Jesse Norman MP is calling for Dave "Jack" Hartnett (Permanent Secretary to The Treasury) to resign if the revelations about HMRC (specifically Hartnett) letting Goldman Sachs (the vampire squid of the finance world) off £10M of interest payments for a tax avoidance scheme that was found to be "illegal" are true.
Norman is particularly vexed with "Jack", because he cross examined Hartnett in a Treasury Committee hearing on the 12th September.
1. Hartnett strongly implied that he was not involved in the Goldman Sachs case.
2. Hartnett said, in terms, that he was not permitted, and had received
legal advice to that effect, to discuss this or similar matters with me
or other MPs.
All very nice, except that the reality (according to Private Eye and The Guardian) was a tad different:
1. HMRC charged Goldman Sachs £10M less than was
owing. It failed to charge interest or penalties on Goldman, which had
taken extreme measures to avoid paying the tax due in the first place
and then fought to avoid payment for years. Dave Hartnett personally
shook hands on the deal.
2. HMRC had received specific advice from James Eadie QC that it could discuss cases with House of Commons committees.
In earlier testimony, Hartnett told Norman that HMRC never charged less than the tax
owing--the Goldman Sachs shows this to be false.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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