The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Profitable Customs

The head of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, Dave Hartnett, has apparently given away ten million pounds of taxpayers' money to Goldman Sachs, who obviously need it more than we do. The poor things were so plagued by demands that they pay national insurance on their hired gamblers' bonuses that they entered an elaborate tax-dodging conspiracy with twenty-one other firms, which was eventually exposed as illegitimate. Goldman Sachs' accomplices paid what they owed, but Goldman Sachs continued with five more years of delaying tactics. By July last year the Revenue's lawyer was confident that the Government would be able to collect its money; but four months later the insouciant Dave Hartnett came to a private agreement with Goldman Sachs that they could get away with paying only seventy-five per cent of what they owed, with no additional penalty for the five years of pointless obstruction. A Conservative MP who asked Hartnett about the matter last month was brushed off with the claim that revealing any information would be illegal, although the Revenue board had been advised two years ago that information could be given to parliamentary committees at Hartnett's own discretion. At the moment, aside from blaming the inevitable anonymous junior who did Hartnett's hand-shaking for him, HMRC are sheltering behind their own version of the famous MI5 defence, Everything's Fine But Asking Questions Could Endanger Our Boys: "the picture you have been given is incomplete and therefore fundamentally flawed but taxpayer confidentiality prevents us from correcting your story in detail". An uncharitable observer, if by chance there were any such hereabouts, might wonder why Dave Hartnett's obligations towards Goldman Sachs seem to outweigh his obligations to the taxpayer.


  • At 6:56 pm , Blogger Martin Lower said...

    What's the betting that when Hartnett retires from the civil service, he ends up on the board of Goldman Sachs?

  • At 7:48 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    Well, really. In a country ruled by Lord Ashcroft and defended by Liam Fox, how can anyone harbour such nasty suspicions?

  • At 10:35 pm , Anonymous Madame X said...

    No one else gets away with arbitraging the tax man.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home