Hartnett to clarify confidentiality rules

DAVE HARTNETT has told MPs he will clarify the legal position governing taxpayer confidentiality by Wednesday, according to reports.

The permanent secretary for tax at HM Revenue & Customs appeared before the Commons’ Public Accounts Committee last week to answer allegations that he shook hands on a “sweetheart deal” that let off Goldman Sachs from up to £8m in National Insurance revenues. While he admitted a mistake had been made, he refused to divulge the nature of the mistakes saying “taxpayer confidentiality” prevented him from doing so.

The MPs called on Hartnett to give details of the mistake, claiming that the public interest trumped confidentiality on the matter. They also asked him to explain his interpretation of the confidentiality rules.

Stephen Barclay, a member of the PAC, told the Daily Telegraph that Hartnett has misused confidentiality rules to “cover up his own mistakes”.

The Telegraph has said that Hartnett expects to clarify the rules by Wednesday.

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