KPMG are one of the Big 4 firms of accountants. As such they have a lot to answer for. They've been guilty of tax crimes in the US. They audited the failed HBOS here, and gave it a clean bill of health. They've sold tax abuse. This year in the Channel Islands they argued against tax transparency. The list goes on, and on.
But now a former KPMG senior partner heads HMRC.
And another heads the new Financial Conduct Authority.
Both moved to these jobs without periods of contrition for past acts: they went because they were KPMG partners.
The reality is that this is putting the foxes in charge of the chicken coop. Worse, it's the clearest sign of the degradation of regulation, taxation and the concept of civil service in this country when the entirely reasonable suspicion must exist that these bodies are now being run by and for the benefit of those that they are now meant to regulate. It is simply not possible to turn from poacher to gamekeeper in the time allowed for these two appointees. And the fact that they want because of KPMG service proves it.
We will not restore faith in public service, regulation or tax in this country with KPMG in charge. It is not possible. They are the problem,. not the solution.
Both appointees need to go now.
But more importantly, radical rethinks of what regulation, civil service and governance means must take place.