TOM SCHOLAR, the PM’s adviser on European and global issues and former IMF executive director, has been appointed as permanent secretary to the HM Treasury.
He will take over from civil-service veteran Sir Nicholas Macpherson, who earlier this year announced that he will be ending his ten-year reign at the government department in March.
Scholar also serves as a sherpa for the EU, G7 and G20, as well as being the head of the European and Global Issues Secretariat.
He joined the Treasury in 1992 and has gone on to hold a number of roles, covering economic forecasting, general expenditure policy, foreign exchange reserves and banking supervision.
In 1998 he was appointed principal private secretary to chancellor of the exchequer Gordon Brown until 2001, where he became the UK’s executive director at the IMF.
Chancellor George Osborne has welcomed the appointment, commenting: “Tom is an outstanding civil servant, with experience of advising on some of the biggest challenges facing the country in recent years.
“I look forward to working with him to deliver the government’s long-term economic plan, in the face of an increasingly turbulent global economy.”
Commenting on his new role, Scholar said: “I am deeply honoured to have been appointed to this role and thrilled to return to the Treasury.
“It is a strong department with exceptionally talented and committed staff, and I look forward to working with them all to support the Chancellor and his team in taking forward the government’s agenda.”
Speaking to Accountancy Age, Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the ACCA, said he hoped Scholar will address problems with UK tax policy.
“I think it will be useful if he undertakes to put in place people who know tax and can deal with it.
“At present too much tax policy is driven by those who have no understanding of the tax system. Hence things like the tax mismatch for the taxation of child benefit occur.”