Mike Bracken joins Labour review of tax modernisation

Public Digital founder Mike Bracken
Public Digital founder Mike Bracken

Public Digital founder Mike Bracken has been appointed to an expert panel reviewing tax compliance and the modernisation and digitisation of HMRC’s service.

The panel will be chaired by Shadow Financial Secretary James Murray, and its outputs may feed into Labour’s manifesto and plans for government, working towards the pledge announced by Rachel Reeves to raise over £5 billion a year by closing the gap between the amount of tax owed and then collected.

Joining Mike on the panel is Sir Edward Troup, former HMRC Permanent Secretary, Dame Margaret Hodge MP, former chair of the Public Accounts Committee, and Bill Dodwell, former tax director of the Office for Tax Simplification.

Drawing on PD’s rich background working with international tax regimes, as well as with large financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, Mike’s involvement will provide recommendations for radically rethinking how tax works in a digital economy.

While Public Digital as an organisation doesn’t hold a partisan view, we will always want public services to work better, and we know that this demands an efficient, modern tax system. Whichever party assumes power at the next election, we would like to see the next administration be bold and ambitious in how it reworks the machinery of state to tackle the country’s fiscal challenges.

By convention, the civil service has a long tradition of talking to opposition parties as part of election preparations, and we feel that at Public Digital we should do the same. We hope that new ways of thinking in the area of tax compliance will progress a new government beyond a historically mixed delivery of modernising tax services, producing a system which balances the need to stimulate economic activity and implement fair and consistent taxation.

Involvement on this panel will focus on policy research and advice, not campaigning, and given Mike doesn’t work with any UK government clients at PD, there is a clear gap between his work with us and his involvement in this review.

Commenting on the appointment, the Shadow Financial Secretary, said:

“I am grateful to the panel for agreeing to support us with this incredibly important piece of work. I am looking forward to working with them over the coming months as we prepare Labour’s plans for what we would do in government if we win the next general election.”

We would like to thank James Murray for the invitation to the panel, and we look forward to working to develop policies which will make our tax system fairer, more effective, and easier for all of us to use.

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