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This week's opinion: 11 July 2024

08 July 2024 / Andrew Hubbard
Issue: 4944 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
Rachel Reeves’ historic appointment

I hope that readers will not regard it as a breach of Taxation’s political impartiality if I congratulate Rachel Reeves on becoming the first female chancellor of the exchequer. It is a sobering thought that when she was born independent taxation for married women was still over a decade away. We have had female ministers with responsibility for the Inland Revenue/HMRC – some readers will recall Dawn Primarolo’s 2004 statement on retrospective taxation – but having a female chancellor with overall responsibility for the nation’s finances is clearly another landmark, many would say long overdue, in the role of women in public life. If you haven’t read Helen Thornley’s article on the role of the Women’s Tax Resistance League (Taxation, 5 March 2020), discussing some early development in the struggle, now might well be a good time to catch up with a fascinating aspect of tax history (

There will be plenty of opportunities in the coming weeks for our contributors to share their thoughts on the tax policies of the incoming government, and Reeves’ first Budget – which we expect in the autumn – will be awaited with the anticipation that always marks an incoming party’s first fiscal event. All I want to say at this stage is that I hope that whatever policies are introduced, proper consideration is given to how they will work in practice. You don’t need me to tell you that we have been plagued by too many changes which might have seemed a ‘good idea at the time’ but which proved, when put into effect, to be unworkable.

In the meantime, congratulations again to Rachel Reeves on her historic appointment.

If you do one thing…

If you use the HMRC Debt Management and Banking Manual consider giving feedback on the proposal to archive the content (

Issue: 4944 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
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