Today the website graduatefog reports that David Gauke has been reported to HM Revenue and Customs for being in breach of the minimum wage legislation for offering an unpaid ” training post” in his constituency. As readers of this blog know this is not the first time he has had advertised for a six month unpaid vacancy. So perhaps HMRC should take other recent appointments into consideration.+
Since this blog appeared Mr Gauke has attacked as ” morally repugnant” people who pay cash to builders, cleaners etc. if they beleive it is part of tax avoidance. But presumably this does not arise for his interns – as they work for free anyway.
After a Budget that gave tax cuts for the rich and pay freezes and job losses for the poor, step forward, David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, forced to answer questions on the pasty tax U turn today. He is the man who will oversee the tax cuts in the new finance bill and has overall responsibility for HM Revenue.and Customs. He is also in charge of policing the minimum wage when unscrupulous employers avoid paying staff ( you couldn’t make this up)
His big contribution to help Britain moving is to offer one new personal job at his constituency office in Rickmansworth, Herts. There is only one problem. You need to either have rich parents ( who will give you an allowance) or a lot of inherited wealth. There is no pay and you must be Tory inclined( and obviously believe working for free is a good Tory policy)
The advert is here. http://bit.ly/AlHBho
As a minimum condition you must work for him for nothing for six months if not a year or more and you better have at your own expense, learnt advance computer skills ( doesn’t sound that Mr Gauke is computer savvy).
As it says: “Duties will include administration, basic correspondence, diary management, fundraising, campaigning and related tasks. The intern will also have the opportunity to work one day a week in the Westminster office.”
Now I understand as his constituent that Mr Gauke is very hard up. He only has an income of just over £100,000 a year – with his £98,750 salary and he claims from the taxpayer a London living allowance of £3379.15 a year ( desperate problem for MPs having to pay for higher London prices except for the taxpayer paid subsidised food in Parliament)
Funnily enough his expenses paid by the taypayer for the last financial year come to almost the same £98,680.93 as his salary including some £78,000 on staff ( presumably in Westminster rather than Rickmansworth), another £9000+ on accommodation and £10,000+ on administration. So the poor man only has £200,000 going through his accounts.
Then there are his two homes to maintain by Tory standards well below any mansion tax level. But poor man,since this terrible crackdown on Mps expenses he has had to lose such a lot. He did grab £15,000 a year in mortgage interest payments ,a quarterly £687 maintenance charge and car parking fees- all paid from the taxpayer on his Westminster Bridge Road apartment in London which he paid £285,000 in 2007. Mind you he has had a £30,000 rise in his income since the coalition came to power.
Incidently none of this latest expenses information is on his personal website – which on this issue doesn’t appear to have been updated since 2009. No doubt this will be done free of charge by his new employee.
What one might have expected from a government with one million young people on the dole – is that Mr Gauke might have just gone down to the Watford or Hemel Hempstead dole office- and given a leg up to some Tory inclined youngster on the dole. Or he might like many other Mps in his party just decide to pay a minimum wage to one of the newly unemployed graduates. But obviously paying £6 an hour would send him and his wife to the bankruptcy courts. For Mr Gauke, it is not Greed is Good but Exploitation is Excellent.
Perhaps as a resident of Berkhamsted in his constituency we should launch an appeal for the cash stricken Treasury minister or send food parcels to his new recruit so he can at least survive on an egg sandwich.
Internaware who campaign at @internaware against exploiting interns are not impressed. Gus Baker said: “Revenue and Customs have set up a hit squad to enforce the minimum wage for interns and yet the minister in charge is refusing to pay the people in his own office.
“David Gauke… is also putting an opportunity out of the reach of the vast majority of young people who can’t afford to work for free.
“At a time of high youth unemployment when young people desperately need to demonstrate experience on their CVs, this is completely irresponsible.”
Mr Gauke is very comfortable with this. He told BBC News which followed this up : “It’s advertising for a post for volunteers. Lots of people want to do it. It’s good experience.
“It involves visiting my local Conservative Association, getting some experience of Westminster.
“I think that’s perfectly reasonable and those that have had the experience of working there have enjoyed it and found it very good experience.”
Anyway for those who want to tell him what they think his e-mail at Parliament is firstname.lastname@example.org and the constituency office address for food parcels is Scotsbridge House
Scots Hill, Croxley Green,Rickmansworth Hertfordshire WD3 3BB.