Maths – not the Treasury’s strong point

TS WAS slightly concerned about Exchequer secretary to the Treasury David Gauke’s failure to do sums on non-doms, as exclusively revealed on this website in a shameless piece of self promotion.

However, it is not always easy to get your sums right on estimated figures, especially not when it is on a subject as politically sensitive as non-doms. It is not as though he failed on basic addition, right?

Well, it looks as though the Treasury is suffering from the so-called declining standards in GCSE maths.

TS noticed that the Treasury’s consultations on research & development credits states the relief will help “more than 6,000 businesses”, according to Gauke’s foreword on page 3 of the consultation document. That is impressive. But, we hear you say, it would be helpful if they broke this down to small business and big business. Which the Treasury does do, on page 18.

“Around 6,500 SME companies claim R&D tax relief each year… the large company scheme benefits around 2,200 companies each year.”

Which comes to around, er, 8,700.

But, in fairness, Gauke was right – 8,700 is a lot more than 6,000. TS will give Gauke the benefit of the doubt that he is a rare humble minister, who excels in understatement.

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