You would think a Member of Parliament, faithfully supported by more than 19,000 constituents in Coventry South, would know his stuff about VAT.
However, after this amusing written question and answer exchange with the Treasury on Thursday, we're guessing Jim Cunningham MP might have been left a little red-faced:
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the rise in VAT in January 2012 on small businesses.
Mr Gauke: There was no increase in VAT in January 2012.
Poring over hours of live coverage and the Hansard records every week here at IFAonline, we rarely get excited by the goings on in Westminster. However, every once in a while an exchange will come up that shows our elected representatives are human after all.
Here are five more, starting off with one from September, when David Cameron said exactly what he was thinking to an SNP MP:
Mr Angus Brendan MacNeil: A poll last week showed that 68% of Scots want oil revenues devolved to Scotland. Does the Prime Minister agree with 68% of Scots or not?
The Prime Minister: If you ask a stupid question, you get a stupid answer. The fact is the whole of the UK rightly has invested in the North sea, and the whole of the UK should benefit from the North sea.
The Prime Minister also caused offence and amusement, depending on tribal loyalties, with a barb for Labour MP Dennis Skinner earlier this year:
Mr Dennis Skinner: Does he not agree that the British people deserve an answer to the question of why he appointed one of Murdoch's top lieutenants, Andy Coulson, to the heart of the British Government?
The Prime Minister: It is good to see the hon. Gentleman on such good form. I often say to my children, "There is no need to go to the National History museum to see a dinosaur; come to the House of Commons at about half past twelve."
Away from the high issues of the land, it seems some MPs have resorted to written questions, on average costing the taxpayer £154 a pop, to get to the bottom of issues which probably should have been diverted to the IT department:
Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission for what reasons the Parliamentary intranet was not available on 26 April.
Nick Harvey: There were no reported problems with the availability of the intranet service on 26 April 2009.
Amess, an MP since 1983, has attracted attention for the wrong reasons for his written questions on a number of occasions, perhaps most notably when, in 1996, he fell for a Brass Eye prank about the fictional drug 'cake':
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action the Government propose in respect of the import of (a) khat, (b) gammahydroxybutyrate and (c) "cake" to the United Kingdom.
Mr. Sackville:We are not aware of any reports of misuse in the United Kingdom of the substance known as "cake".
Among the more surreal exchanges was one involving the use of public funds in Burlesque clubs:
Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what date the decision was taken by his Department to authorise public expenditure on an away day at the Brickhouse burlesque club.
Robert Neill: While I am informed the Brickhouse often features such figures as 'burlesque chanteuse Lady Beau Peep' and 'showgirl sensation Amber Topaz', the event in this instance did not involve civil servants watching, or indeed, performing cabaret or other eclectic entertainment.
Who made the cut?
Transferring out of DB scheme
It shocks you