Ever heard of the complexity gnome?

TS WAS STRUCK and somewhat taken aback when a moment of whimsy took hold in what was an otherwise serious Treasury Sub-Committee hearing on the taxman’s progress and administration.

HM Revenue & Customs chief executive Lin Homer was taking questions from MPs on the complexity of the UK’s tax code when the line of enquiry suddenly turned to gnomes.

More specifically, the possibility that a ‘complexity gnome’ was working within the Treasury, with the sole aim of insidiously adding further layers of complication and confusion to this country’s already bewildering tax system.

That idea tickled TS, and seemingly wasn’t lost on Homer, but to TS’s disappointment, she could neither confirm nor deny the existence of such a creature in the Treasury.

“I’ve not met the complexity gnome yet – unless it’s disguised,” she told the assembled MPs at Portcullis House.

TS didn’t know whether to pleased or disappointed at that news, but it did leave it wondering whether there might be a simplification pixie, or indeed a litigious imp working within Whitehall too.

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