Sir David Varney appeared before MPs again last week, and TS is pleased to report that HMRC’s head honcho was much cheerier than on earlier occasions.
Members of the committee caused a stir, however, as they all in turn confessed that they had a conflict of interest in asking Sir David questions. The conflict? They are, almost all of them, married to accountants.
Greg Clark was first, confessing that his enthusiasm for tax simplicity was occasionally challenged by his wife, whose income, he said, depended in part on tax complexity.
Kitty Ussher added that her husband was an accountant too, as others also disclosed connections with the profession.
Austin Mitchell was on form, suggesting to Sir David that everything was looking a bit cosy in his relationship with companies: ‘Your job is to get as much out of the bastards as possible,’ Mitchell said charmingly.
As far as TS knows, Mitchell neither is an accountant nor is married to one.
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