SIR NICHOLAS Macpherson, the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, is to leave the Civil Service after 30 years – and the role he has held for a decade – at the end of March.
The former KPMG employee was appointed Permanent Secretary in August 2005, following the departure of Sir Gus O’Donnell.
Macpherson, 56, joined the Treasury in 1985 and held a number of roles in the Treasury, including Principal Private Secretary to Kenneth Clarke and then Gordon Brown.
Chancellor, George Osborne, said: “To my mind Nick has been one of the outstanding public servants of his generation. He has been at the helm of the Treasury during the most difficult decade of modern economic policy making and his advice to me has always been intelligent, candid and discreet.
“He will be sorely missed by the official team he has built up at the Treasury and ministers, like me, lucky enough to have worked with him.”
Prior to becoming Permanent Secretary, Macpherson, was MD of the Budget and Public Finance Directorate, and from 2001 to 2004 he headed up the Public Services Directorate, where he managed the 2000 and 2002 spending reviews.
Previous Treasury posts included Director of Welfare Reform (1998 to 2001), where he led on reforms to the tax and benefit system, and Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1993 to 1997) where he oversaw the transition from the Chancellorship of Kenneth Clarke to that of Gordon Brown.
Prior to that Macpherson worked in a variety of posts, including negotiating the EMU component of the Maastricht Treaty and the UK’s opt out.
A visiting Professor at King’s College London, he also chairs the Policy Committee of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics.
Macpherson said: “It has been a privilege to lead the Treasury through an extraordinary period. But after 31 years in the department, and having worked on 33 Budgets and 20 Spending Reviews, it is time to do something else while I still can.
“With the fiscal strategy for this Parliament set and the economic recovery well established, now is the right time to stand aside and for someone else to guide the Treasury through the challenges ahead.”
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