The Treasury Minister David Gauke has said it is "morally wrong" to pay tradesmen such as plumbers, builders and cleaners in cash in the hope of avoiding tax. He says that the practice came at "a big cost" to the Treasury and meant other people had to pay more to help balance the books. The Westminster government has highlighted this in its desire to clamp down on tax avoidance. The minister’s pronouncement may indicate a desire by the Westminster government to hit out on those who can least affords to tax evade.
On a similar theme, a report written by James Henry, a former chief economist at the consultancy McKinsey, for the Tax Justice Network, ‘The Price of Offshore Revisited’ makes interesting reading. The report estimates that the global super-rich elite had the best part of some $ 21 trillion dollars (or £ 13 trillion pounds) stashed away in secret tax havens by the end of 2010. The figure is equivalent to the size of the US and Japanese economies combined. Why do I somehow suspect that this interesting document will probably not be on George Osborne, David Cameron or David Gauke’s summer recess reading list.