By Bill Heaney
Car wash owners need to come clean when it comes to their tax affairs.
MP Gary Sambrook told the Commons this week: “Non-compliant hand car washes seem like a cheap and quick way to have our cars washed but, unfortunately, behind this £1.8 billion industry is hidden money laundering, fraud, drug dealing, prostitution, labour abuse, modern-day slavery, tax avoidance and many other sinister crimes.
“An estimated half a billion pounds is lost in tax revenue. It is a pull factor for illegal migration and the pollutants often used damage the environment.
“Does the Prime Minister agree that it is time to step away from the voluntary scheme and have a mandatory scheme to protect people?
Rishi Sunak told him: “We expect all businesses to follow the law, including providing fair pay and working conditions for their employees.
“We are tackling exploitation in the labour market, especially by increasing funding for enforcement bodies to more than £35 million a year, and we will continue to keep the position of hand car washes under close review.”
The price of a car basic car wash in some West Dunbartonshire establishments recent went up from £4 to £6.