Mel Stride

    At the reception Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride said:

    “It was about a year ago that I stood on this very platform and addressed you in what was my first outing as Financial Secretary to the Treasury and I have to say I knew very little about CIOT at that particular time. But in the intervening year, I have certainly established in my mind that it was entirely appropriate that the first outing I had as Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General was to address you for the very reasons Ray has outlined, for the very central role that you play as an organisation - and all the tax professionals that feed into you in various ways - in shaping government policy in the area of tax.

    “You raised the Better Budgets report, Ray, which was absolutely instrumental in ensuring that we moved towards the single fiscal event. You asked or posed the question ‘would we be sticking to our ground in this respect’ - we most certainly will.

    “One of the most important things that we felt around the Spring Statement that we just had recently, was that this should not be another mini-Budget. So that required a lot of handling, handling the expectations and the media handling and so on, and we got that about right. We totally buy into this idea of decluttering the tax terrain, that we don’t want two or even more fiscal events in the year, we just want the one event in the autumn and we will certainly stick to that.

    “There were many other things that came out of that work, and some of them apparently quite small and obvious and rather administrative in nature, but also I think very deep in value. For example, the consultation tracker launched at the Spring Budget so you can now go online and look at the 27 different policy areas upon which we are consulting at the moment, you can see when they start and see when they finish, you can click on easy to access links to find out all you need to know about them. This idea of getting information out and information flowing between yourselves and ourselves is extremely important.

    “Whatever we have achieved to date it does not stop here, we are looking forward to closely engaging with you over the coming months; we obviously have the Autumn Budget to look forward to, there will be L-Day, legislation day, when we will publish some of the draft legislation that will appear in the forthcoming Budget, that will be sometime in July. It will be in July that you will be able get your hands on that.

    “We also have, of course, Making Tax Digital and one of the first decisions I took as minister was to slow down the timescale of Making Tax Digital, and CIOT, along with other organisations, were instrumental in persuading me of the importance of taking that particular route.

    “The final thing, of course, that I will mention is Brexit. We have a huge challenge ahead of us with Brexit, we have huge opportunities as well at the same time. As we go through this process, perhaps never at any other time in our history - perhaps that is slightly grandiose but not far off it - has it been more important to make sure we get the tax system stable, working, competitive and something that supports business and drives our economy forward.

    “On that positive note, can I thank you, again, for all that you do individually in this great endeavour of making sure our tax system is fit for purpose.”

    Further details can be found here: