    I have heard enough from acquaintances working for HMRC and the benefits system to realise that we are being badly ripped off - both in collection and paying out.

    I ran a business for many years and was quite proud that we had paid everything we should - until the Inland Revenue came along and landed us with an unjustified surcharge of about £500. My accountant's advice was to pay it because I would have had to pay him more than £500 to contest it - and would not be able to recover his fees, even if I won. The inspectors always win themselves Brownie points by this trick - as their visit had resulted in a "recovery" of underpaid tax. In fact, it was merely demanding money with menaces.

  3. Totally agree Niko.

    (Not often I say that is it?)

  4. Hello Mr S:

    Well, whilst I think that them asking you what you wanted the money for was a bloody cheek which I might have answer a little less politely than you did (and then close all my accounts with them), I can, to be honest, see that there are so many clever scams today, as opposed to many years ago when all they did was blow a hole in the safe and pinch the scorched notes, that it's not a bad idea to have a bit of security.

    If someone had been pretending to be you, you'd have been glad they weren't just handing over the cash willy nilly. ;¬)

    Because they take my money and use it to kill totally innocent people;

    because they insist on buying massive-spend weapons of mass destruction which could blow the Soviet Union off the face of the earth if only it had had the good manners to hang around (and of course if they were given permission by the USA, from whom we are obliged to buy the stuff);

    because they will have spent over £20 billion to have their vanity games in a country I don't even visit, never mind a town;

    because they will then spend £37 billion on a railway that will join the north to south of the country eventually... stopping some 300 miles south of where I live;

    because they will spend another fortune, as yet unknown) on a railway across London;

    because the man who must be the stupidest and most inept cabinet minister ever, wants to waste money sending a copy of a bible in a language no one can understand to every school in England, adding (so that he will go down in history [as he doubtless did in most other subjects]) a message from the great him personally...

    ...I consider it my bounden duty to have every possible job I can done by a neighbour or a mate, for cash!

    And George, who keeps his money safely in a place where Dave Hartnett can't get his sticky little mitts on it, the British Virgin Islands, can shuffle for it.

  5. ....cont

    I've had endless trouble over the last few years with HMRC... I always thought they were taking too much tax off me. I spoke to them, god knows how many times, and in the end gave up. It wasn't a massive amount and frankly it was worth more to me not to ever have to phone them again. last year they even told me I had underpaid and put my tax rate up.

    They this year they sent me, unbidden, tax calculations over the past 5 or 6 years, together with a cheque, but no apology.

    I expect next year they will decide I have underpaid and demand it all back...

    Dave Hairnet couldn't run a piss up in a brewery. I'd like to smack him one in his ugly smug face.

  6. I was going to post it CH. Thanks for reminding me.

  7. I was listening to 5 live over the phone tris waiting to speak to stephen and as my gender restricts my multi tasking I thought I'd pop a link as it had not been widely circulated. The guy eventually apologised for not getting me on and asked if he could phone back after 12 but I told him that my phone needed recharching sadly, my fame is in flames. ;)

  8. Personally I have no problem with paying tax if it is fair, equal and reflects the needs of the people. I remember starting my apprenticeship in 1972 when the building workers came out on strike to try and stop, among other things, the destruction of the the PAYE for building workers as the employers were trying to force the tradesmen to become self-employed so that the employers wouldn't have to pay national insurance [which I agree is just another form of tax] and avoid the payment of the hard won rights of the tradesmen. Our union [I believe it was called UCATT then] went to the TUC to ask for help and was refused that help. Our union brothers dropped us in it.
    In a way it was a bad move by the government in encouraging the move away from PAYE because of the amount of Irish in the building industry at that time. I know of many occasions where the Irish workers, after being forced into being self-employed went on the sites as 'Paddy' one year and came back as 'Mick' the year after thereby paying no taxes at all [under the 715 system]. This must have lost the treasury 100s of millions, if not billions, over the years.
    The poor PAYE workers, who were not allowed to join the scam, were left to pick up the bill while the big earners were allowed accountants to fiddle the tax system. This, in anyone's book, apart from HMRC, is blatantly unfair. This is not the system were all are equal under the law for the law is not equal.

  9. I'm impressed with your walking and chewing gum CH... You could be president of the United States of America at that rate. I remember Mr Bush was good at eating pretzels and choking... what a multi tasker he was!.

    As for your fame, fear thee not, for thou shalt be famous forever on Munguin's Republic... pfff who needs the BBC!

  10. Governments do some remarkably stupid things Ged. No one seems to think farther ahead than the afternoon's headlines on the news.

    Ha ha. I suspect (in the interests of racial equality) that there were probably some Scots who tried to diddle that system too. Angus one year and Jock the next!! As for the unions...well, I know that they made a difference in the beginning, and I suspect that unless we are mill owners we should be grateful to them, but they have morphed over the years into bigger and ever bigger organisations with the people at the top as well cosseted as some of the businessmen.

    I don't know whether the system you talk about was still operative in the late '90s, but there was certainly still a lot of illegal working in the building trade.

    The father of a colleague of mine was working illegally on a building site when a chimney collapsed on him and killed him. His wife had the devil's job trying to get compensation out of the company, which wasn't employing him, but was on the cheap. In the end she settled for a very small sum.

    OK, he shouldn't have been doing it, but the company was aware of what he was doing.

    I don't mind paying fair tax, but it's not a fair system when I can't offer sumptuous dining experiences to old Dave there and get my tax cancelled.

    It wouldn't be so angering if when he was found out, someone had sacked his corrupt ass that day... but no. As usual, people who have clawed their way up the greasy pole can get away with anything, and he did

    So, when it all becomes equitable I will eschew the wee man who comes to my door in favour of the big corporation, but until then they can whistle Dixie.

  11. CH

    Walking and chewing gum eh?

    Best you can't fart at the same time?

  12. I eat my mistakes

  13. Erm in that case we'd best stick to pretzels and choking, Wolfie!