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This week's opinion

19 July 2016 / Andrew Hubbard
Issue: 4559 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

Good to work together.

Readers will want to join me in congratulating David Gauke on his promotion to chief secretary to the Treasury and his elevation to the Privy Council. This means that he will be no longer have ministerial responsibility for HMRC.

When I started to become involved in tax policy work I had a naïve ‘Yes minster’ view that officials made all the decisions and that ministers rubber-stamped them. I soon realised that this was wrong. Ministers take an active involvement in the process and often reject proposals or push them back to officials for further work. Frustrating as this can be for those of us who want quick decisions it is a reminder that it is politicians who are democratically accountable. I do not recall hearing a bad work about David Gauke from those who have worked with him and there is widespread admiration for the way he got...

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