The Minister of the Bleeding Obvious states the bleeding obvious in this story from The Telegraph.
Treasury minister David Gauke informs us that it is “morally wrong” to pay tradesmen (plumbers, builders, electricians etc.) with cash in hand, as this makes it easier for them to evade VAT or income tax. Aside from the fact that every cabinet member from Cameron on downwards needs to quit the moral preaching (why can’t you just say “illegal” or “wrong”?), his basic point is right. Until he goes on to say: “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”.
Seriously, Mr. Gauke? You expect us to believe that the black economy makes our taxes higher? You would tax us just as much as you already do even if you could get your hands on this missing slice of revenue – you would just find new ways to fritter it away on pointless, undeserving goals and beneficiaries. So let’s not pretend that the cash-in-hand job that your local plumber does on the sly is the one thing standing between us and an actual competitive tax code.
You must think we’re all really dumb.