Who Should Be Called to Account? – Margaret Hodge in debate with Philip Collins and Lucy Barnes

Event Date: 22 March 2017
Keynes Library
Birkbeck School of Arts
43 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PD

The Department of Politics at Birkbeck University of London presents:

Who Should Be Called to Account? 

Margaret Hodge in debate with Philip Collins and Lucy Barnes

In Called to Account, Margaret Hodge reviews her experiences as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee until 2015. She has particularly sharp things to say about tax avoidance by multinational corporations, and about the civil servants who are meant to ensure that taxes are paid by the high and mighty as well as the low and ordinary.

In this event she will debate her assessments with Philip Collins of the Times and UCL’s Lucy Barnes, with Tony Wright in the chair.

Is it possible to get corporations to pay more tax, or are current practices the inevitable result of Britain’s ‘bargain basement’ approach to competition with other countries for investment and jobs? And are Hodge’s criticisms of senior civil servants fair, given that they may not be supported in taking a tougher line by their political masters?
Chair: Tony Wright was an MP from 1992 to 2010, and played a leading role in the ‘Wright reforms’ to Parliamentary select committees. He is currently a visiting professor at UCL and Birkbeck.


Margaret Hodge has been MP for Barking since 1994 and was Chair of the Public Accounts Committee from 2010 to 2015.

Lucy Barnes is a lecturer in comparative politics at UCL, specialising in the politics of taxation.

Philip Collins is a columnist and chief leader writer for The Times, and chair of the board of trustees at the independent think tank Demos.
This event is jointly organised by the journal Political Quarterly and the Centre for British Politics and Public Life at Birkbeck.

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