The Curmudgeon


Thursday, May 02, 2013

A Real Little Sweetheart

It appears that new depths of humiliation await even the abject former head of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and future director at Goldman Sachs, Dave Hartnett. Goldman Sachs, you see, had been involved in tax avoidance and had promised not to do it again; but had HMRC been so impolite as to treat Goldman Sachs according to the laws that are meant for the little people, Goldman Sachs might have withdrawn the pledge. Therefore, Dave Hartnett decided that Goldman Sachs should be allowed to dodge its taxes in return for having promised not to dodge its taxes. An email suggests that the taxpayer's twenty-million-pound gift, which Hartnett presented to Goldman Sachs in conscious defiance of HMRC's own guidelines, HMRC's internal review board and HMRC's legal advice, was mainly intended to avoid "major embarrassment to the chancellor of the exchequer", who had just finished coaxing his chums in the banking sector to try and look as if they were being regulated for a bit. In fairness, this all took place before last year's budget or the Olympic booing episode; in other, words, at a time when breaking the law to spare Osborne's blushes was an act of more or less ordinary sycophancy, without the all-pervasive overtones of bowel-rippling panic and existential futility which it would have in the present day.


  • At 8:12 pm , Anonymous Dave said...

    'A spokesperson for the Treasury said the chancellor could not comment on what he knew about Hartnett's decision to waive Goldman's alleged debt because of the ongoing court case. "Taxpayer confidentiality means that decisions are always made by HMRC without any ministerial knowledge or involvement," the spokesperson added.'

    Handy that!


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