MPs set up new tax law rewrite group.

The decision was announced on Monday in a motion from paymaster general Dawn Primarolo, who said the new Joint Committee on Tax Simplification Bills would give ‘proper parliamentary scrutiny’ to bills from the project.

So far the project has spent years producing one bill, on capital allowances, in its efforts to rewrite tax law more clearly.

The new committee, which in a surprising move will include Primarolo, will be made up of six members from the House of Lords and seven from the Commons.

It is not yet clear if Lord Geoffrey Howe of Aberavon, a champion of simplifying the whole tax system, will be on the committee.

Controversy is already beginning to grow around the committee. During the Commons debate Tory MP John Bercow expressed his ‘distaste’ that a select committee should include a minister.

Lord Howe writes exclusively for on tax reform at

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