Sauce for Goose and Gander

The great chocolate teacake tax case. The latest round rests upon this:

But because this clause was applied differently to traders owing the Treasury money than to people owed money – contrary to EU rules on equal treatment – it could not be invoked in the case of M&S.

Now that, I submit, is an interesting little law. If we fuck up in payments to the taxman then we can be punished: it would appear that if the taxman now fucks up, they should be punished.

4 thoughts on “Sauce for Goose and Gander”

  1. Punished how? The officials responsible being sacked? Losing their gold-plated pensions if they are already retired? Having to return their CBEs?

    No, if HMRC are punished, it will be by more of my money (I am assuming you are extorted via the Portuguese MoF) being creamed off and sent to Brussels as a ‘fine’.

  2. At the risk of seeming to defend those that don’t deserve it, I can’t share the outrage on M&S’s behalf. It’s not clear what they did lose as a result of this mistake – not the £3.5m they were charged, that’s for sure. I guess it’s the margin on the lost sales they made because the price was 17.5% higher than it should have been – which is a lot less than the amount paid in tax (unless there are knock-on effects, as outraged shoppers took all of their custom elsewhere and didn’t buy M&S sandwiches either).

    So really M&S should reduce the price of tea cakes, below cost, for an equivalent period to compensate the people who really suffered from the incidence of the tax.

    Oh, I don’t care anyway. Chocolate-coated marshmallows on a biscuit base? Sounds truly horrible. And all the money’s probably gone to lawyers.

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