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TSC backs Office of Tax Simplification appointments

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The Treasury select committee has backed the appointment of ex-MP Michael Jack and Chartered Institute of Taxation policy director John Whiting to the Office of Tax Simplification.

The Treasury appointed Jack as permanent chair and Whiting (pictured) as tax director of the OTS in September. The OTS was set up by the Government after the election to look at ways of simplifying the UK’s tax code.

Jack was Conservative MP for Fylde from 1987 to 2010. He was shadow Treasury financial secretary from 1995 to 1997 and sat on the tax law rewrite steering committee from 1997 to 2000.

Whiting worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a tax partner for 25 years. He was CIOT president in 2001 and in 2009 was appointed as CIOT’s first tax policy director. He was awarded an OBE for services to the tax profession in 2008.

The TSC cannot block appointments as it can with the head of the Office for Budget Responsibility, but it can raise concerns about the integrity or independence of candidates. The committee quizzed the pair in an evidence session last week. This morning, it published its report on the appointments.

The report says: “The committee recognises Mr Jack and Mr Whiting’s hard work and commitment to tax simplification and looks forward to seeing the fruits of this work in forthcoming budgets. We are satisfied Mr Jack and Mr Whiting have the professional competence and personal independence for their positions. We wish them every success in their roles.”

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