In the wake of the sad, sad news of Mr Osborne’s forced exit (through the back door) from the Cabinet, we present you a couple of historical quotes from new Chancellor Philip Hammond.
“Assurances that wide powers will be used only narrowly in practice are no substitute for tightly drafted legislation. There remains a real possibility of inflicting damage on some of the UK’s most dynamic business sectors in the medium term, and thus of damaging the UK economy’s international competitiveness in the long term.”
“A taxpayer is entitled to know with certainty – be it an individual or a multinational corporation – what he may or may not do in planning his tax affairs. He is entitled to expect that his treatment be laid down in statute, not determined by administrative fiat; he is entitled to expect that another taxpayer in similar circumstances will receive treatment similar to his; and he is entitled to be protected from retrospective or retroactive legislation.“
Sounds familiar / contemporary? This is from 2005, and commentary on a Labour Finance Bill.
Of course, Conservatives are no stranger to spectacular U-turns, so time will tell if the new Chanceller will do a “Gauke”, or remember his words from yesteryear and act in accordance.
If anything, let’s hope that the change in personnel at the Treasury opens the APN / Osborne ultimatum can of worms in earnest, and puts the whole Osborne-devised scapegoating operation under the scrutiny it deserves.