I’m happy with that. Other’s aren’t:
I have to admit that I have form with Ed Troup, the executive chair of HMRC. As the Guardian has noted this morning, it was me who drew attention to his 1999 article in which he described tax as legalised extortion just before he appeared before Margaret Hodge at the Public Accounts Committee in 2013.
I said in 2013, and I repeat now, that if that is his opinion then he is not suited to the job he holds. That requires a person who believes that tax is rightfully owed, and not just for legal reasons but because the state has a proper claim on a part of a person’s income as a result of the role it plays in society from which the individual benefits in partnership with government. Without a person having that understanding I do not see how anyone can do the job Troup does in the way that society would want him to fulfil that task.
I’m overjoyed with having a taxman who sees tax as legalised extortion. On he grounds that acknowledging reality is a useful attribute in any of our servants.