A note to all those going for meetings with ‘red’ Dawn Primarolo: don’t bother making witty cracks about the efficient, or otherwise, operation of the tax credits system.
Discussing measures to clamp down on the multi-billion pound ‘missing trader intra-community’ VAT fraud in the finance bill committee debate, the paymaster general explained that the system was susceptible to fraud partly because ‘the tax administration is so fantastically efficient at repaying VAT promptly’.
Tory wag David Gauke quickly piped up: ‘If the problem is the over-efficient and rapid repayment of VAT, has the paymaster general considered giving it to the tax credits team?’
‘Oh dear,’ snapped Primarolo, ‘I thought we were having a grown-up discussion. I am not going to answer the honourable gentleman’s questions if he is going to be so unpleasant.’
A bit of a sense of humour failure there, TS feels.
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