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Taking Stock: How about VAT?

WHILE WE AT TS DON’T LIKE TO BOAST, it’s fair to say we get invited to a lot of parties (could it be something to do with our irrepressible charm and wit? – Ed).

Very few of those parties, though, celebrate a tax – as last night’s soirée at Deloitte’s Fetter Lane office did.

At 40 years old, VAT was the toast of the night, with the great and good of the tax world all raising a glass before guest speaker Exchequer secretary David Gauke delivered a speech gently poking fun at the “least worst” of the levies.

Delivering such a tribute was the “second-hardest” thing he’d had to do in his ministerial career, Gauke noted, trailing some way behind passing the roundly-hated pasty tax through parliament.

It is “time a politician said something sensible about tax”, he quipped.

Deloitte head of tax Andrew Hodge used his own speech to run through the various VAT-related e-petitions sat on the government’s website. He noted wryly that there was a petition to scrap VAT on fruit and veg…

But the highlight of the night as far as TS was concerned, though, was the goody bag provided.

TS loves a party bag, but more than that, TS loves zero-rated snacks, so it was to our delight we discovered a tube of Pringles, two – yes two! – packs of Jaffa Cakes and, to wash it all down, a bottle of Lucozade. No stress-relieving squeezy calculator in this party bag, thankfully.

TS is still coming down from its sugar-high, with the realisation dawning on us that stamp duty isn’t as fun.

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