Steve Lewis MBE [Image: fairtaxtown.com].

Steve Lewis MBE [Image: fairtaxtown.com].

The co-founder of an extraordinary bid to force the government to address tax avoidance by large corporations has launched a campaign to join the board of HM Revenue and Customs – thereby becoming the taxman himself.

Steve Lewis MBE launched a public campaign via Change.org live on the BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Show today (January 21). At the time of writing it has already gained 14,325 supporters – including This Writer.

His petition states: “The Chief Executive of the HMRC Executive Board just stepped down. Instead of replacing her with a lifelong civil servant or someone cosy to big business, the Government should appoint someone who champions ordinary citizens and understands small businesses. That’s why I’m putting myself forward and asking you to sign my petition and champion me as ‘the people’s taxman’.

“I believe my 19 year military career, together with my 25 years of extensive corporate business experience, working with multinationals on ethical leadership, as well as running a small business in my community, puts me in a unique position to be a people’s champion on the board of the HMRC.

“I will have no fear or compromise in holding aggressive tax avoiders, tax abusers and tax bullies to account. Government officials rarely look outside for top jobs like this. So I’m going to need your help to convince them that the public want a new approach to fair tax.

In a press release, he added: “The sacking of ‘Dame Disaster’, Lin Homer as Chief Executive of the HMRC Board is a great opportunity. The HMRC Board is accountable “to advise and challenge the management of HMRC, particularly focusing on the strategic direction and performance management”. The role of the Board is critical to the future success of HMRC and tax enforcement in the UK and Dame Lin Homer failed to deliver change in the crucial area of Tax Avoidance.”

Steve’s face may be familiar to readers of This Blog if they tuned in to The Town That Took On The Taxman on BBC Two at 9pm yesterday (January 20). That show chronicled the attempts of a group of businesspeople including, Steve, to turn Crickhowell, in Powys, into a ‘Fair Tax Town’.

Their efforts have succeeded beyond expectations and you can find out more at the Fair Tax Town website.

You can register your support for Steve to join the HMRC board by signing the Change.org petition.

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