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Is Dave Hartnett a buffoon?

Is Dave Hartnett a buffoon?

I am stunned by Super Dave's latest pronouncements. Are you?


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27th Jan 2012 10:28

I am quite sure that he will be more sure ...

... that he is right and everyone else is wrong. Perhaps he will stay on until he can get us to start thinking as he does?

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27th Jan 2012 10:48

You know what they say....

... about people in glass houses Adrian?

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27th Jan 2012 10:53

Right sentiment wrong target

I assume his view is that all cash payments are undeclared.

However I know a number of sole traders, one (not a client) said to me, not three days ago:

"I have one set of books for the revenue, and one for me - doesn't everbody?"

The troubling thing is that this individual knows he will get away with it, and he's probably correct.


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27th Jan 2012 11:05

Truth hurts?

I think there's an element of 'truth hurts' in the reaction to what was said. At the end of the day, undeclared income does reduce tax receipts and ultimately means that the rest of us will end up paying more tax.

Many people go along with this occasionally but when a tradesman quotes a 10% or 15% "discount for cash", we all know perfectly well it's not because he wants to save the bother of a trip to the bank to pay in a cheque!

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27th Jan 2012 11:47

Some of it is kidology though

.... we all know perfectly well it's not because he wants to save the bother of a trip to the bank to pay in a cheque! 

It isn't always the case that cash jobs are not declared ... but I guess there will be quite a few! Some traders will give a cash discount to get the job, and not have the risk of a cheque bouncing. They are hardly going to say they were asking for too much in the first place, or that they were worried the cheque would bounce!

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27th Jan 2012 11:49

Buffoon? No more than the rest of us

Overall, we probably get the economy, government and public servants we deserve.

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27th Jan 2012 12:15

He just does not understand te real world

Like his political masters he has no practical understanding of how most of this country live.

Tradesmen ask for cash because any other form of payment is not reliable, cheques bounce, cards cost money to use. Cash on the nail is the only sure way of getting paid.

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27th Jan 2012 12:21

Tax directors

A top tax director at a firm I used to work for commented at the dining table during a seminar I had the misfortune to attend that he had still to do his tax return and there were 1 or 2 payments for books and lectures that he was hoping to avoid declaring....

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27th Jan 2012 12:36


Give him a prick, and see if he goes pop.

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to lionofludesch
27th Jan 2012 13:05

Pop goes the weasel...

Roxanne Wralls wrote:

Give him a prick, and see if he goes pop.


Yeah there are enough [removed by mod] in HMRC or the cabinet to choose from...

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27th Jan 2012 14:03


I hate to break it to you but.... he's got a point!

Nobody wants cuts to their council services, and everybody thinks tax should be fair.  But as soon as people have something personal to gain, then suddenly it's ok!  That is the nature of people... and I'm as guilty as anybody else.  It's because people are naturally selfish.

If people did self-police cash payments, and the extra tax resulted in a drop in tax rates for everybody, I'd call that a win-win.  Of course, it's never going to happen....

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By Old Greying Accountant
28th Jan 2012 20:32

The biggest problem ...

... is that people perceive (probably rightly) that the more tax collected the more will be squandered.

When peoples personal fixed costs are rising but their fixed income is falling there will be a rise in the black economy, it's called making ends meet.

Part of it will also be the mentality of being fed up with being screwed for taxes and seeing people getting 10's of thousands on benefits, indexed link final salary pensions for public servants etc etc and they wil see it as "getting something back" for all they pay in, a sort of natural justice!

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28th Jan 2012 21:17

... and please don't get me started on the bankers

oops ... I got myself started on the bankers. They are rip-off merchants of the highest degree!

Go bust though greed, get taxpayers to bail you out, make taxpayers pay through the nose with high interest rates if they grovel enough to get a loan in the first place, then take massive bonuses, and then laugh all the way to the ... bank????

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to Visitor
29th Jan 2012 07:31

Are you really going to pigeon-hole all bankers into the category of greedy rip-off merchants? Could you perhaps explain at what point a remuneration package becomes "greedy" and not relative to the services performed? For example, if you run one of the biggest companies in the UK, wouldn't you expect that to command one of the highest salaries in the UK? Or perhaps you think salaries should be capped at an arbitrary figure?

When considering greedy rip-off merchants, you don't need to look any further than the accountancy profession. The Big 4 partners charge approximately £1,000/hour and command multi-million pound salaries which are hard to justify, especially since most of the work is performed by relatively lowly paid, overworked and under appreciated staff.

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29th Jan 2012 08:20


Pretty much ... yes! The highest salaries/bonuses are now ridiculous.

I don't think, and I never said, that bankers are alone in their greed.

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By cfield
29th Jan 2012 12:57

What about all your junkets Dave?

If you hadn't spent so much taxpayers money on your overseas jollies, perhaps there might be more left for our schools and hospitals. Maybe it's you who's diddling the nation, not the millions of self employed traders and their customers who are just trying to earn a living and keep their bills to a minimum.

Of course, you're not the only offender. Taxpayers money is also wasted on excessive allowances for MPs expenses, Ministry of Defence procurement cock[***]-ups,  misconceived IT projects, lavish expenditure on government buildings, senior council executives spending huge sums on credit cards for their personal entertainment, multi-national corporations dodging tax on a grand scale and then negotiating cosy settlements with HMRC, way over the top payments to government contractors, to name just a few.

Stop picking on the public Dave and focus on the real villains - the people you rub shoulders with day to day.

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11th Aug 2012 15:27

Clearly there are strong opinions on this

But is it any wonder that we have a cash economy when you look at how much tax gets paid on extra income earned? - My fag packet calculation suggests 78% tax overall on marginal income:

And before we get into detailed re-calculations, my numbers are meant to be accurate but illustrative of an example scenario.


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