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Tyrie presses Hammond on OTS

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The chair of the Commons Treasury Committee, Andrew Tyrie, is pressing the new chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, to support a Finance Bill amendment giving the committee the right of veto over the appointment of senior figures to the Office of Tax Simplification.

Following the publication in February of the Treasury Committee’s report on ‘scrutiny of appointments’, the then chancellor, George Osborne, gave a binding commitment that parliament, and the Treasury Committee in particular, would be asked to approve the appointment of any chief executive to the FCA. However, Osborne rejected the committee’s recommendation for a veto over the appointment and dismissal of the chair and tax director of the OTS. The government’s response to the committee’s report said that the arrangements agreed in relation the chief executive of the FCA would not be ‘proportionate’ to the role of the OTS.

Tyrie has written to the chancellor, welcoming the government’s decision to put the OTS on a statutory footing. He insists, however, that: ‘To be successful, the OTS must be in a position to provide you with robust, dispassionate and high quality advice. That advice can only be improved if those charged with providing it are independent, and seen to be so.’

The committee is proposing a report stage amendment to the Finance Bill, which would give statutory effect to the its recommendation for a veto over OTS appointments. ‘I urge the government to accept it, or to propose an alternative arrangement,’ writes Tyrie. ‘An improved arrangement, that bolsters the independence of the OTS’s senior leadership, and entrenches their accountability to parliament, is needed.’


Issue: 1320
Categories: News