You should read this with the sound of Yosser at the back of your mind:
And in that spirit, and having looked at the fiasco that is this year’s Tax Gap report from HMRC, isn’t it obvious that we really do need an Office for Tax Responsibility in the UK?
The first thing I would say is that if we were to have such an Office it would have to be independent of the Treasury. An endowment fund sufficient to let it operate for ten years would allow for this.
A Board, made up of senior civil servants, but not connected to the Treasury, and a single representative from each party in the Commons with more than 30 seats might ensure sound governance.
The Office should report to the PAC. That is where the accountability should lie, I think, well away from the Treasury.
The primary task would be to monitor the tax gap. Ex-HMRC staff could be engaged on this, but no revolving door would be allowed.
Others might also be engaged. These could include private sector specialists and academics. But again, a revolving door straight back into large companies may not be allowed.
And the budget must allow for research to be commissioned on this issue from a variety of sources: one viewpoint would clearly not be enough.
G’arn Mags, Gissae Job!