Today David Gauke, a Treasury minister, has said that paying tradesmen with cash is “morally wrong”. This comes only weeks after David Cameron accused Jimmy Carr of behaving in an “immoral” fashion by using a tax avoidance scheme.

Seven years ago we had an extension built and I distinctly remember my Dad withdrawing the maximum amount of money from cashpoints on consecutive days in order to get enough cash together for each instalment. My parents paid in cash because this is how the builder asked to be paid. If anyone is “morally wrong”, surely it is the builder, not my parents. It is true that my parents also saved money; builders charge less if they will be paid cash in hand.

However, as I said in my post about Jimmy Carr, I don’t think that avoiding tax is immoral. We’d all do it if we could. Critics have accused the Government of being “unnecessarily moralistic” and I have to say that I tend to agree with this assessment.

In these tough economic times, people will want to save money in any way they can, and who can blame them?



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