Heather Self, a partner in Grant Thornton in the UK has probably come out with the quote of the day at Oxford (so far). She said:
Tax is just cash. I can't see nay link between that and things like hospitals or those sorts of things that people like to claim.
Even in this audience that went down like a lead balloon.
I was the first respondent, to no one's surprise. Dave Hartnett was next. I'm not sure which if us was more angry.
It was amusing to hear Loughlin Hickey try to dig the profession in which Heather had dumped it. And to be candid he didn't do badly. He actually made the point that tax shouldn't wag the tail anymore, but it has, and it's the professions job to realise that.
It's odd to find myself agreeing with him. Mind you, he didn't explain as a consequence why KPMG is still in more than 30 tax havens but not the Isle of Wight.