Whenever there's a change of government, there is a long lead time during which the new government blames problems on its legacy from the previous one.
But the coalition seems to be extending this from the improbable into the realms of the absurd.
Speaking after the government launched a crackdown on off-payroll salaries, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander admitted that they had identified more than 2,400 cases of government staff being employed indirectly, in many cases avoiding taxation at the full rate.
The channelling of pay through private companies allows senior government employees to pay corporation tax on their incomes rather than income tax of up to 50 per cent.
"It's been going on for years. It was going on under the previous government - and it needs to stop right now," he said.
Well that's stretching it just a bit, Mr Alexander.
Certainly it's been going on for years - in some cases for a decade, but to represent this government by implication as a new broom determined to stop a sloppy Labour omission is to really misrepresent things.
Look further into Mr Alexander's statements and you will note that some 40 per cent of these cases go back two years or more.
And that means that around 60 per cent don't. Which means, Mr Alexander, that in the brief period of two years that this Tory-Lib Dem government has been in office, the use of this practice has accelerated furiously and, in fact, has more than doubled.
It's not acceptable whoever is in power, but come on Mr Alexander, let's admit that this, like other dodgy business practices, has grown under this government and the only reason it's being tackled is that it's been rumbled.
The review was commissioned after it was revealed that Ed Lester, the head of the Student Loans Company, had been paid via a company without tax being deducted, saving him tens of thousands of pounds.
The deal had been sanctioned by both the Department of Business and the Treasury.
Mr Lester was paid through a private firm he had established rather than being paid direct - a tax avoidance mechanism which could reduce his income tax liability by £40,000 a year
Documents showed that the deal was agreed by Universities Minister David Willetts, who said in a letter that it had been "agreed by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury" Danny Alexander.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury is required to approve senior Civil Service appointments where the salary exceeds £142,500.
Terms and conditions are negotiated by the appointing department, and presented to the Chief Secretary for approval of the salary level.
Mr Alexander insisted at the time he did not know that the arrangement allowed Mr Lester to avoid tax.
Well, he damn well should have. Why did he think Mr Lester was doing it? For fun?
It's clear that these funny arrangements didn't apply to rank-and-file civil servants, just the fat cats at the top, and not all of them.
They were just one more way in which the feather-bedded elite lined their own nests and their government cronies facilitated it.