Andrew Tyrie demands bolstered Office of Tax Simplification

Andrew Tyrie

Treasury Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie has written to Chancellor George Osborne calling for a stronger, independent remit for the Office of Tax Simplification.

The OTS was launched by Osborne in 2010 to identify areas of complexity in tax for the Chancellor to consider in his Budget, and the Conservatives pledged to establish the Quango on a permanent basis in their manifesto.

However, writing yesterday, Tyrie calls on Osborne to remove the OTS from its current place in the Treasury to protect its independence. He says the Government must establish a clear core function for the OTS, more directly linking its goals to economic performance.

Tyrie further says the OTS’ leadership should be expanded to include a small board, with a reporting line direct to Parliament and control of its own budget.

The Treasury Committee chairman says the body’s leadership, currently former MP and financial secretary to the Treasury Michael Jack and Chartered Institute of Taxation tax policy director John Whiting, should also be called to report to Parliament on an annual basis.

Tyrie says: “In a nutshell, the OTS needs demonstrable independence, a strong voice with the expectation of more visible leadership, and the ability to develop its work over a longer time period.”