When push comes to shove for Hartnett

HAS DAVE HARTNETT been pushed out?

While it can be argued that he’s served beyond the normal tenure for a permanent secretary, Hartnett’s recent protestations that he’s in the role for the long haul counter this argument.

I’m sure he will regret that his legacy will contain a big focus on the public issues that have gone against him – namely Goldman Sachs/Vodafone, plus the PAYE problems last year that saw him initially refuse to apologise for the underpayments.

Among the accounting profession he’s always been regarded as quite hard-nosed – but at least up front. Love him or hate him, he’s stepped up in recent years to become the face of the taxman. Various chairmen and other executives have kept in the background.

But for someone who’d probably like to be known as pragmatic and for pushing hard for the right tax to be paid – recent problems under the glare of the public’s eye will leave many with a different perception.

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