I was amused by David Gauke's entry in the Accountancy Age financial power list for 2013, in which I also appear. They said of him:
It's astonishing given what has happened on tax that Gauke has remained below the radar. Now that David Cameron says that the department for which he's responsible, which is H M Revenue & Customs, has got it all wrong, it's time he faced the music.
After all, this is the man who has refused to acknowledge the importance of the tax gap, or its true scale, and this is the man who likes to talk about people paying cash to the plumber rather than face up to the organised criminal reality of what happens in tax havens and this is the man who makes speeches to the FTSE 100 group undermining the importance of paying corporation tax and praising PWC's total tax contribution charade of an accounting system that is designed to confuse and distort tax debate by delivering spin that favours big companies rather than support country-by-country reporting which would disclose just who is and is not really paying tax in this country.
If there's a man who personifies the failure, in the words of the Public Accounts Committee, of the UK government to get a grip on large corporations which generate significant income in the UK but pay little or no tax then it is David Gauke. No wonder under his leadership HMRC has failed "to challenge practices to prevent the abuse of transfer pricing, royalty payments, intellectual property pricing and interest payments".
I really do hope 2013 is the year when his teflon coating fails.