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David Gauke, the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, is a former solicitor at a City tax avoidance law firm. He has been criticised for claiming expenses to cover stamp duty on a second home and for offering unpaid jobs at his constituency office.

Gauke was elected as an MP in 2005 for Hertfordshire South west.

He has been at the centre of several minor controversies since then.

In 2013, Gauke was reported to his own department, HM Revenue and Customs, after advertising an unpaid six-month “training” post at his constituency office. At the time HMRC had launched a crackdown on employers not paying the minimum wage.

Gauke had already been criticised for advertising the same unpaid post in 2012, on that occasion calling the position a voluntary internship.

No action was taken against Gauke.

In 2006, Gauke claimed over £10,000 in expenses to cover stamp duty on a second home in London to allow him to carry out his duties as an MP. However, his own home was less than an hour’s travelling time from Westminster.

Before becoming an MP, Gauke worked for Macfarlanes, a City law firm which helps clients create “tax efficient” systems. Gauke’s wife is also a solicitor specialising in corporate tax law.

As a Treasury minister, Gauke famously said it was “morally wrong” for householders to pay tradesman cash-in-hand because it allowed working people to avoid paying tax.

He argued that “ . . . if people do that they have to do so with the recognition that means taxes will be higher for the rest."

Comments  

+1 #7 tintack 2017-06-26 12:28
Quoting caiti:
Do you think they may take on board the reasons why so many people voted for Labour ? It's obvious austerity went too far so if David Gauke is in a position to acknowledge problems within the Benefits system and has the power to actually do something about those problems his appointment might be a beneficial thing.


As far as Gauke specifically is concerned, I have no confidence in him whatsoever. He's one of the many Tory believers in austerity so there is no reason to think that he will do anything to address the huge problems in the benefits system. He could if he really wanted to, but for years now the Tories have been told time and time again (by claimants, charities, the BMA, the CAB, etc.) about the massive scale of the suffering the current system is imposing on sick and disabled people, and their response, to the extent there is one at all, is a shrug of indifference. Even thousands of people dying within weeks of having their benefit stopped because they were declared "fit for work" doesn't seem to trouble them.
+1 #6 tintack 2017-06-26 12:20
Quoting caiti:
Do you think they may take on board the reasons why so many people voted for Labour ? It's obvious austerity went too far so if David Gauke is in a position to acknowledge problems within the Benefits system and has the power to actually do something about those problems his appointment might be a beneficial thing.


You have to remember that for many Tories austerity was not a painful but necessary evil. It represents the shrinking of the size of the state - by means of eye-watering cuts - that they'd always wanted to go for but never dared to try until the financial crash gave them the perfect excuse (dressed up as "balancing the books", "living within our means", etc.).

This is also the main motivation of the Tory Brexiteers. Many who voted for Brexit did so in the hope that it would secure a refuge from the ravages of globalisation, but the ideological wet dream of the Tory Brexiteers is to turn us into an offshore corporate haven , which means exposing us even more to globalisation, gutting our tax base, and slashing public spending on a gigantic scale - the welfare state wouldn't survive, nor would our public services, not least the NHS. Naturally they kept quiet about all this when they were urging the public to "take back control".

In response to the recent election they may well throw a few more crumbs from the table and claim it's the end of austerity, but I'm not sure how many that will fool. They can't stray too far from austerity having assured us how necessary it was. To really end austerity you need to junk the economic model of the last 40 years, which said that massive tax cuts for the richest would cause wealth to trickle down and make us all better off. It's now abundantly clear that all that does is result in a huge concentration of wealth at the very top while everyone else is left to fight for fewer and fewer crumbs as inequality becomes ever more obscene..
#5 caiti 2017-06-23 12:17
Do you think they may take on board the reasons why so many people voted for Labour ? It's obvious austerity went too far so if David Gauke is in a position to acknowledge problems within the Benefits system and has the power to actually do something about those problems his appointment might be a beneficial thing.
+2 #4 tintack 2017-06-22 13:41
Quoting J330MSD:
Be thankfull Labour are not in, then the real trouble begins.


Indeed. Thankfully, under the Tories we only have an NHS on its knees, seriously ill people hounded into destitution and early graves by the use of bogus assessments, an explosion of in-work poverty and the number of people relying on food banks, an economy increasingly based on low wage, insecure jobs and propped up by unsustainable levels of household debt, and a minority government trying to shore up its position by doing a deal with a bunch of religious fundamentalists . No "real trouble" at all then.
-6 #3 J330MSD 2017-06-20 11:35
Quoting mrfibrospondodysthmatic:
Oh well here we go for another 5 years of miserly lined up for us all again with this shambolic conservative goverment. Only this time with a bent new secretary of state for work and pensions,

Lets hope labour can block some legislations in the commons, which may go in our, well just, and deserved favour.

But dont hold your breath lol

Be thankfull Labour are not in, then the real trouble begins.
+4 #2 tintack 2017-06-16 02:05
Quoting mrfibrospondodysthmatic:
Oh well here we go for another 5 years of miserly lined up for us all again with this shambolic conservative goverment. Only this time with a bent new secretary of state for work and pensions,

Lets hope labour can block some legislations in the commons, which may go in our, well just, and deserved favour.

But dont hold your breath lol


In a hung parliament it's almost impossible for a government to get anything controversial through, which should hopefully mean that things don't get any worse even if they don't get any better. I can't see this parliament lasting anywhere near the full 5 years either. Mrs. Strong and Stable's position looks far too weak for that.
+3 #1 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2017-06-15 21:34
Oh well here we go for another 5 years of miserly lined up for us all again with this shambolic conservative goverment. Only this time with a bent new secretary of state for work and pensions,

Lets hope labour can block some legislations in the commons, which may go in our, well just, and deserved favour.

But dont hold your breath lol

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