On Saturday’s Money Box on Radio 4, I interviewed the new Chair of the Office of Tax Simplification, Angela Knight. It struck me how little any of us know about the great hinterland of tax rules which swamp our financial lives. Every new budget brings new wrinkles and rules, and when a Chancellor piles on radical measures such as pension freedoms and new inheritance tax allowances, the size of the problem balloons.
Given the number of pages in the tax handbook used by accountants has risen from 17 thousand to 22 thousand in the 5 years since the OTS was launched, I don’t have much confidence that it can act as a brake on the proliferation of taxes and allowances.
Especially since there are only 10 full-time staff and Ms Knight herself (a former Conservative minister and ex-boss of British Bankers Association) is paid to work just 24 days each year.