I have no doubt the new people all have merits: nothing I say suggests otherwise. But we now have a group of HMRC non-execs who inlcude:
- one ex KPMG trax partner
- one ex PWC tax partner
- one person ex Tesco
- one person ex Morrisons
- one ex NPower
and (the only woman):
- one ex ITV.
Amongst the three new advisers to the Board appointed (oddly, mainly women) we have:
- one ex KPMG partner
- one who was a key adviser to Tesco
- one ex Ford
- one ex the Met Police
Now as I say, these may all be fine people, but that's not my point. It is ludicrous that no one has come up through HMRC of any other civil service strand to this position. No wonder morale in HMRC is so low.
And it is ludicrous that we have one third of the non-exec board ex big 4 firms with another third from big UK retailers with almost all the rest from big business.
If you want to know why HMRC has failed, as the Public Accounts Committee has said, to come to terms with the tax gap and taxing big corporates I think this is where you start to look for an explanation.
When our tax authority has a board representing those who think avoiding tax is a corporate responsibility we are in trouble, and that is the prevailing sentiment in big business.