Structures processes and governance
in tax-policy making
Saïd Business School
8th – 9th March 2012
The issue of how tax policy is made has become the subject of keen interest in recent times. In the UK, the Treasury published Tax policy-making: a new approach in June 2010 and launched a consultation process aimed at strengthening its own processes. The Institute for Fiscal Studies also published a report on Tax policy making in the UK and has explored the political economy of tax policy more fully in the Mirrlees Review.
This latest wave of interest builds on work carried out in a number of countries that has sought to improve the quality of the tax policy making process with a view to achieving better policy outcomes.
During the last year, a comparative international study of the tax policy-making process has been carried out under the auspices of the Centre. The study examines four main strands in the policy-making process:
• the functioning of the Executive in relation to the development of tax policy, including the institutional framework within Government through which tax policy is developed
• the influence and role of external institutions, both formal and informal;
• the role of the Legislature in scrutinising tax policy proposals emanating from the Executive and the scope for initiating tax law changes; and
• the process through which taxpayer consent is sought for changes in tax law, including the nature and extent of any consultation with the public or with business on tax policy proposals.
The study seeks to identify examples of “good practice” and to provide a framework within which Governments of both developed and developing countries can benchmark their own structures, processes and governance arrangements.
The Centre will publish the findings and recommendations arising from the study in a report. The initial findings will be presented for discussion at a major international conference on the structures, processes and governance in tax policy-making. The Conference was held in Oxford on 8-9 March 2012 and brought together outstanding speakers from around the world, including representatives of all the main stakeholder groups in the tax policy-making process. The study has provoked great interest in each of the countries where the work has been carried out.
There were speakers from the UK, the US, Germany, France, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Ireland and from all the main stakeholders in the tax policy-making process, including senior government officials and former officials, ministerial advisers, senior parliamentarians, representatives of trade unions, "think-tanks", business groups and individual companies as well as journalists and academics.
The Conference programme was designed to allow the maximum interaction between participants and speakers from different backgrounds and a full discussion of the policy making process in its widest sense.
Gerry Antioch (Australian Treasury)
Stefan Bach (DIW, Germany)
Matt Benge (Inland Revenue, New Zealand)
Yvonne Bertlin (AstraZeneca, Sweden)
Bob Buckle (University of Wellington, New Zealand)
Vieri Ceriani (Ministry of Finance, Italy)
Dan Corry (New Philanthropy Capital) Podcast
Carlo Cottarelli (Director, Fiscal Affairs, IMF)
Donal de Buitleir (Centre for Fiscal Research, Ireland)
Michael Devereux (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation)
Chris Evans (ATAX) Podcast
Ruth Fox (Hansard Society)
Judith Freedman (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation) Podcast
Clemens Fuest (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation)
David Gauke MP (Exchequer Secretary, HM Treasury, UK)
Linda Haggren (Ministry of Finance, Sweden) Podcast
Lord Hollick (House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee)
Vanessa Houlder (FT) Podcast
Phillip Inman (Guardian)
Nicolas Jacquot (Arsene Taxand, France) Podcast
Paul Johnson (IFS)
Colm Kelly (PwC)
Philip Kermode (Director of Direct Taxation, European Commission)
Sven-Olof Lodin (Former Deputy Director General of the Industriförbundet, Sweden) Podcast
Wendy Martin (Jersey) Podcast
Derek Moran (Department of Finance, Ireland)
Pam Olson (PwC, US) Podcast
Mark Redmond (Irish Taxation Institute) Podcast
Pascal Saint-Amans (Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD)
Chris Sanger (Ernst & Young) Podcast
Manfred Schäfers (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany) Podcast
Joseph Stead (Christian Aid) Podcast
Eugene Steuerle (Tax Policy Center, Washington) Podcast
Paul Sweeney (Irish TUC)
Andrew Tyrie MP (UK House of Commons Treasury Committee)
Paul Valentin (International Director, Christian Aid)
Jefferson VanderWolk (US Senate Committee on Finance)
Christopher John Wales (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation)
Christopher Peter Wales (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation)
Joel Walters (Vodafone)
Bertold Welling (BDI, Germany)
Mike Williams (HM Treasury)
Lord Hollick, Ruth Fox and Jefferson VanderWolk. (Podcast)
The following documents are now available to download.
Draft Report - This draft report has been prepared for the conference “Structures, processes and governance in tax policy-making” on March 8 & 9, 2012. The authors intend to use the opportunity of the conference to discuss their preliminary findings. The study will then be finalised and published.