Greening emerged as the shining star on the Treasury front bench
when the department’s ministerial team faced its first Commons questions
The former PwC accountant and MP for Putney gave a combative and spirited
performance outperforming even chancellor George Osborne, who performed
confidently but failed to shine.
Hoban, a former accountant with PwC, was absent from the team when
it faced its first grilling from MPs.
Exchequer secretary David Gauke, a former member of City solicitors
MacFarlanes, was cautious and halting while new chief secretary Danny Alexander,
rapidly promoted to replace David Laws who quit in a row over his expenses, was
clearly anxious but competently hammered home his message: that cuts are his and
the government’s top priority.
Most of the exchanges concerned macro-economic issues, but at one point Gauke
underlined the government’s commitment to preventing avoidance through
deterrence and a robust legislative framework, denying claims £120bn a year is
being lost in tax due but unpaid – HMRC put the figure at £40bn.
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