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As drug dealers sell their goods for dirty twenty pound notes in dark alleyways across the country and laugh their socks off at the latest outburst of nonsense from Westminster, I am now convinced that our politicians have completely lost touch with reality.
It was obvious before that: any Cabinet that agrees to reform the National Health Service because Andrew Lansley had spoken to a few doctors and thought it was in the best interests of the patients (who cares it was not mentioned in the election manifesto or the Coalition agreement) clearly would be better employed running the security arrangements for the Olympic Games.
So now David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary, has decided that it is ‘morally wrong’ to pay cash to plumbers and cleaners. The members of the Cabinet, who spend much of their time managing their off-shore (completely legitimate) trust funds to defer, delay, avoid (please fill in as you wish) income tax and any other tax come to that matter, must be relieved the spotlight is off them. That is, of course, when they are not claiming cash payments back on their expenses.
The reality is that HM Revenue & Customs prays almost exclusively on Britain’s middle and lower classes; many are salaried and will be taxed to high heaven. If you take a pencil home from work it will be taxed as a benefit in kind. The hard pressed self employed will receive visit after visit from VAT inspectors and their like. If you are one day later with one of the many statutory returns you are required to make you will be fined.
The upper class, on the other hand, are so rich it does not matter to them. Their lawyers and accountants deal with all the trivial matters of life.
However, for millions of people their cash based existence is the only way they can find their way through this recession. Cash and bartering are symptoms of recession.
The arrogance of politicians to think that they can make moral judgement on those they are letting down through their inept handling of the recessional economy is beyond belief.
It therefore hurts me to suggest a solution to the lost revenues because of cash trading. The answer is to put VAT up to 25%.
All drug dealer have to buy petrol or diesel for their black BMWs. They have to pay the VAT on their fuel. The argument extends across the consumer spending spectrum.
Those on benefits will need extra help because of the increase to the consumer price index inflation.
It’s a solution which I don’t like, but at least it is a solution.
The author is Tony Drury and he tweets @tonydrury39.
- Freedom in the City on 22nd May with JP Floru on May 22, 2013 12:30 pm
- The Freedom Association’s Magna Carta Pimms and Politics Cruise on June 15, 2013 12:30 pm
- Conservative Renewal Conference on September 14, 2013
- The Freedom Zone on September 30, 2013
- The Freedom Zone on October 1, 2013
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