Ritchie pitches to Margaret Hodge for another job

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!

23 thoughts on “Ritchie pitches to Margaret Hodge for another job”

  1. Of course the correct people to do such a job would be the Oxford Centre for Business Taxation, who are capable of doing proper analysis… Not an economically illiterate accountant with a shaky grasp of accounting (let alone tax, law, philosophy etc).

  2. If such an appointment were made to Murphy, it would require him to sit on some sort of throne to accommodate his puffed up self-importance, his fat @rse and his swollen ego.

  3. I am (like one or two others) banned from commenting on his blog; any attempt at comment now disappears into the ether.
    Except of course this morning. Having read the piece, I commented, in a spirit of exasperation, “Why are you such a m**g?”.
    I hit “enter” and it was still there with “your comment is awaiting moderation” It has gone now, but doubtless I will get a reply in due course.

  4. What would a role like this do for his activism? Wouldn’t he be required to be impartial, restrain criticism of the government, HMRC?

    He’s never worked in the public sector, at least not recently. It will come as a surprise to him.

  5. If Murphy was part of such a body, I wonder how he’d react when it published its figures for the Tax Gap as they would, I am sure, bear an uncanny resemblence to HMRC’s current figures. My betting is he’d flounce off in a huff as he does whenever he doesn’t get his own way.

  6. @Jack C

    ‘SE beat me to it. Is Murphy mellowing?’

    No, I think he’s finally got it into his thick skull that being such an obvious bellend harms his cause.

    He’s still a bellend, because he’s a bellend, he’s just trying to disguise it a bit more.

    BTW re Lord High Tax Denouncer, he’s surely the Lord High Tax Avoidance Denouncer?

  7. Hmm, this idea is remarkably similar to one trailed on another blog. That other blog allows free thought if appropriately couched and positively welcomes contributions. Could it be that Murphy is feeling the heat of competition or is he just ripping off ideas now?

  8. Interested

    Absolutely – and apologies, on another thread,I forgot to give you the credit for beginning the speculation on Murphy’s imminent demise. I think you have got it spot on – he was a shoo-in for the Alan Walters role in a Miliballs government until a series of gaffes (anyone remember the instance with blogger Poppy Dinsey where he accused the BBC of sex discrimination because they wouldn’t recognize his ‘expertise’) and his general demeanour (basically being a byword for intolerance, vicarious offence and huffiness) have nixed that plan, as Labour have realized he would be ‘the gift that never stops giving’ in terms of PR howlers…

    However, I also agree with Ironman, the Maugham blog and his reaction (which was basically that of an 8 year old) continues to resonate, and despite his ‘fighting talk’ piece decrying those commenting here I think, mercifully , his inability to accept evidence of his own lack of knowledge (also evidenced in the piece on Maya Forstater) means his influence (mercifully) seems to be on the wane. As the economic recovery, however fragile, kicks in and his ideas are being examined, and, as outlined here and elsewhere, being found wanting in every aspect he may be consigned to the dustbin of history where he belongs…..

  9. @VP

    ‘Interested. Absolutely – and apologies, on another thread,I forgot to give you the credit for beginning the speculation on Murphy’s imminent demise.’

    That’s very kind of you VP, but I don’t know that I started it, I just suggested a sweepstake! I’d also run one on his divorce. No woman can live with a bloke with his ego for very long. They’ll put up with it for a while if they are physically attractive or utterly minted, but he’s neither (as far as I’m qualified to judge).

    The Mauham blog is revealing – mind you, it’s not as though anything needs revealing about him.

    He’s as easy to read as a seaside postcard.

    I bet pretty much every day he wakes up and thinks, What the blue fuck have I done, I wish I could start again, so near and yet so far, my mum told me I had a big gob etc etc.

    Then he has a cup of coffee, thinks Fuck it, there’s plenty of idiots out there still prepared to pay me to shill for them and cracks on.

  10. “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.”

    Translation: my wife is up for it too.

  11. At the risk of getting ripped apart on here….

    Let’s take it that the point of calculating the tax gap in the first place is that it’s one of those things that the HMRC can set as a target to reduce. Or at least, which can serve as a measure of how effective HMRC is being. Of course actually it’s all more complicated than that, there are different components of it, some of which even a supercharged HMRC could do sod all about (bust companies for instance) and other aspects which it could.

    Now, I’m going to tentatively suggest there is something reasonable in the idea that an organisation’s major performance measures, any key targets that it is meant to chase, should be generated and monitored at arm’s length rather than internally.

    What ken said is true, though in addition to the eminent academics I’d suggest there are some other experts who are hanging around who might need something to do – the chaps and chappettes who have been producing HMRC’s tax gap calculations to date. They at least have some expertise in the issue. I wouldn’t be averse to a newly hived-off and independent unit hiring in some folk who used to do the same job in other countries, either. I could stomach my tax money being spent on that, if I felt it had a reasonable chance of ensuring the overall tax burden shifting a little on to people who are better at dodging than I am.

  12. MyBurningEars

    You’re on the wrong blog if you’re looking to get ripped apart, at least by the blog author – if you’re looking for that kind of experience I’d recommend you Google ‘Tax Research UK’ where the author will be alternately rude, condescending, arrogant and insulting to anyone with the temerity to point out his errors or offer an alternative viewpoint, often all in the same thread.

    I think your idea has much to commend it – the difference between it and Murphy’s proposal is that I doubt you would expect to be on the arm’s length committee or heading it up, and my guess is you would not dismiss anyone who disagreed with your viewpoint as either a ‘NeoLiberal’, incompetent or in the pay of big corporations – that’s why your contribution might get a more sympathetic reception…..

  13. Saw an argument on facebook recently, someone wanted companies to pay whats morally right. They didn’t like it when I suggested the company she worked for could start by paying half the monthly pay of its staff to the government as a moral payment, taken from the staff wages. Suddenly that would be stealing and no staff would stand for it. Yet she wants companies to do the same with other people’s money….
    I swear some people have no clue about money.

  14. Interested,

    > BTW re Lord High Tax Denouncer, he’s surely the Lord High Tax Avoidance Denouncer?

    No, SE had it right, since he denounces firms regardless of whether they have in fact avoided any tax.

  15. Any such group would be captured by the Far Left nanoseconds after it was created, and would just be used as a vehicle for agitprop about imaginary huge tax evasion.

  16. Van Patten

    “means his influence (mercifully) seems to be on the wane.”

    You may be right, but I think you are being optimistic. Or maybe optimism is the wrong word if, like me, a small part of your daily enjoyment is to see what [email protected] Murphy has had the audacity to publish.

    You see, Murphy and his camp followers are the stool examiners of this world. Nothing pleases them more than examining their own and other’s affairs (and in particular rectal leavings) in minute detail and probably they ensure their WCs have that shelf in them for precisely that purpose.

  17. I think his idea of it commissioning work from “a variety of sources” is just realism – even he suspects that he might not be the first person they would go to.

    A rare flash of modesty.

  18. he denounces firms regardless of whether they have in fact avoided any tax.

    Remember the term was conceived with a view of Murphy, in a clown suit and whiteface, rather than a kimono, singing “I have a little list”.

    With Arnald and the rest of his toadies chorusing in with “He’s got ’em on the list — he’s got ’em on the list;”

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