One rule for them, another for us.
MP for South-West Hertfordshire and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, claims that it is "morally wrong" to offer to pay tradesmen in cash in the hope of avoiding tax.
In newspaper interviews Gauke said the practice came at "a big cost" to the Treasury and meant other people had to pay more in tax.
Gauke told the Telegraph that: “Getting a discount with your plumber by paying cash in hand is something that is a big cost to the Revenue and means others have to pay more in tax."
“I think it is morally wrong. It is illegal for the plumber but it is pretty implicit in those circumstances that there is a reason why there is a discount for cash. That is a large part of the hidden economy.”
Of course, no mention was made of multinational companies which swerve paying billions in tax through loopholes, or their bills being written off by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. This is possibly because before becoming an MP, Gauke worked for city law firm McFarlanes, a company that helps wealthy clients avoid tax.
It also later emerges that in 2006/7, Gauke used parliamentary expenses to cover the cost of the stamp duty when he moved home. According to the London Standard, Gauke claimed £10, 248.32 in payments for his second home which included "Inland Revenue Stamp Duty" of £8,550. The rest was consisted of solicitor's fees, land registry and property searches.
If this wasn't enough hypocrisy, it then emerges that Gauke's wife, Rachel, is a professional support lawyer who specialises in corporate tax law, in other words helping big business avoid paying as much tax as possible.
Rachel Gauke works for Lexis Nexis, a company which claims to “support every tax practitioner on the front line as they deal with the tax collector“.
It emerged last year that big companies were excused paying £25,5 BILLION in tax to HMRC. £25.5 billion equates to roughly £1000 for every British family, or 6p off the current rate of taxation.
The tragedy of this case isn't the blatant and gross hypocrisy of yet another member of our political class, it isn't the persecution yet again of ordinary people who are struggling in the current economic climate.
The real tragedy is that people like us are standing for it....